Redating the Exodus and Conquest by John J. Bimson

Both my wife and I remember reading John Bimson’s groundbreaking book Redating the Exodus and Conquest when we were studying theology. So I was delighted when Dr Bimson granted me permission to make his book freely available on-line. I hope that a new generation of Bible students will find it as helpful as we did.

John J. Bimson, Redating the Exodus and Conquest, 2nd edn. Sheffield: The Almond Press, 1981. Pbk. ISBN: 0907459048. pp.288. Download in PDF.

John J. Bimson, Redating the Exodus and Conquest

“The Bible points to a date for the Exodus in the 15th Century B.C. and the archaeological evidence, as interpreted by Bimson, corresponds very closely to, the biblical chronology. Dr. Bimson argues forcefully and with great clarity (as well as in considerable detail) for his theory which runs counter to current scholarly opinion.”

– Journal of Jewish Studies

“By advancing a plausible alternative hypothesis, the book demonstrates that those who hold to a thirteenth century exodus-conquest have no monopoly on the archaeological evidence.” – Journal of Biblical Literature

“The author includes a full chapter on Jericho as an index of Conquest chronological data and correctly concludes that its evidence is now ambiguous. Most enlightening is a long chapter on bi<;hrome ware and ceramic chronology in which he asserts convincingly that ceramics shatters the case for a late
Conquest… A fine piece of work.” – Bibliotheca Sacra

“The section on Bichrome Ware should be mandatory reading for anyone dealing in pottery.”  -Orientalia

“Both the problem it addresses and the style it follows make the book of interest to a wider audience. Bimson calls for a reevaluation of the archaeological shift from middle to late Bronze Age in Palestine … In a day when the traditional archaeological support for a thirteenth century unified invasion of Canaan is increasingly under fire, Bimson offers a fresh look at an old and often ignored alternative.” – Christianity Today

Sayce’s Higher Criticism & the Monuments

Archibald Sayce [1845-1933] made significant contributions in the field of Biblical Archaeology, not least for his pioneering work on the Empire of the Hittites. Many of his books are still being reprinted today, which is probably as good an endorsement of their enduring value as you can get. Sayce also contributed a biblical archaeology column in the Expository Times which I am  in the process of scanning.

Archibald Sayce’s The ‘Higher Criticism’ and the Verdict of the Monuments

This title is now available for free download in PDF:

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], The ‘Higher Criticism’ and the Verdict of the Monuments. London: SPCK / New York: E. & J.B. Young & Co., 1894. Hbk. pp.575.

I will be digitising more of Sayce’s titles as hard copies become available to me. I am also in the process of compiling a bibliography of his extensive works.

Assur and Nineveh (1910)

A Bronze Lion from Nineveh [Public Domain]
This image is from Illustrerad Verldshistoria by Ernst Wallis et al, published 1875-9.
The following public domain article is now available on-line:

Theophilus G. Pinches, “Assur and Nineveh,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 42 (1910): 154-176.

Assur and Nineveh

Assur

Of all the little explanatory verses on the Old Testament there are probably but few which are of greater interest than that referring to the great cities of Assyria. It is that well-known verse 11 of the 10th chapter of Genesis, which, in the Revised Version, tells us that, “out of that land (Shinar or Babylonia) he (Nimrod, who is best identified with the Babylonian god Merodach) went forth into Assyria, and builded Nineveh, and Rehoboth-Ir, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (the same is the great city).” Whether it was Asshur or Nimrod who went forth from Babylonia or not is a matter of but minor importance, as it is the cities which were founded, and not the person who founded them, with which we have to deal.

A very important testimony to the great size of Nineveh is given in the Book of Jonah, where it is spoken of, in verse 2 of the third chapter, as ”that great city,” and further, in the third verse of the same chapter, as “an exceeding great city of three days’ journey,” the distance referred to being commonly regarded as indicating its extent. Naturally, there is some difficulty in estimating this from such a vague statement, for, admitting that the words are correctly applied, the distance traversed must necessarily depend on the speed of the traveller. Perhaps a preaching – journey, such as that upon which the prophet Jonah was engaged, was slower than an ordinary one, but taking as a rough estimate 10 miles a day, this would make about 30 miles as its greatest extent. Between Nineveh and Calah, However, there is nothing like this distance, so that another explanation will have to be found.

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Discoveries in Babylonia (1909)

Babylonia at the Time of Hammurabi
Babylonia at the Time of Hammurabi [Source: Wikipedia Commons]
The following Public Domain article is now available on-line in PDF.

Theophilus G. Pinches [1856-1934], “Discoveries in Babylonia and the Neighbouring Lands,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 41 (1909): 99-122.

Discoveries in Babylonia and the Neighbouring Lands

Gradually, but surely and ever more speedily, Assyriology is becoming the most important study in the domain of Oriental archaeology. The language of the Babylonians and Assyrians proves to be a tongue of the most engrossing importance, whilst that of the seemingly earlier race-the Sumerians-with which it was brought into contact, is regarded by some as the coming study for those who wish to acquire renown as true archaeological linguists. But besides the languages, with their dialects, a very specially interesting and important field of study is their archaeology in general, their beliefs, their manners and customs, their arts and sciences, and the geography of the land. Whether we shall ever obtain information as to their original home, we do not know, but we may, by chance, acquire, ultimately, the information needed to find out where that place may have been; and in any case, we shall know all the better what influence those nations may have had in the world, to say nothing of the bearing of their records on the all-important subject of Bible hi13tory, thought, and beliefs. A number of closely-connected nations whose influence extended from Elam on the ea.st to the Mediterranean and Egypt on the west, and from the Caspian Sea on the north to Arabia on the south, cannot fail to have exercised considerable influence beyond those borders and boundaries – an influence of which we shall not obtain a full idea for many years to come.

Now that we have learned so much about these ancient nations, and their peculiar wedge-formed characters, we know also something of their power and the wide influence of their writing. It is now known that the so-called Phoenician goes back to 1,500 or 2,000 years before Christ, but there was a time when the cuneiform script, in one form or other, was used all over Western Asia within the limits I have indicated. In addition, therefore, to Semitic Babylonian, the cuneiform script, derived from that of Babylonia, was used by the Assyrians, who spoke the same language; the Elamites, who spoke Babylonian and ancient Elamite; the Armenians, who seem to have obtained the syllabary they used from Assyria; the Palestinian states, who got their script from Babylonia; the Mitannians, who also employed the Babylonian style; the Cappadocians, who at first used ancient Babylonian, though they seem to have been an Assyrian colony; and the Hittites, who also used the Babylonian style. These are the nationalities who are known to have used some form of the Babylonian wedge-writing, and the list omits ancient Persian on account of the impossibility of tracing any sure connection between their cuneiform alphabet{for that is, perhaps, the best word to use) and the complicated characters of the Babylonians and Assyrians….

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BiblicalArchaeology.org.uk Launches Today!

I am very pleased to announce that my new website aimed at providing resources for those studying the archaeology of the Bible lands is officially launched today.

Over the last few months it became apparent that the range of material relating to archaeology would no longer fit within the structure of the biblicalstudies.org.uk website. The new site will eventually offer detailed coverage of all aspects of biblical archaeology from artefacts to bibliographies of noteable archaeologists. Collapsible menus will be added once the site structure is finalised.

Click here to visit the new site.