Patriarchal Palestine by Archibald H. Sayce

Map: The Chief Places mentioned in the Books of Genesis and ExodusProfessor Archibald Sayce’s Patriarchal Palestine applies the (then) recent archaeological discoveries in Babylonia and Assyria to illustrate the biblical accounts of Genesis. The frontispiece map is particularly helpful, so I have extracted this and made is available as a separate download at various resolutions. This title, kindly provided by Book Aid, is in the public domain.

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], Patriarchal Palestine. London: SPCK, 1895. Hbk. pp.227.[Click to visit the main download page for this title]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • List of Dynasties
  1. The land
  2. The People
  3. The Babylonians in Canaan, and the Egyptian Conquest
  4. The Patriarchs
  5. Egyptian Travellers in Canaan
  6. Canaanitish Culure and Religion
  • Index

Preface

A few years ago the subject-matter of the present volume might have been condensed into a few pages. Beyond what we would gather from the Old Testament, we knew but little about the history and geography of Canaan before the age of its conquest by the Israelites. Thanks, however, to the discovery and decipherment of the ancient monuments of Babylonia and Assyria, of Egypt and of Palestine, all this is now changed. A flood of light has been poured upon the earlier history of the country and its inhabitants, and though we are still only at the beginning of our discoveries we can already sketch the outlines of Canaanitish history, and even fill them in here and there.

Throughout I have assumed that in the narrative of the Pentateuch we have history and not fiction. Indeed the archaeologist cannot do otherwise. Monumental research is making it clearer every day that the scepticism of the so-called “higher criticism ” is not justified in fact. Those who would examine the proofs of this must turn to my book on The Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments.

Life and Times of Isaiah by Archibald H. Sayce

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], The Life and Times of Isaiah. As Illustrated by Contemporary Monuments, 2nd ednProfessor Sayce provides a helpful summary of the archaeological background on the Isaiah and his writings. In so doing he seeks to place the prophet in the wider context of the Ancient Near East. This title is in the public domain.

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], The Life and Times of Isaiah. As Illustrated by Contemporary Monuments, 2nd edn., 1890. London: Religious Tract Society, 1889. Hbk. pp.96. [Click to visit the main download page]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chronology
  1. The Life of Isaiah
  2. Egypt in the Age of Isaiah
  3. Assyria
  4. Syria and Israel
  5. Political {arties in Judah

Appendix

  1. Translations from the fragments of Tiglath-Pileser’s Annals
  2. Translations from the Inscriptions of Sragon
  3. Translation of Sennacherib’s accoiunt of the his Campaign Against Judah

Preface

In the following pages an attempt has been made to bring before the modern reader a picture of the external and internal politics of the Jewish kingdom in the age of Isaiah, one of the most important epochs and turning-points in the religious history and training of the Chosen Race. The materials for drawing such a picture are derived partly from the Old Testament, partly from the monuments of Egypt and Assyria, which in these our days have thrown so vivid and unexpected a light upon the earlier history of the Bible. Without them, indeed, the present book could never have been written. It is with their assistance that the pages of the sacred record have been supplemented and illustrated, and the course of events which seemed such a puzzle to the scholars of a former generation has been traced in its broad outlines.

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

Newly Discovered Version of the Story of the Flood (1911)

Allessandro Masnago - Cameo with Noah's Ark before the Flood
Allessandro Masnago – Cameo with Noah’s Ark [Public Domain; source: Wikipedia]
The following article is now available on-line in PDF:

Theophilus G. Pinches [1856-1934], “The Newly Discovered Version of the Story of the Flood,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 43 (1911): 135-159.

The Newly Discovered Version of the Story of the Flood

In all probability there is no phenomenon of nature described in the Old Testament which has attracted so much attention as the account of the Deluge, though many may say, that the sun standing still at the command of Joshua would be found to enter into competition with the great cataclysm of earlier date. Since the reading of the first Babylonian version of the Flood – story by the late George Smith about thirty-six years ago, however, interest has centered rather in that wide-spread catastrophe than in the cause of the great Israelitish leader’s victory; and this interest in the account of the Flood has rather increased of late years in consequence of the discovery of other versions – a second one by George Smith when engaged on the Daily Telegraph Expedition; another still, to all appearance, by Father V. Scheil, a few years ago, and still a fourth, by Professor H. V. Hilprecht last year.

The most complete version of the Babylonian account of the Flood is the first one here referred to. This document forms the eleventh tablet of the Gilgames series, and, as fate (or Providence, if you will) would have it, this portion of the legend is more perfect than any of the remaining tablets – twelve in number – of the series. La yard, Rassam, G. Smith, have all contributed, by the fragments they discovered, to its completion, and the last-named recognised and adjusted, within finite patience, practically the whole of the fragments (one little piece only fell to my share during the time of my employment at the British Museum) of which that eleventh tablet is composed. It is pleasant to think that one of our own countrymen was able to do such a good piece of work, and thus lay the foundation of a really trustworthy text of these important documents, besides attending to numerous fragments of tablets in almost all the other sections of Assyro-Babylonian literature.

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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.