PHARAOHS AND KINGS: A Biblical Quest by David M. Rohl
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PHARAOHS AND KINGS: A Biblical Quest

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Egyptologist Rohl presents a groundbreaking analysis of archaeological evidence for the historicity of the early books of the Old Testament. Because two centuries of archaeology in the Middle East have generally failed to prove the validity of the Old Testament accounts, historians have increasingly begun to relegate these ancient texts to the realm of folklore. Rohl, chairman of the Institute for Study of Interdisciplinary Sciences in London, acknowledges the paucity of evidence to support the conventional dating of biblical events, but he argues that the reason for this is that scholars have misdated important events in both Egyptian and biblical history, thus missing the biblical significance of archaeological finds. Closely analyzing such finds from Egypt, he concludes that archaeological support can be found for the major events of the early Old Testament by dating them according to his corrected ""New Chronology."" According to this revised chronology, for instance, the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt took place in approximately 1447 B.C. (instead of c. 1250 B.C. as in the conventional dating). The most intriguing part of Rohl's text is his analysis of what he regards as archaeological evidence of biblical events: a ruined palace becomes the palace of the vizier Joseph, complete with a shattered statue of him; an ancient Egyptian city with evidence of Asiatic settlers becomes the place where the Israelites lived as slaves; another ancient town whose remains show signs of conflagration and mass burials proves to be Joshua's Jericho. If Rohl is correct, he has reanalyzed the archaeological record to find support for events told in the early books of the Bible, and he has produced a work with profound implications for both biblical and Egyptian history. A breathtaking archaeological tour de force, persuasively argued, sure to be controversial. The Learning Channel will begin airing a series based on this book in mid-January.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Crown