Biblical Archaeology Review 36:3, May/June 2010

The Devil Is Not So Black as He Is Painted

BAR interviews Israel Finkelstein

Israel Finkelstein is professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University and has codirected the excavations at Megiddo since 1994. Recently, he was the recipient of an award that provides a fund in excess of $4 million for a scientific study of the history of ancient Israel. Editor Hershel Shanks and Professor Finkelstein discuss, among other things, whether or not there was an Exodus from Egypt.

Hershel Shanks: Israel, I know that you are not a Biblical minimalist, and you’re not a Biblical maximalist either. You regard yourself as a centrist. But many people refer to you as a Biblical minimalist. How do you account for that?

Israel Finkelstein: To tell you the truth, I don’t know. I believe that I’m indeed in the center. I never take a sweeping view on Biblical history. You’ll never catch me saying, “Everything is not historical” or “Everything is historical.” For me, there’s never a black-and-white situation.

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