Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts. New York: The Free Press, 2001. 385 pages. ISBN 0684869128.
The Bible Unearthed is a fascinating look at what archaeology can tell us about the historical reliability of the Hebrew Bible. The book is organized into three parts that discuss the Bible as history, the rise and fall of ancient Israel, and the rise of Judah as a state and its influence on the development of the biblical texts. Throughout the book, the authors use archaeological evidence in an attempt to determine what parts of the Bible are historically accurate and which parts cannot be proven to be so. They use evidence from other regions, such as Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian inscriptions, to help date or provide other perspectives on the stories found in the Bible.
When this book was published, author Finkelstein was the director of t the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, as well as director of the university's excavations at the Tel Megiddo archaeological site. Author Silberman was director of historical interpretation for the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation in Belgium. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in ancient Near East history.