This book is a brief, popular (but informed and up-to-date) introduction to the relationship between the Bible and archaeology. Material culture (i.e., artifacts) and the biblical text illuminate each other in various ways, but many of us find it difficult to reach a nuanced understanding of how this process works and how archaeological discoveries should be interpreted. This book provides an irenic and balanced perspective on these issues, showing how texts and artifacts are in a fascinating "dialogue" with one another that sheds light on the meaning and importance of both. What emerges is a rich and complex picture that enlivens our understanding of the Bible's message, increases our appreciation for the historical and cultural contexts in which it was written, and helps us be realistic about the limits of our knowledge.
Dr. Matthieu Richelle is professor of Old Testament at the Faculte Libre de Theologie Evangelique, Vaux-sur-Seine, France. A former student at the French Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem, he received his PhD from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne) and has taught courses on ancient Semitic inscriptions there for years. Richelle has written dozens of scholarly and popular articles on the Bible and the history and inscriptions of Syria-Palestine, and he is the author of several books (in French), including A Guide to Old Testament Exegesis, Understanding Genesis 1 11 Today, and The Testament of Elisha: Masoretic Text and Septuagint in 2 Kings 13:10 14:16.