Kenneth Kitchen

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Kenneth Anderson Kitchen (born 1932) is Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, England. He is one of the leading experts on the Egyptian Third Intermediate Period, having written over 250 books and journal articles on this and other subjects since the mid-1950s. He has been described by The Times as "the very architect of Egyptian chronology".[1]

Third Intermediate Period[edit]

His book, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC), is regarded by historians as the standard and most comprehensive treatment on this era. It noted a hitherto unknown period of coregency between Psusennes I with Amenemope and Osorkon III with Takelot III, and established that Shebitku of the 25th Dynasty was already king of Egypt by 702 BC, among other revelations.

Some of its points are now slightly dated. It stated that Takelot II succeeded Osorkon II at Tanis, whereas most Egyptologists today accept it was Shoshenq III.[2] Secondly, the book presented King Shoshenq II as the High Priest of Amun Shoshenq C, a son of Osorkon I who predeceased his father. However, this interpretation is weakened by the fact that no objects from Shoshenq II's intact burial at Tanis bears Osorkon I's name. Finally, contra Kitchen, most Egyptologists today such as Rolf Krauss, Aidan Dodson[3] and Jürgen von Beckerath[4] accept David Aston's argument[5] that the Crown Prince Osorkon B, Takelot II's son, assumed power as Osorkon III, a king of the 'Theban Twenty-Third Dynasty' in Upper Egypt.

Ramesside Period[edit]

Kenneth Kitchen is also regarded as one of the foremost scholars on the Ramesside Period of the New Kingdom;[citation needed] he published a well-respected book on Ramesses II in 1982 titled Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II, King of Egypt. Kitchen is a scholar who advocates a high view of the Old Testament and its inherent historicity. See his most recent 2003 book: On the Reliability of the Old Testament which documents several clear or indirect allusions to King David's status as the founder of Ancient Israel based on passages in the Tel Dan ('House of David') and Mesha stelas as well as in Shoshenq I's Karnak list (for more on this book see below).

Kitchen has strongly opposed the New Chronology views of David Rohl who posits that the Biblical Shishak who invaded Israel in 925 BC was actually Ramesses II rather than Shoshenq I and argues that the 21st and 22nd Dynasties of Egypt were contemporary with one another due to the absence of Dynasty 21 Apis Bull stele in the Serapeum. Kitchen observes that the word Shishak is closer philologically to Shoshenq I and that this Pharaoh records in his monuments at Thebes that he campaigned actively against Ancient Israel and Judah. Kitchen also notes that there are various contemporary non-Serapeum sources such as the Karnak Priestly Annals, the Nile Quay Texts, and various stelas which mention these Dynasty 21 and Dynasty 22 kings.

Biblical scholarship[edit]

Kitchen is an evangelical Christian and has published frequently from that background on questions relating to the Old Testament. His publications in this area have consistently defended the historical books of the Old Testament as an accurate record of events, i.e., as history, against the academic consensus that they are primarily theological in nature. Kitchen is an outspoken critic of the documentary hypothesis. He has produced various written works including articles and books upholding this viewpoint. He cites several types of proof for this theory, including that the depictions in the Bible of various historical eras and societies are consistent with historical data on these areas. [6]

Significant works[edit]

  • 2012. Treaty, Law and Covenant in the Ancient Near East. 3 Volumes. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz
  • 2003. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-4960-1
  • 1999. Poetry of Ancient Egypt. Jonsered: P. Aströms förlag.
  • 1996. The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC). 3rd ed. Warminster: Aris & Phillips Limited. 1998.
  • 1994. Documentation for Ancient Arabia. Part 1: Chronological Framework and Historical Sources. The World of Ancient Arabia 1. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press
  • 1982. Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II, King of Egypt. Monumenta Hannah Sheen Dedicata 2. Mississauga: Benben Publications.
  • 1977. The Bible In Its World [1]. Exeter: Paternoster. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press 1978.
  • 1969–1990. Ramesside Inscriptions: Historical and Biographical. 8 Vols. Oxford: B. H. Blackwell Ltd.
  • 1966. Ancient Orient and Old Testament [2]. London: Tyndale Press. Chicago: InterVarsity Press.
  • 1962. Suppiluliuma and the Amarna Pharaohs; a study in relative chronology, Liverpool University Press


  1. ^ The Times, 13 October 2002, How myth became history
  2. ^ (see Karl Jansen-Winkeln, "Historische Probleme Der 3. Zwischenzeit," JEA 81(1995) pp.129-49, Aidan Dodson in GM 137(1993), p.58 and G. Broekman, 'The Reign of Takeloth II, a Controversial Matter,' GM 205(2005), pp.21-35)
  3. ^ in GM 137
  4. ^ Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten (1997)
  5. ^ David Aston, JEA 75 (1989), Takeloth II: A King of the Theban 23rd Dynasty?, pp.139-153
  6. ^ The Factual Reliability of the Old Testament, by Kenneth A. Kitchen, 2006, accessed 1/31/15.

External links[edit]