This article is within the scope of WikiProject Bible, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Bible on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Judaism, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Judaism-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Islam, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Islam-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Jewish history, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Jewish history on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Why is the section called 'Saul rejected' called Saul rejected? If there is not some fault with my browser that puts a picture over part of the text, I'm pretty sure Saul is not mentioned in it at all. Also the next section starts with 'As punishment', which raises the question: as punishment for what? Certainly not for something in the previous section, since, as I pointed out before, Saul is not in there. Can someone please clarify? Thanks in advance! Octonion (talk) 01:31, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
This section definitely needed some work. I've fixed it up to take care of the concerns that you raised; take a look and tell me if this addresses them adequately. Cheers! - Ecjmartin (talk) 23:36, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
On my talk page you will find this text (not mine): "A box promises to contain, and things that can't be neatly contained can't be put in boxes. A box suggests "this is the real deal," and if the real deal could be put in a box, then there would be no need for articles. A box says, "Here is your PowerPoint bullet point list, so you can find all the world reduced to a reductive summary; please do not strive to understand complexity, for that is for suckers." A box says, "Wikipedia is just like your primary school text book: full of colors and 'bites' of infotainment." A box says, "I, the box maker, have just pissed all over this article and written a counter-article, and it's short, so read it instead." A box may be found useful by some people, indeed. We call those people "non-readers."
Infoboxes have their purposes, but they become problematic when used for articles where the subject matter is controversial or disputed. This infobox presented specific details as though they were undisputed fact, a violation of our core NPOV policy. We aren't sure he was king, we certainly can't state his year of birth or death with any certainty at all, etc. Nor does it suggest that the basis of this information is the Bible. As it stood it was an NPOV violation. If we can use it to present the information to make the controversies clear, fine. Dougweller (talk) 12:23, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I originally removed the infobox per this discussion on Saul. This issue could be resolved if an infobox such as "Biblical character" or "Biblical monarch" were created.--¿3family6contribs 14:23, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I was just getting ready to suggest that very thing--we need an infobox on "Biblical character" that could cover all Biblical characters such as prophets, kings, etc. It would not contain any kind of statement about their historicity or alleged lack thereof, simply a general infobox that would be NPOV for both sides. I know nothing about creating infoboxes; I'm rather surprised that one hasn't been done, already. But it would definitely be a welcome and useful addition. - Ecjmartin (talk) 17:26, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
So how would such an infobox look different? StAnselm (talk) 21:26, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I have restored the infobox. There should be a discussion and consensus here. The bold edit to remove it was fine, but then it was added back in. Anyway, I seem to recall this issue coming up previously with biblical battles. I don't see a problem with the infobox and I see it as a useful summary and navigational aid to the reader. StAnselm (talk) 21:24, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Editors ignoring BRD are not an excuse for saying there was no consensus to remove it - there was certainly no consensus to add it. I agree with Ecjmartin, we need an infobox for biblical characters. And User:StAnselm, you've ignored the NPOV issues. Dougweller (talk) 21:42, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, the infobox was there for several years - it was added in 2008. Personally, I think we need a broader RfC on this - it's been removed from Saul, but is still in Solomon. I'm not opposed to a "biblical character" infobox - perhaps that would address the NPOV issues - but I'm not sure how it would look different. StAnselm (talk) 22:19, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps it could have a "biblical books" field, so that it says "Described in: 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 1 Chronicles", for example. That would be the equivalent of the "According to the Hebrew Bible" qualifier at the start of the article text. StAnselm (talk) 22:41, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm just getting back home... To me, the production of a "Biblical Character" infobox isn't so much about looking 'different' from the box we have now, as it is about the perception of NPOV. Personally, as a born-again Christian, I believe in the historicity of all Biblical characters--but I recognize (and respect) the fact that others out there disagree. The box we have now not only gives info on the person in question, but equally implies that that person is a true historical character whose existence is not disputed (hence, I understand the objections some have raised, since they don't believe that historicity has been proven in the case of certain Biblical characters like David). To me, simply creating a "Biblical Character" infobox (including the "biblical books" field you mentioned, Anselm) would be a "best of both worlds" solution that would allow both sides to feel good about it. That's my take on it, at least, for whatever that may be worth. - Ecjmartin (talk) 01:19, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
I echo Ecjmartin's sentiments. I too am a Christian, but I respect that mainstream scholarly opinion does not accept all of the Bible as historically accurate. Jytdog, who is the user who objected to the use of the infobox in Saul, did not seem averse to the idea of a "Biblical monarch" template.--¿3family6contribs 04:08, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. The other issue, and this one applies to clearly historical characters, is dates and birth and death places - these are often unknown or uncertain. That needs to always be made clear (and is a source of edit-warring on some articles on subjects whose historicity is not in doubt but, for instance, ethnicity and/or birthplace is debated). Dougweller (talk) 08:13, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
So what are we all thinking here, now: do we create a "Biblical Character" infobox that can cover kings, prophets, patriarchs, etc.? One that would incorporate Anselm's suggestion about providing Bible references (at least the books, but I would suggest the chapters as well) as well as allowing for Dougweller's suggestion about uncertainties as to birth, death, places, etc. (which I think could be simply handled by putting "unknown" or "uncertain" in the appropriate fields of the box)? We could put some kind of hidden user-note (I know there's a WP name for those, but I don't know what it is, LOL) in there that would tell editors that unless they have definite, historically-verified (independent of Scripture) info on birthdates, etc., they are to use "unknown" or "uncertain," "uncertain; believed to be xx century," or something like that instead... I'd cast my vote in favor! What do you guys think of that? - Ecjmartin (talk) 17:51, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
But the dates aren't as disputed as all that. There would be broad consensus that there was someone called David, and AFAIK, there would be general agreement that he lived c. 1000 BC. "Unknown" is over-stating it, and requiring something "independent of Scripture" is going beyond the scholarly consensus. That is to say, many (but not all) scholars conclude that we can conclude certain objective facts from the biblical narrative, even if these scholars do not believe all the details given in the Bible. So I wouldn't want to drive a wedge between the Bible and history at this point. Having said that, it might be easiest to have a single date, perhaps in a field called "time period". StAnselm (talk) 20:17, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
You don't mean I hope saying "X was born in the year nnnn" in cases where we don't know that as a certainty, do you? Dougweller (talk) 20:56, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
And this is the issue--we have no independent confirmation as to David's birthdate; even Scripture offers us only an approximate range. When I said "independent of Scripture" I wasn't saying "ignoring Scripture;" I was merely saying that for the sake of NPOV and agreement between the two sides in this dispute (each of which has valid concerns!), we shouldn't cite any specific date in the absence of an extra-Scriptural source--unless the Bible gives us a specific date. In the case ofJehoiakim, for instance, Babylonian records and the Bible combine to give us an exact two-year range for his death. In other cases, where such independent records aren't available (such as with David) perhaps we could say: "Circa 1000 BC" (or BCE; whichever we're using in that article). We could even say "Circa 1020-1000 BC," thus providing a range. In every circumstance, I would suggest adding a footnote indicating either a specific external/Biblical reference, or that these dates are assumed based solely on the Biblical narrative, and are not necessarily confirmed in third-party sources. There are several ways to work around this and accommodate the concerns and desires of both sides. - Ecjmartin (talk) 22:23, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
I note that the dates are the only field in the infobox currently with a citation. StAnselm (talk) 04:02, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
And? You don't see that as an NPOV violation to add one set of dates with a citation? Sorry, but I would have thought you would know that the dates are disputed. Here's what John Bright (biblical scholar) wrote: ",§ Dates for David’s reign are approximate. II Samuel 5:4 and I Kings 11:42 allow David and Solomon forty years each. This is, of course, a round figure. But both had long reigns, and forty years for each is probably not far wrong. Placing the death of Solomon in 922 (cf., below, note 61) and taking the forty years literally, we have ca. 961-922 for Solomon, 1000-961 for David. Cf. Albright, ARI, p.232; idem in Melanges Isidore Levy (Brussels, 1955 [Annuaire de Nnstitut de Philologie et (THistoire Orientates et Slaves, XIII, 19531), pp.7f." A History of Israel. That's a perfect example of the problem with infoboxes. And we should be suspicious of anythting that says forty years:This refers to Solomon:"22. The precise date of Solomons accession to the throne of Israel is impossible to establish. If the division of the kingdom of Israel took place at some point around 930 B.C., and this is also the assumed year of Solomons death, then a forty-year reign (1 Kgs. 11:42) would place his accession around 970 B.C. “Forty years” is likely not meant literally, however; forty is a round figure that is often used in the Old Testament. Further, the date of 930 B.C. depends on a correlation of a campaign in Palestine of the Egyptian ruler Shoshenq I around 925 B.C. with the campaign mentioned in 1 Kgs. 14:25 as occurring in Rchoboam of Judahs fifth year; and this correlation is uncertain (see further below)."
David, Solomon and Egypt: A Reassessment By Paul S. Ash: Every attempt to date the kings of Israel and Judah rests ultimately on the Hebrew Bible and the figures it provides for their reigns.2 No epi-graphical evidence gives precise data, and archaeology cannot help. The Tel Dan inscription can perhaps corroborate the biblical claims that Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah died the same year,3 although its vagueness limits its usefulness. Although Assyrian records mention a few kings of Israel and Judah, they provide no specific lengths for their reigns. At most, the Assyrian references can provide a broad framework for the chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah.
"The chronological data supplied by Kings and Chronicles can be divided into four categories: (1) regnal lengths for the kings of Judah, (2) regnal lengths for the kings of Israel, (3) miscellaneous notes regarding the dates of major events, which are often valuable for correlating the data to the ancient Near East, and (4) synchronisms correlating the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah. The origin of all these data is uncertain. Generally, the data in category 4 are regarded as the product either of the editors of the DtrH (the Deuteronomistic History) or its sources, while those in categories 1-3 are generally considered to have come from various sorts of records."(read on for more discussion of the problems, including transmission errors, problems with dates adding up, problems with correlation with Assyrian records, etc, followed by "Consequently, most scholars who have attempted to establish a chronology for the kings of Israel and Judah have hypothesized several co-regencies or abdications, varying systems of dating, and outright emendations of the biblical data to make a fit. Nevertheless, despite these problems, a broad, relatively precise chronology can be established, since the majority of the numbers given do not appear to be overtly schematic.")
Finally, The Oxford History of the Biblical World "Not until the late sixth century BCE can a date in Israelite history be securely established by comparing biblical and nonbiblical sources. But the books of Kings’ chronologies for the Israelite and Judean kings do permit us to calculate, with an error factor of about ten years, the regnal spans of all the monarchs in question. These calculations place the death of Solomon at about 928 BCE. Working back from that date, it would seem simple to use the biblical information about the reigns of David and Solomon, were it not that these two kings are each said to have ruled for forty years (1 Kings 2.11; 11.42), a suspiciously round and symbolic figure. In the absence of other data, and because both kings apparently had long and eventful reigns, the date of David’s ascension to kingship is generally placed at about 1005 BCE. Estimating the duration of the reign of the preceding king, Saul, presents a different kind of problem—textual corruption.
Under the section Family David's great-grandmother is stated to be "the former prostitute Rahab". While this great-grandmother is named in the Matthew Gospel genealogy of Christ (Chapter 1), there is no biblical evidence she and the prostitute rescued from the battle of Jericho are the same woman. I would in that inconclusive light qualify the statement with 'allegedly' or similar words.Cloptonson (talk) 15:41, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Why are these archeologist who theories are considered far from mainstream given such an important place in this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by BernardZ (talk • contribs) 16:41, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
That's called begging the question. We're not likely to agree on your basic assumption. Doug Weller (talk) 18:26, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
!?! Hw... what? Where is a question being begged? What “basic assumption”? — I see no assumption (that could be called into question), I see an assertion (whose rejection calls for the mention of sources, of which no trace in the above dummdreistig pronouncement)
The wikilogic at work here is impenetrable.
And yet the matter is quite simple:
Either: the views attributed to those two authors are generally accepted and reflect an overwhelming scholarly consensus — in which case they are to be stated and sourced as such
Or: they are one set of views (however influential) and must be treated as such — other views must be mentioned as well (with due weight) — all of which is probably best done somewhere other than the article’s lede.
Finkelstein and Silberman are mainstream, but they are not the only scholarly position. There are positions like maximalism and minimalism. Finkelstein considers himself centrist (in-between those two positions). Tgeorgescu (talk) 11:58, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
I have consulted "IRON AGE BULLAE FROM OFFICIALDOM'S PERIPHERY: Khirbet Summeily in Broader Context." Near Eastern Archaeology, Dec2014, Vol. 77 Issue 4, p299-301. It says neither "David did it" nor "Hebrews did it". It could be equally well "Philistines did it". So, it is a leap of faith to posit the bullae as evidence for David's kingdom. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:45, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
To be sure, the press release does verify the claim that it is possible that David had a state, however the peer-reviewed scholarly article makes no mention whatsoever of David, nor of any state of Hebrews in the 10th century BCE. It does claim that the definition of state is muddy, and there might have been something like a state there in the 10th century, however it nowhere claims that it was a Hebrew state. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:52, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
The press loves speculation if it is wild and sensational enough, scholars concentrate on facts and evidence. The claim that those bullae are evidence for David and Solomon is a far fetched explanation. Such claim is likely to attract funding, but would not pass through peer-review in a respectable scholarly journal. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:58, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
The link between the bullae and David is missing, and without such link there is no way to attribute them to David. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:02, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what you are talking about the history of the Jews is based on King David's existence what do you want me to put the Tel Dan Stele link??
look you could be a minimalist that is your business but my experience is people that are more objective get closer to the truth (every scientist will agree). If you don't want truth what are you doing on Wikipedia trying to spread lies?? (or hide truth whatever)
If you don't like it just try to revise words so the sound OBJECTIVE (not slanted to atheism (I am convinced anyone anti bible is an atheist)
so we will write like this
In 2012 and 2014 six bullae were found at Khirbet Summeily suggesting a greater political complexity and integration across the transitional Iron I/IIA landscape than has been acknowledged by many recent scholars who tend to dismiss trends toward political complexity occurring prior to the arrival of the Assyrians in the region in the later eighth century b.c.e.  with the Tel Dan Stele it can be suggested with great certainty of the existence of King David.
That scholarly article simply does not state anything about David, so it does not support your edits. Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:22, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
The discovery/claim was widely reported; there should definitely be something about it in the article. But of course, criticism of the claim should be included too. StAnselm (talk) 08:49, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
They were found near Gaza, which was a Philistine city - doesn't sound very good evidence for King David to me.PiCo (talk)
And then I did some searching - should have searched first. This blog from someone working there says the pottery associates more with the hill country than the Philistines. Nothing about King David. This blog, Imaging the Past, points out that the bullae do not prove the existence of David and Solomon, and that the original press release didn't claim they did (which is adequate reason not to mention them in our article). It also makes the point that the bullae don't even imply the existence of written documents - they could be amulets, for example. Nor, if they can be linked to documents, do they imply Jerusalem - the "capital" could have been anywhere. And some of the bullae were found inside mud-bricks - a very odd place to keep documents. So, all in all (and there's more), I wouldn't mention this in the article. PiCo (talk) 12:54, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
It's a weak source which puts forward speculation. The scholarly article about the discovery does not state that, just ends with a hint that different people interpret differently (depending upon how many phrases above it get considered). Tgeorgescu (talk) 19:27, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the article should indicate that it is speculation, and that it was not the discovery itself. But it is notable speculation by the lead discoverer. StAnselm (talk) 21:04, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
I suggest you research a little he dint attack these bullae ,(but that doesn't mean I think very highly of him) maybe you should research antisemitism and try to see who would fall under that category (it is hard for a Jew to be classified as such). Don't forget the main country that was involved in biblical criticism was Germany Sadya goan (talk) 20:58, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes User Sadya goan, that's not useful at all. And you really need to learn more, eg see Self-hating Jew. Jews can be anti-semitic. But this is all off-topic, Finkelstein isn't anti-semitic. Doug Weller (talk) 09:57, 28 October 2015 (UTC)