Talk:Solomon's Temple

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Merge discussion[edit]

I propose the Hekhal article be merged with the Solomon's Temple article. I see no point in having articles for every part of the building. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cush (talkcontribs) 20:48, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Support Merge. [That] article is not, and in my opinion is highly unlikely to be, long enough to warrant its own article. -shirulashem(talk) 12:33, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Correct names for the First and Second Temples[edit]

Discussion about the correct names for the First and Second Temples at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Judaism#Building and destroying the Beit Hamikdash. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 07:52, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Temple discussion at ANI[edit]

In response to #Correct names for the First and Second Temples above, please see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#All talk pages, and more, were notified about the discussions and proposed moves where you may want to add your views to the ongoing discussion. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 05:20, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

RfC:Proper Name for this Article[edit]

There seems consensus to keep it "as is." Out side of clear votes several of the First Temple (Judaism) comment hinge on all three of the temples having the discombobulation "Judaism" which appears not to be consensus to do on the other two pages. Common Name seems to the consensus for keeping the "names as is"Weaponbb7 (talk) 02:44, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

NOTE: The following involves three related articles, please comment on all you see fit:

  1. Talk:Solomon's Temple#RfC:Proper Name for this Article
  2. Talk:Second Temple of Jerusalem#RfC:Proper Name for this Article
  3. Talk:Third Temple#RfC:Proper Name for this Article

What is the most appropriate name for this article in the English wikipedia project? Further suggestions should be placed as subsections below, and arguments should be placed in the section corresponding to the desired name. -- Avi (talk) 17:35, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Solomon's Temple[edit]

  • Support The name "Solomon's Temple" seems much more common in the English language. I've never heard it referred to as the "first temple", although I'm sure that is a valid synonym in some contexts. I suggest "Solomon's temple" with a sentence at the top of the article explaining the alternative name. --Noleander (talk) 18:03, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Before this whole scenario had come about, I had only known of this subject as "Solomon's Temple" and not as the First Temple. From what I have been able to tell, Solomon's Temple is the name that the world at large regards the site as. Its use as the name "First Temple" seems to be a specific name that is only used by Jewish history historians and those raised in the Jewish faith, as any temples described would therein be the "First" for them. However, taking into consideration the myriad of other religions and other religious sites in the world that are temples, naming this article the "First Temple" could cause some confusion or be taken in a negative way, as the title "First Temple" could mean something entirely different for a person of a different faith. SilverserenC 18:23, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
An opposing viewpoint to the argument that all of those in Jewish culture call it the "First Temple", I would say that, being Christian, it seems to me that most Christians refer to it as "Solomon's Temple". Thus, the point of contention. But, in a case like this, we have to look at how the world views the name and it seems rather clear that Solomon's Temple is the more common and understood term. SilverserenC 18:23, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
The WP policy (WP:Title#Common names) is that article titles must represent what the typical English readers are likely to recognize. Synonyms - no matter how technically correct - can be explained in the article's body. I'm sure "First temple" may be used in some contexts, and perhaps in academic circles it is predominantly used, but that does not override the policy that article titles need to be accessible to everyday users of the encyclopedia. --Noleander (talk) 18:28, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Hi Noleander: It's only a very general guideline that's true for subjects strictly within English-speaking culture, but WP's goals are to include every possible language and culture that exists or has ever existed on the English WP, that might seem "paradoxical" but it's 100% true! Therefore there are thousands of terms and subjects and names for articles in Category:Hebrew words and phrases that would not and could not be truly covered by English words alone, and certainly the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of articles covered in the parent Category:Words and phrases by language (73 subcategories) have no pretense or requirement of making the grade in the English language yet they have articles named for themselves in their native languages on the English WP. Besides, "First Temple" is pure English and also widely known as such in English, check out Google. IZAK (talk) 05:54, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
Clarification: this "very general guideline" is actually a policy, not a guideline, and has no restrictions on what culture it applies to. Fram (talk) 06:35, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
So how do you explain the thousands of non-English names in Category:Words and phrases by language that are left standing in their native tongue? they are not just "loan words" but cover many subjects and topics in their native names on the English WP, and are not translated even though they are not English an won't be for the next thousand years at least. IZAK (talk) 16:56, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak Support Personally, I call this the "First Temple" as that is what Jewish tradition calls it, but currently (and I reserve the right to change my mind) I think the bulk of the English language literature calls this Solomon's Temple, so that is the more appropriate name for the English wikipedia project. In the Hebrew wikipedia project, the name בית המקדש הראשון, "First Temple" is appropriate since the bulk of Hebrew references (Talmud, Rishonim, Acharonim) refer to it as such. -- Avi (talk) 18:37, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Second Choice After further thought, and as both names are well distributed in the literature, I think First Temple should be the primary name and Solomon's Temple should be a redirect. -- Avi (talk) 15:39, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Hi Avi, do some further research online and you will find that the term "First Temple" in English has by now outstripped any other name for it. IZAK (talk) 04:51, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Incorrect if you check reliable sources, and debatable if you include all sources like blogs and fora, which don't count for Wikipedia purposes anyway. Fram (talk) 06:35, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
        • The Google searches reveal usage and are not meant to work as "sources" at this time. You are trying to have it both ways. On the one hand you claim most Christians' use "Solomon's Temple" while you negate that it is a temple central to Jews and Judaism and not to Christians, but you don't allow what the most common usage is recorded on Google where Solomon's Temple and First Temple go head to head and in most searches First Temple wins in G-hits. IZAK (talk) 17:07, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, this follows our naming policy as the most common name in English language reliable sources. Fram (talk) 06:36, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. I am persuaded by Fram, Silverseren & Noleander. (First Temple is essential as a redirect to Solomon's Temple and featured in its lead). Hertz1888 (talk) 07:45, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support as above, and I agree with Hertz1888 about the lead. Dougweller (talk) 09:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:UCN and above comments.Griswaldo (talk) 11:54, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Difficult issue. Jews and archaeologists working in Israel tend to call it the First Temple, Christians tend to call it the Temple of Solomon or Solomon's Templo. a Braxilian church is actually building one, $200 million, they call it an "exact replica," it isn't , obviously, but it is called the Templo de Salomão because that is what Christians call it. and since Solomon's Temple is not in any denigrating to Jews, I think it is the best solution, with redirects form archaeology pages that use First Temple.AMuseo (talk) 15:06, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Brazilians? In any case, Judaism preceded Christianity as we known it by at least 1,000 - 1,5000 years during which time it was not known as "Solomon's Temple" and by the way, who invented the term? IZAK (talk) 16:56, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak support Google Scholar gives a difference of only 10 results for "Solomon's Temple" and "First Temple". Because there is some ambiguousness to "First Temple", I believe this is (slightly) more in line with WP naming policy. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 15:37, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME; "Solomon's Temple" seems to be the more widely used term in English. *** Crotalus *** 16:09, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak support I have not researched enough to be able to give a firm opinion but from my limited reading I think Solomon's Temple is pretty common. To the extent that one could argue that Solomon's Temple and First Temple are similarly common in English, I tend to think that the first is preferable simply because it is more specific (i.e. First Temple could potentially be confused with other things perhaps requiring a qualifier in parentheses, whereas Solomon's Temple is unlikely to be confused with anything else as far as I know). --Mcorazao (talk) 20:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak support "First Temple" might be more common in Jewish circles, but the Biblical stories are also referred to by Christians and others, and I think in those contexts Solomon's Temple tends to be more frequently used. I'm not sure what the proportion of Judaic to non-Judaic sources is, however. John Carter (talk) 19:58, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

First Temple[edit]

  • Comment I would prefer this as the title, but I recognize that in the English literature, Solomon's temple may be more widespread. -- Avi (talk) 18:07, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Support After further review, per the above section, I think this article's primary name should be First Temple and Solomon's Temple as a redirect, but I would accept the reverse as a second choice. -- Avi (talk) 15:41, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Using this title causes no confusion. Solomon's Temple can then redirect to this name. --Redaktor (talk) 10:49, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Using Solomon's Temple would be okay, but I prefer consistency over anything else, and therefore I opt for "First Temple" so it fits with Second and Third Temples. Chesdovi (talk) 12:04, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Preferable over Solomon's temple, which is my second choice. JFW | T@lk 12:35, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

First Temple (Judaism)[edit]

  • Support, because this is the first temple of Judaism, and the suffix (Judaism) is necessary because there are other religions and groups that have their own versions of "First Temple". IZAK (talk) 04:51, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
The fact that "First Temple" has multiple meanings is another reason that "Solomon's temple" would be better, because the latter is unambiguous. --Noleander (talk) 06:03, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
If so, then "First Temple (Judaism)" is even less ambiguous than "Solomon's Temple" since some may associate it with his 1000 wives as some sort of "harem" or whatever it conjures up in people's imaginations. While "First Temple (Judaism)" is clear-cut and you know that it's a subject relating to Judaism. There can then be sub-sections within the article about what other religions or secular scholars say about this subject, or new articles titled "Christian views of Solomon's Temple" or Solomon's Temple in secular scholarship, that will keep the boundaries clear between conflicting views of this subject. This is like trying to push Judaism, Christianity and Secularism into one shared concept, it's artificial, and it's not just a matter of names in English it is about what the subject is all about. IZAK (talk) 06:34, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • CommentI've heard it called the First Temple, and I've heard it called Solomon's Temple, and either is fine by me. But why add the word "Judaism" in brackets? Is there a danger of confusion with some other First Temple? PiCo (talk) 12:31, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment the addition of Judaism in redundant.AMuseo (talk) 15:08, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
    • No it isn't, many faiths have what they their "first temple" in various contexts, see this I found with a simple Google search "Bahai...Golden Anniversary for Temple of Light...the Wilmette Temple is the oldest of them all, and the first Temple to be built in the West." [1] IZAK (talk) 17:01, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Tell me you're not serious.AMuseo (talk) 17:29, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
        • Hi AMuseo: Why not? It can be very confusing to those who know nothing about this subject. IZAK (talk) 12:31, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I believe this is an unnecessary disambiguation. When the term "The Temple" is used (as a proper noun) most English speakers know we are discussing the Temples of Jerusalem. -- Avi (talk) 18:09, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment This is unnecessary. If the page is not moved to Solomon's Temple, it should stay where it is. Though there is potential ambiguousness for persons of other faiths, it seems that "First Temple" is owned by the Jewish temple. "Blah blah blah first temple" and "blah blah blah First Temple" are different. And I can't imagine Solomon's temple conjuring images of the harem. Weak arguments for moving here. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 15:37, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Hi there Carl: "Blah blah blah" is very uncivil and no one knows what you are getting at beyond somehow demeaning the words or reasoning of another user. By all means use logic, reason, facts, policies and citations, but please do not resort to inane "blah, blah, blah" that's poor speech and borders on violating WP:CIVIL. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 05:08, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
      • IZAK, I don't want to intrude in your conversation with Carl, but I do see his point: "First Temple" is a compound noun, and "first temple" is a noun qualified by an adjective, and they're not the same. But leaving grammar aside, do you know of some temple that could be confused with the one described here? PiCo (talk) 07:50, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
        • I understand that, and I don't have time to go through each example, but it is typical of how "the average" reader of WP could misunderstand things and how this topic could get lost once it's on Google with no "disambiguation" attached. IZAK (talk) 08:15, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Izak, it's clear that I am not being uncivil, as I used 'blah blah blah' in both examples. I was using it as a placeholder for any words that could possibly go there. How that was unclear, I can't very well imagine. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 16:02, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Carl, I've been on WP a long time, and "blah, blah, blah" is never used in civil discourse. I try to discipline myself all the time and I know it's not easy. Try saying what you mean, or using a more neutral expression like "such and such" or "so and so" or even using underscores "___ ___ ___" implying that "nothing" worthwhile was said or "something" still needs to be said. Thanks, IZAK (talk) 08:15, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
        • Izak, had I intended to be uncivil I would tell you. My intention was civility, and I can only apologize for being less formal than you. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 15:06, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support --Yoavd (talk) 15:31, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 15:55, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support First Temple and Second Temple are the standard names used when studying Jewish History, historians do not refer to "Solomon's Temple". The (Judaism) part is necessary because the expression by itself could refer to other temples that are first. Kuratowski's Ghost (talk) 22:30, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per Kuratowski's Ghost.--Arxiloxos (talk) 04:54, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. I think this is the best choice of all three. We cannot just call it "First Temple" because other religions have their temples, as IZAK points out. "Solomon's Temple" is the scholar's choice but not the traditional Jewish one. It is logical and consistent to make it First Temple (Judaism), Second Temple (Judaism) and Third Temple (Judaism). Yoninah (talk) 21:40, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per Yoninah. --Shuki (talk) 23:01, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Per above supports.--Epeefleche (talk) 19:38, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

First Temple (Solomon's Temple) or First Temple (Solomon's)[edit]

  • Compromise suggestion. As the other articles in the sequence look as though they're going to be Second Temple and Third Temple, we could consider this option so we can have First Temple in this title too. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:34, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
    • A redirect should cover it, with both titles being bolded in the first sentence, but for consistency's sake, I am considering changing my opinion to name it First with the redirect being Solomon's. Still up in the air. -- Avi (talk) 07:10, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Time for closure?[edit]

The RfC's have run for over a month, I think it's time we consider the conclusions. -- Avi (talk) 02:17, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

 Done Weaponbb7 (talk) 02:44, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Recent dubious removal[edit]

The following was recently removed as POV. At least the first portion of this seems well-cited:

Due to the extreme political sensitivity of the site, few archaeological excavations have been conducted on the [[Temple Mount]] itself. To date, no archaeological evidence for Solomon's Temple has been found<ref name=Langmeadp314>{{cite book|url=|title=Encyclopedia of architectural and engineering feats|first1=Donald|last1=Langmead|first2=Christine|last2=Garnaut|edition=3rd, illustrated|publisher=ABC-CLIO|year=2001|ISBN=157607112X, 9781576071120}}</ref> and the only references to the First Temple in Jerusalem that might be contemporary with its supposed existence is contained in the Hebrew Bible.{{Citation needed|date=August 2010}}

- Jmabel | Talk 01:55, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Looks like a RS to me, and it supports what it is cited for in the article. I would undo that edit. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 02:18, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

note those occupying the temple mount [called waqf] have been removing truckloads of "stuff" so evidence may have been destroyed by muslims similar to what we know islamic state is doing. (talk) 08:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

"secular" historians[edit]

There are only historians. Historical research is a real science, and there is no such thing as secular or non-secular historians. The base for establishing history is evidence. It does not matter what personal belief a historian holds, or at least it shouldn't. ≡ CUSH ≡ 04:10, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

There are plenty of Christian priests who were well-respected historians, IIRC. There may well be a difference of focus, and thus interpretation, between historians of different backgrounds, and history, unfortunately, requires interpretation. However, the term "secular" is somewhat misleading. For example, what about a Bhuddist historian working for a Christian university, or an atheist working for an Islamic foundation, or a Jainist working for a non-denominational college? -- Avi (talk) 04:25, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
"secular historian" is religionist-speak to express mistrust in researchers who do not subject their work to religious doctrine. ≡ CUSH ≡ 04:39, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
I've removed it, it isn't in the source. Dougweller (talk) 05:23, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't matter. Even if the source would contains that, it would say stupid things and there would still be no need to repeat that on Wikipedia. There is no such thing as a secular historian, because there is no such thing as a non-secular historian. Historians who do not conduct research based in scientific methods are frauds anyways and therefore not usable as reliable sources on Wikipedia. Same goes for archaeologists (cf. Kitchen).
And btw, the entire dating section should be removed, because it is not based in archaeology or historical research at all. Solomon never existed and the *only* mention of a great Yahweh temple in Jerusalem prior to the Assyrian and Babylonian conquests occurs in the bible. All other sources are silent and the Bible is unreliable for obvious reasons. So, in fact, there is no support for dates. ≡ CUSH ≡ 13:54, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Doug, if you want to be true to the source, shouldn't it read "According to Marty E. Stevens,…"? -- Avi (talk) 14:46, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

(Answering the original statement): nope, there are historians and "historians". Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:09, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Why do you say that Solonon never existed. Many historians do not agree with you. Хлопотин Н. В. (talk) 15:44, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

The introduction is a mess.[edit]

OK, the lead of this article needs to be straightened out once and for all. The subject of this article is an edifice that is mentioned exclusively in the Bible and for which neither archaeological nor historical evidence exists. What's more, the edifice is assigned to the rule of a mythical king for which also neither archaeological nor historical evidence exists except textual occurrence in the Bible. This article and its lead must at all cost avoid to give the impression that its subject is a real building in real ancient history. Solomon's Temple must be structured like Arthur's Camelot. ≡ CUSH ≡ 22:18, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

"According to the Bible" is a factual, neutral statement. It does not demand anyone think in any particular way. Introducing opinion-based terms like "mythical" takes sides on something that cannot be known. WP cannot do that in its own voice. The article already acknowledges the dearth of non-biblical evidence. The introduction is not a mess. Hertz1888 (talk) 22:40, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
The second paragraph that starts with "According to historians, the Temple would have been completed in around 960 BCE" is simply unacceptable. Reliable historians say nothing about any dates because there is nothing to base such dates on. All there is, is various interpretations of a religious text. The fact of the matter is that it is unknown whether there was an edifice prior to the Herodian temple at all. ≡ CUSH ≡ 06:23, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Hertz1888. "Solomon and his temple did not exist" is not an appropriate assertion for Wikipedia to make.--Arxiloxos (talk) 23:06, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I second Cush, stories in fictional books should not be presented as real in Wikipedia articles. There should be emphasize that the stories are not factual and never proven. What's the difference between a school of Magic in Harry Potter books, and a temple in another fictional book? Until proofs are found, both articles should be treated similarly. Wikipedia should not have double standards. --Banzoo (talk) 23:23, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Cush, propose a intro here so we have something to base the discussion on. Thanks. Chesdovi (talk) 00:29, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I will think about something. ≡ CUSH ≡ 06:23, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I inverted the two introductory paragraph so that the reader immediately is aware of the fact that no other source/evidence exists apart from the Bible. I agree wholeheartedly with Cush that we're dealing with fiction here, but I am unsure that it needs the tag. --Cyclopiatalk 14:17, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I suggest changing:

According to historians, the Temple would have been completed in around 960 BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians in 587/6 BCE.


According to biblical historians, the Temple, if existent, would have been completed in around 960 BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians in 587/6 BCE.

To clarify that it is historians working from biblical text and that they are making no historical claim to be able to prove it's existence. I'm not overly happy with it because it strikes me as slightly casting aspersions on the belief/theory that the temple was built. So if anyone can suggest better wording... :) --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 17:54, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Now it gets surreal. History is a real science. And someone who conducts research in the field is a historian. That means someone who inspects and compares independent writings from or about a period in question.
But what would be a "biblical historian" ? Someone who limits the research to the bible as a source? That's not a historian, that's a charlatan. History is established by *all* the available evidence. And if there are claims that are not supported by evidence then the subject of the claim is not considered historical. There simply is no basis for assigning a construction date to the Temple, because all such numbers are derived by adding up reign-lengths given in the Bible conducted by religiously motivated "scholars". That is not reliable on the level required for inclusion in an encyclopedia.
Archaeology and history are silent when it comes to Solomon or his Temple. Why don't we assign construction date to Camelot? Because neither Arthur nor his castle are confirmed by archaeology or history. Same goes for Solomon's Temple. No history -> no date. And there is no parallel reality for an alternative religious history. ≡ CUSH ≡ 18:18, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
There is a misunderstanding: AFAIK, a biblical historian is someone who studies the history of the Bible as a document. Probably a better wording would be "According to Biblical scholars". Someone who studies the Bible can reasonably attempt to locate the events described there in spacetime, even if these events are the stuff of legend -to understand when the document has been written, for example. We know that the Odyssey is fictional, yet we know its events happen in a quite definite spacetime setting. --Cyclopiatalk 18:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, "someone who studies the history of the Bible as a document" is not a reliable source to determine historicity of the document's characters and buildings. Cite excavation reports and cite non-biblical sources that wrote about the temple while it supposedly existed. That is what history as a science requires for everything that is to be established as historical fact. Otherwise it is just a story about a mythical king who builds a temple in some religious alternative reality/history. ≡ CUSH ≡ 21:13, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
But in fact I didn't talk about historicity; I talked about its position in time. Two different things. Again: Odyssey is fictional, yet we know its historical setting, and to say it is set around 1178 b.C. is a meaningful and interesting information. Same is here: the temple is probably fictional but its narrative has a definite historical setting. --Cyclopiatalk 21:37, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Cush, I believe you are somewhat unreasonable when you are asking for texts from that time; there pretty much aren't any outside of the Bible. This is not 2000 years ago, this is closer to 2600 years ago. You, personally, believe the Bible is not an historically accurate document; you're more than entitled to believe that. However, that is solely a belief. Can you prove that the text that we have is not an historically accurate depiction of the time? No more than I can. Actually, the fact that it has been transmitted pretty much word-for-word for over 2500 years to me indicates support for its accuracy, but that is my belief which you are more than entitled to disagree with. Regardless, the Bible is a valid text, and as we preface the descriptions with "According to the Bible..." we allow the reader to make his or her own decision as to how to view Solomon's Temple. As an aside, do you believe that Newton wasn't a scientist and that is why he seemed to believe in the actual existence of the temple? -- Avi (talk) 21:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Oh please. The burden of proof is on who believes it is an accurate document, not viceversa. Would you go saying "Well, can you prove that Odyssey is not an historically accurate depiction of the time?". Would you support the existence of Polyphemus given the fact that the Odyssey has been transmitted for over 2800 years? --Cyclopiatalk 21:54, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
My point that if we say "According to the Bible..." we allow the reader to decide. -- Avi (talk) 21:57, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
As long as it is clear that there is no evidence of the temple outside the Bible and that therefore it is with all probability a legend, just like any other piece of narrative art, I fully agree. When we talk of Polyphemus we make it clear that it's a figure of Greek mythology; Solomon's temple is, for all we know, a fictional artefact of Hebrew mythology. Of course the reader can personally disagree, but that's what the facts say. --Cyclopiatalk 22:03, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
What facts say that it did not exist? The issue is a dearth of facts that it did exist; a subtle but important difference. -- Avi (talk) 22:08, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
What facts say that Polyphemus did not exist? --Cyclopiatalk 22:10, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm neither an expert nor discussing Homer; I'll leave that to students of Homer. Regardless, the most anyone can say is that there is a dearth of evidence that the Temple existed as depicted in the various Biblical, Mishnaic, and Talmudic texts. You wish to believe that ipso facto means it is false, by all means. You wish to withold judgmen, by all means. You wish to think that those people who believe the Temple to have existed as described to be religious fools, go ahead. But you cannot say for a fact that it did not exist, unlike, shall we say, Tolkein's middle earth which Tolkein is on record as having created out of his brilliant imagination. -- Avi (talk) 22:25, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
What's what the facts say? For all we know (on the other hand), the account of Solomon's Temple may be factual in every detail. We don't know, so we cannot label it either fact or fiction—unlike the Odyssey, which as far as I know has always been represented as a work of fiction. We tell the reader what the Bible says and what the scholars say. Wikipedia should not be taking sides. There's no "burden of proof". When we don't take sides we have nothing to prove. Hertz1888 (talk) 22:27, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
@Avraham See, I don't care in the least about what you believe. I care about what you can show evidence for. We have archaeological finds and texts that cross-reference all kinds of stuff throughout ancient history. Sometimes we also accept singular primary sources if there is no particular reason to doubt the accuracy. The Bible, however, is not a source that is reliable when it comes to accuracy. There are just too many flaws and obviously fabricated stories in it. And its authors' religious agenda is also a reason to be extra-cautious with any claims it makes. Nothing in the Bible prior to the Divided Monarchy period is confirmed by any extra-biblical sources. No ante- and postdiluvians, no Abraham, no Jacob/Israel, no sojourn in Egypt, no Exodus, no Conquest of Canaan, no Judges period, no United Monarchy period, no Saul, no David, no Solomon, and no temple. Not even mono- or henotheistic worship of Yahweh prior to the Babylonian Captivity. The picture of the ancient Near East that consists of the results of archaeological and historical research is thoroughly and comprehensively different from the picture that the Bible draws. I am well aware of people who have construed history to fit biblical stories (e.g. Kitchen), but these folks are dying out. Doctrine cannot be a source for establishing history. The purpose of the Bible is to convey ideology, and it creates an alternative history in order to do so. But an encyclopedia must not present the content of religious teaching as factual history, not even with mild caveats attached as in the article.
As for Newton: he was a good physicist, but not a good anything-else. He adhered to occultism and esoteric crap, and he certainly was no archaeologist nor historian. ≡ CUSH ≡ 22:22, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

As you said, wikipedia should not care about what I believe or about what you believe. As long as the lede makes it clear that these depictions are Biblical in origin, you may continue to believe it to be claptrap and I may continue to believe it to be accurate. But neither POV needs to be given more or less weight, which is what stating that these depictions are Biblical in origin will serve to do. -- Avi (talk) 22:28, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

But the lede does not make it sufficiently clear that the depictions are exclusively biblical in origin. And please stop implying that religious POV is equally valid to scientific POV, or that it is up to a reader to decide what to believe. In the article about the Earth we do not give equal weight to flat-earth-theories, and we don't have to. Same goes for articles about biblical characters and edifices. On WP a position that is not based on reliable sources is not a valid POV at all and does not contribute to a NPOV article. ≡ CUSH ≡ 22:50, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The Bible is certainly a reliable source for itself. When we say "According to the Bible..." we don't need another source. If we were to say "It is absolute fact that..." then we would need another source to corroborate the Bible, I reckon. Bringing in the flat Earth theory is the fallacy of ignoratio elenchi. We have images that disprove that the earth is flat (see File:The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg). There is no such evidence disproving the existence of the first temple, just a lack of evidence proving it. Regardless, when we say "According to the Bible..." we're covered. -- Avi (talk) 02:51, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The article says that "according to historians" the temple was erected around 960 BCE. Which historians say that and based on what? Once you assign a date the Bible is no longer a sufficient source, because then you leave the territory of "according to the Bible". Assigning a date implies historicity. ≡ CUSH ≡ 08:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

"According to the Hebrew Bible narrative, Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was constructed by Solomon, king of the ancient Israelites" is the first sentence. What does that say? It says that Solomon was king of the ancient Israelites and that a temple existed and that one source (the Bible) assigns to Solomon the building of that temple. This is inaccurate on many levels. It fails to mention that actual ancient Israelites are not necessarily as the biblical Israelites. It also fails to mention that Solomon has not been established as a historical king in any way. It also fails to mention that the temple is not established as historical. It only states the textual connection between the king and the temple, while presupposing the Israelites', Solomon's and the temple's existence. In other words, the article requires a certain pre-assumptions from the readers, namely positions of religious doctrine. ≡ CUSH ≡ 08:34, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Agree with this comment, absolutely. I only disagree with that "assigning a date implies historicity". Futurama is clearly and firmly set in the year 3000, yet it is obviously not historical. --Cyclopiatalk 11:43, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's because Futurama is published and franchised as fiction. With biblical stories, however, people still adhere to the erroneous assumption out of past centuries that the stories represent actual history (especially religious people). The article states that historians would place the temple's construction around 960 BCE. That sounds like giving it a place in reality, does it not? ≡ CUSH ≡ 11:54, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Uh, as long as that doesn't imply it definitely existed what is wrong with that? I have not looked into this specific research but I am guessing that they used details from the Bible compared to our known limited history of that time and work out when it might have been built were it to have existed... if your aim it to make the article imply that the temple never existed, well, that is the opposite POV, with equal problems. Best to explain that one primary source details its existence, but that this cannot be verified in any other way (and subsequent research suggests it probably did not exist in the Biblical form). You have a very strong POV on this I think --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 12:07, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The dating comes almost exclusively from internal biblical chronology, not so much from comparisons with material culture out of the 10th century BCE as it appears in the archaeological record. The problem is that not only the temple is absent from the archaeological and extrabiblical historical record, but also almost everything surrounding it in the biblical narrative, such as characters and events. The entire 700 years prior to the temple's supposed construction, including the stories about the patriarchs, the sojourn in Egypt, the Exodus, the Conquest, the Judges. So the article sould be worded extremely cautiously. ≡ CUSH ≡ 12:49, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The introduction is neutral and says it exactly as it is. Saying definitively that this is fiction just because the Bible describes some miracles or they don't have current evidence strikes me as really bad logic. I remember for instance being quite startled when Newgrange was excavated and they found the alignment of the sun at the Winter solstice, there was a tradition of an alignment with the sun on some day but the passage had been covered with soil and inaccessible for at least three thousand years. SomeAustralian Aboriginal mythology have reasonable evidence they describe places from at least 10000 years ago. And those stories are oral - not written down. Dmcq (talk) 11:53, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I would agree, but do we have "reasonable evidence" here? Mind you, I would be utterly fascinated if so, but it seems it's not the case. --Cyclopiatalk 13:27, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

After reviewing the various objections that Cush presented, I think this particular talk issue can be ommitted/removed from the discussion. He began his objection with what appeared to be an argument pertaining to the phrasing of the introduction, it gradually expanded to the legitimacy of biblical history, and what I perceived as an argument against the inclusion of biblical references on this page/site, simply due to a lack of physical/recorded evidence supporting those references. In my mind this argument is ignorant of the nature of religion/faith, wherein belief is independent of evidence. As religious belief is to be respected, and their texts considered substantial/influential even by non-believers, their references deserve explanation/inclusion regardless of one's perceived impression of whether biblical historians should be designated as "official" or "legitimate" historians. FinderFixerPerson (talk) 09:58, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

except according to british researchers at which claim archeaological evidence shows either 100 years after solomon or during solomon. (talk) 08:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)


I saw no consensus, either here or ANI, to add a tag, especially one that continues the POV pushing that the majority of respondents on ANI declaimed. Tags are meant to be temporary notices that articles need improvement, not badges of shame or ways to promote one POV over another. -- Avi (talk) 01:14, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Tags require no consensus. Tags are meant to be temporary notices that articles need improvement. This article definitely needs improvement. The result of the ANI thread was the placed Tag. So stop removing it without editing/improving the article.
BTW I would have preferred the {{Religious text primary}} tag, because this article offers no RS for the temple's historicity. ≡ CUSH ≡ 01:40, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I can agree that {{Religious text primary}} is an appropriate tag that also does not surreptitiously push the POV that the Bible is false over the POV that the Bible is true, and I don't have an issue with that tag until other sources may be found. However, I disagree that it is original research. Rather, it is accurately portraying the texts brought, which themselves are primarily religious as you brought up earlier. -- Avi (talk) 03:09, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Then again, reviewing the article, there are a number of modern non-biblical, non-religious-textual sources brought, Cush, including:
  • National Geographic
  • Langmead, Donald; Garnaut, Christine (2001). Encyclopedia of architectural and engineering feats
  • Handy, Lowell (1997). The age of Solomon: scholarship at the turn of the millennium.
  • The Bible Unearthed
  • Stevens, Marty E. Temples, tithes, and taxes: the temple and the economic life of ancient Israel,
  • Haaretz
  • YEisen, Yosef. Miraculous journey: a complete history of the Jewish people from creation to the present
I believe that there may be enough sources as to obviate the need for {{Religious text primary}}, but I would like to hear others' opinions. -- Avi (talk) 03:14, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
"Secondary source" does not mean "any random source that touches on the subject". Please find scientific journals in the fields of archaeology and history. You know, sources that present and draw conclusions from evidence. Not just sources that only repeat what the Bible says, because those sources are insufficient to justify calling the temple historical in any part of the article. Right now everything in the article comes back to the Bible and the section about archaeological finds is simply ridiculous since the mentioned artifacts do not even remotely relate to any temple edifice. None of your sources actually deal with demonstrating that Solomon's Temple was real. ≡ CUSH ≡ 09:17, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
That is not how wikipedia works, Cush. While archeological and peer-reviewed scientific articles are welcome, they are not the only sources allowed. Your opinion that non-religious texts that discuss the Bible are ipso facto "tainted" is simply your point-of-view, if not an outright bias, not wikipedia policy. -- Avi (talk) 10:22, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
The point is that we need academic archeological journals to source archelogical finds correctly. What is relevant about the temple's archeology is the academic consensus in the archeological community. --Cyclopiatalk 10:44, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
National Geographic is a pretty good reliable source as far as Wikipedia is concerned. There is no requirement in the reliable sources policy for academic journals for verifiability of everything said on Wikipedia. The claims in the article are not extraordinary, it is not as it it said the temple floated in the air or anything like that, so there are no extraordinary verifiability requirements. Dmcq (talk) 11:53, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
If National Geographic is based on a peer reviewed findings, then it can be considered as reliable. Otherwise, we may find unscientific materials that are based on religious (or other kind) of sources.--Banzoo (talk) 18:59, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
The relevant guideline is WP:RS, please read it. Peer reviewed resources normally are reliable sources but there is no implication that all reliable sources are peer reviewed. A quick summary is 'Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy'. National Geographic satisfies that quite fully. Dmcq (talk) 20:00, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
As do the other non-biblical sources listed above. -- Avi (talk) 20:15, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Chronology of the Temple - deleted para from lead[edit]

I deleted a para from the lead - here I'll explain why. It comes in 3 sections, with different reasons for each:

According to historians, the Temple would have been completed in around 960 BCE and destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 or 586 BCE. This vastly oversimplifies what historians say. It's universally accepted that there really was a temple in Jerusalem when it was destroyed by the Babylonians, and this event can be dated pretty accurately to 586 or 587 BCE without relying on the bible. So the destruction date is pretty solid. But the construction date is entirely hypothetical - some conservative scholars still take the biblical chronology at face value, and that gives you 960 BCE more or less, but it's very widely recognised that the chronology is actually schematic, not historical, which means that there's no reason to believe that Solomon constructed it.

Traditional rabbinic sources state that the First Temple stood for 410 years and, based on the 2nd-century work Seder Olam Rabbah, place construction in 832 BCE and destruction in 422 BCE (3338 AM), 165 years later than secular estimates. The seder olam is a work of the 2nd century AD. Its chronology is universally recognised as theological, not historical - universally except for extremely pious Jews. It's not used by mainstream scholars.

The Second Temple was subsequently built ca. 515 BCE.[6] During the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes 167-164 BCE, the Second Temple, sometimes called Zerubbabel's Temple,[7] was desecrated when Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to Hellenize the Temple and suppress Judaism.[8] The Second Temple was restored under the rule of Herod the Great (37 BCE-4 CE) and, because of this, the restored Second Temple is also known as "Herod's Temple."[9] The restored Second Temple was destroyed during the Roman siege of Jerusalem. The Roman legions under the leadership of Titus set fire to the Second Temple in 70 CE, burning it to the ground and destroying it completely.[10] Jewish eschatology includes the belief that a Third Temple will also be built on Mount Moriah. This article is about the First Temple - is this really relevant? PiCo (talk) 05:51, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the first portion, it may be flawed, but is sourced and should remain and be balanced, qualified or otherwise improved upon. I do not see its removal as justified. Hertz1888 (talk) 06:59, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Do you want me to contribute to this article, or is it too sensitive? PiCo (talk) 03:46, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by too sensitive. I invited improvement of the paragraph, and another editor subsequently has modified it. Unless that is sufficient, why not blend into it your critique & clarification as given above (with suitable sourcing, of course)?
The lead is problematic in that while a lead should summarize the body of the article, it currently says more about "according to historians" than do the sections that follow. That suggests to me a need to expand the "History" section. Hertz1888 (talk) 04:33, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
You really won't be able to get a "history" section, as the only information we have if from the bible - no archaeology, no contemorary non-biblical mentions. It isn't really historians you're after, it's "biblical scholars". Quite a few potential sources if you're interested. PiCo (talk) 06:05, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Segment was WP:NPOV and WP:V. Removing the section skews the article away from rabbinical interpretations in to the purely scholarly viewpoint which in turn makes the article less balanced. Historical inaccuracies should be reflected in strength of wording not outright deletion bordering on WP:VAND. --Xtraeme (talk) 19:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
We can keep the Seder Olam if you really want, but we need to explain that it's not real history. PiCo (talk) 01:13, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Why we shouldn't mention the Seder Olam Rabba[edit]

I'll start a new subsection on the Seder Olam Rabba. This is mentioned in the lead, in reference to the dates for the Temple. The problem with the Seder Olam is that it's totally untrustworthy, and you simply can't use it to get genuine dates. It shouldn't be mentioned at all.

So what is the Seder? It's a very old Jewish book about chronology, written around the 2nd century AD. The rabbis who wrote it were trying to put dates to the events in the bible. Unlike modern historians, however, they had few sources to work from, and no interest whatsoever in accuracy. What they did was this: they began from the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans - that was their start-point, not their end-point - and worked backwards from there. In real history this happened in 70 AD. Then they applied some "magic numbers": there had to be 490 years, exactly, from that point back to the destruction of the First Temple. Why 490? Because of the "70 weeks" prophecy in the Book of Daniel - 70x7=490, interpreting this as years instead of weeks. So, there's the first step in their chronology: from the destruction of the Temple by the Romans to the the destruction by the Babylonians was 490 years, because the bible said so. Unfortunately, that puts the Babylonian destruction at 420 BCE, which effectively wipes out the Persian Empire (c.530 BCE to 332 BCE).

This didn't worry the rabbis, who were basing their history on the Book of Daniel, but it's not widely accepted by modern historians. For this reason, we shouldn't be mentioning it in the lead to out article. (See page 235 of Jeremy Hughes's "Secrets of the times: myth and history in biblical chronology", a recent and authoritative work on the subject of biblical chronologies).PiCo (talk) 06:18, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

The article would be better saying what the dates were based on rather than what they weren't based on or giving editors opinions. If the dates are based on numerology and the book of David, then we should say Seder estimated dates based on numerology and the Book of David. Saying 'Seder is an unreliable source because he didn't base his dates on history' is just negative information made up by Wikipedia editors. Newton went around trying to calculate various things based on the bible, I think that's silly, but who am I as a Wikipedia editor to say Newton was stupid? What I can say is that he based his dates on what was said in the Bible. We should say what we know from the sources, not put on interpretations. Dmcq (talk) 11:50, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Personally I think it would be best to put various Biblical estimates of the dates of the temple together, why isn't Newton's estimate there if Seder's is? Dmcq (talk) 12:01, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Seder Olam Rabba is an "it", not a "he" - it's the title of the work, not the name of the author. You can find a good overview here at Jewish Encyclopedia. That sounds as if I', being snarky and trying to score points, but I'm not. Not really. Well, I do enjoy point-scoring, but I don't make a living of it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're saying that we should include the Seder's dates for the Temple alongside others? I can't quite see why we should do that - the Seder is clearly wrong, if we're talking about real history. It reduces the entire Persian Empire to just 34 years, which is ridiculous - it actually lasted 200. As a result its dates for the Temple are way out.
This is what we know from real history: The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in either 586 or 587 BCE - this date is universally accepted by modern historians. I see in the threads above that at least one of our Wikipedians is arguing that there never was a Temple - this is very much a minority view, even most biblical minimalists would say there was one.
So we have a pretty well universally accepted date for the Temple's destruction, in modern AD/BC years. It's the previous history that's tricky. The bible says it was constructed in the fourth year of Solomon, but when was that? The bible isn't much of a guide - the chronology is highly confusing. There've been several attempts to turn it into modern-style dates. The most authoritative are those of Edwin Thiele, as corrected by more recent scholars. He's probably the one we should quote - though we should attribute it to him by name was the note that this is widely accepted.
You might like to read [ this paper by James Barr, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford] - it's a very good overview of the whole question of the biblical chronology. PiCo (talk) 08:37, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
But this article isn't (just) about "real history" as defined today, it's about an important cultural concept in all its variations. (After all, the case has already been made here that the First Temple may not have existed at all.) The traditional understandings about the Temple are essential to understanding its meaning through time, whatever their "historical accuracy" may now be perceived to be. I have no problem with including properly sourced analysis from modern commentators concluding that these traditions aren't "historically accurate"--but in my opinion, omitting those traditions is to miss the point of why this subject commands attention.--Arxiloxos (talk) 09:04, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I understand and agree - the cultural importance of the temple is important. But are the dates of the temple really important to the Seder Olam? Surely they're just a byproduct of the fact that the Seder is a chronology of world history - no more important than any other dates. Can you suggest why the temple's dates are culturally important? PiCo (talk) 09:18, 20 November 2010 (UTC) (A further thought: the Temple's dates are extremely import6ant to the bible's own chronology - this is usually called the Priestly chronology, and it's not the same as the Seder Olam's chronology. This could go in by all means). PiCo (talk) 09:20, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
RE: Can you suggest why the temple's dates are culturally important?
Scribes of yesteryear were severely chided for making even slight alterations to the numbering of verse structure. The reason for this is largely due to the numerological significance to the clergy. Similarly the numerology of the dates in Seder Olam helps play in to the Jewish cosmology determining the full length of the 6000 year period. The end of this time-frame is supposed to indicate the beginning of the Messianic Age.

RE: who says SOR is unreliable? PiCo: by everyone.
This is patently false. The article should reflect the correct degree of certainty, not your personal bias. --Xtraeme (talk) 13:42, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
You don't really answer the question I raise, which is what relevance the Seder Olam dates have to the Temple. Yes, the Seder gives dates for the Temple; but it gives dates for absolutely everything; why then do we single out the Temple dates as notable? (They're not notable as genuine history, so why should we mention them?)
On the other matter, [by everyone.
This is I don't think a retired mathematician from the village of Winterbourne, Ontario, quite meets Wikipedia's reliable source criteria. (Look at the footnote on page 6).PiCo (talk) 04:23, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
RE: Are the dates of the temple really important to the Seder Olam? ... Can you suggest why the temple's dates are culturally important? ... They're not notable as genuine history, so why should we mention them?"
To put this in context imagine we were editing an article on the Civil War and a cosmologist came in and asked, "Is the Civil War really an important date in the history of the universe -- why not just label it as 13.7 Ga instead of 1861?" When compared against the creation of galaxies and stars the date really is utterly insignificant. However in the context of anthropocentric history it is important. Similarly since this is an article on Solomon's Temple, a part of Jewish history, you need to understand it from that perspective.

Now since you "agree - the cultural importance of the temple is important," but you fail to see the significance of the chronology from the numerological point of view, let me attempt to explain it another way. Numerology implies other underlying meanings. From the rabbinical-kabbalistic interpretation the Temple was a "microcosm of creation ... that God used to create the Olamot-Universes." [Kaplan, Rabbi Aryeh (1990). Sutton, Abraham, ed. Inner Space. Brooklyn, NY: Moznaim. p. 57. ISBN 0940118564. Retrieved 2010-09-19. ]

This makes it of the utmost importance on the Jewish timeline and a significant aspect of the temple itself from the viewpoint of a rabinical numerologist. Similar to how a physicist would say the creation of galaxies and stars is vastly more important and due to this the common era dating of the civil war is irrelevant.--Xtraeme (talk) 05:49, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
But you still haven't explained what that importance actually is! So the Seder says the Temple was created in Year X from the Creation - but you have to tell the reader what the specific importance of this fact is, otherwise it's just a number.
If that's your means of logic then any date is just a number and insignificant. So why include a date at all in the Wikipedia article? It's just a number. What's the significance? If you're just going to be argumentative for the sake of argumentation, we should involve some form of moderation and let them decide the issue because you're failing to make a point that anyone else here sees or cares about. --Xtraeme (talk) 19:35, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Also in response to your comment, " I don't think a retired mathematician from the village of Winterbourne, Ontario, quite meets Wikipedia's reliable source criteria." The book is a revision of James Ussher's 1658 'The Annals of World History.' The comment on page 6 is a note about the editor, who happens to be a Ph.D in his own right, and does nothing to reduce the "notable" status of Rev. Ussher. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xtraeme (talkcontribs) 20:49, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

As the Seder Olam is relatively widely accepted in traditional Judaism as being accurate, and it in and of itself is as reliable as any other text, I see no reason why we cannot say "According to the Seder Olam…" or "Traditional dating according to the Seder Olam would…". -- Avi (talk) 06:40, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm loathe to start a new thread while the old one is still active, but since you raise this point, my answer is that while the Seder Olam is regarded as accurate in traditional Judaism, the fact is that traditional Judaism is wrong, and the Seder is not in fact accurate - in fact it's wildly wrong. If you want to put the Seder date (which is a wrong date) in this article you need to establish a case for doing so. PiCo (talk) 07:07, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Whether Seder Olam is right or wrong isn't the point. That it is a fairly notable text mentioning Solomon's temple is. Saying "According to the Seder Olam…" or "Traditional dating according to the Seder Olam would…" ticks all the boxes as far as inclusion in an article about Solomon's temple is concerned without saying it is generally accepted or anything like that. Dmcq (talk) 09:56, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I'm not convinced. Is the Seder Olam a notable text? For world chronology, no, it's not - it's plain wrong. So why do you think it's notable? PiCo (talk) 11:01, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Because there are two wikipedia articles on it. I'm not saying it is accurate. You're missing the point. Wikipedia is about summarizing what's written with a neutral point of view, not about making decisions about what's true. See WP:NPOV about this. Dmcq (talk) 17:33, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
There are even more Wikipedia articles on Creationism, yet we don't give it equal time in articles about evolution. Neutrality does not mean putting fringe and otherwise discredited views above the mainstream. Please read the policy if this is not abundantly clear to you already. Dylan Flaherty 19:01, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
But as Solomon's Temple is extremely closely related to Judaism, for obvious reasons, here the traditional Jewish view is appropriate--regardless of the nature of the controversy as to the accuracy of the dating. As long as we say that this dating is traditional and not archaeological, we cover all the bases. If anything, it would seem to me to be an UNDUE/POV violation not to have the traditional Jewish dating in a traditional Judaism related article, solely because there are those who disagree with the dates. -- Avi (talk) 20:52, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

You still haven't explained just why the Seder's date is significant - apart from being in the Seder. But lots of dates are in the Seder, so why single this one out? (Incidentally, there's no controversy over the accuracy of the Seder - everyone agrees that it's wrong). PiCo (talk) 22:26, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

I do wish you'd try and get used to the idea of reporting the more notable things that have been said about a topic rather than what's true. Have you tried reading WP:NPOV yet please? Dmcq (talk) 23:03, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
I like to read that in the morning, then again in the evening. It's relaxing. But it doesn't say what you seem to suggest it does. In specific, we need to reflect the mainstream, and report on minority views. We don't get to endorse minority views as mainstream, and we barely get to say anything about fringe views. Dylan Flaherty 00:17, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
From WP:NPOV, "This means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles and all editors." I now invoke your mission, "The Seder Olam Rabbah(1) or the Book of the Order of the World was compiled by Rabbi Yose ben Halafta (died 160 AD), and is to this day the traditional Jewish chronology(2)." source: "The Annals of the World" by Rev. James Ussher. End of story. --Xtraeme (talk) 00:39, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, and to what extent do we care about the traditional Jewish chronology? And what if that chronology is known to be false? Dylan Flaherty 01:03, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
"This means representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. This is non-negotiable and expected of all articles and all editors." What part of this do you not understand? --Xtraeme (talk) 01:05, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
The part where it's fair and proportionate to present an unreliable source that's known to be false as if it were the mainstream view. Dylan Flaherty 01:18, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't actually object to mentioning the Seder date, if it can be shown to be important - but so far that hasn't been demonstrated. The Seder has its own article, which is fine. Why mention it again here? The mere fact that the Seder is old and Jewish hardly seems sufficient reason. PiCo (talk) 01:26, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
PiCo, to be clear, I don't oppose mentioning it if (1) it can be shown to be relevant and important and (2) it is not passed off as fact. The latter is the dealbreaker for me, but the former is -- so far -- unsatisfied as well. Dylan Flaherty 01:28, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I also don't oppose mentioning it on that basis. PiCo (talk) 01:31, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
It's been said before and it perhaps needs to be said again, "Wikipedia is about summarizing what's written with a neutral point of view, not about making decisions about what's true." You're free to debate semantics with the Wikipedia policies, but plain and simple -- the article already correctly expresses that the date is historically tenuous. To remove the other component is to implement bias when traditional Judaism still recognizes the date as important to their particular culture. Your interpretation of "fair and proportionate" is more code for, "How is it just that something I disagree with be given recognition?" Similarly your idea of an unreliable source is based on what? Your a priori beliefs? The fact is there are many commentaries on the Temple that still note the significance the date and how it plays in to their chronology, as illustrated above. And this is all besides the point. Practicing Jews still accept the date. Do you propose they change Tisha B'av from the 9th of Av to another day? To remove the date is to redact past historical interpretations and the current accepted time-line of the group that the article is attempting to describe (Jews). The article should include both scholarly historical dates and the Judaic interpretation, not just one or the other. --Xtraeme (talk) 04:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is also about using reliable sources, and the reliable sources are unanimous in putting the destruction of Jerusalem in 586/7 BCE - there's no controversy over that. Reliable sources are also unanimous in saying that the Seder Olam is completely wrong with its dates. They might have significance in Jewish mysticism, but not in historical studies.PiCo (talk) 04:38, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
FYI WP:RELIABLE, "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources, making sure that all majority and significant minority views that have appeared in reliable, published sources are covered (see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view)."

So re: "they may have significance in Jewish mysticism" is, simply put, reason enough as referenced in,
1. "The Annals of the World" by Rev. James Ussher, "The Seder Olam Rabbah(1) or the Book of the Order of the World was compiled by Rabbi Yose ben Halafta (died 160 AD), and is to this day the traditional Jewish chronology(2)."
2. The Seder Olam itself, which is used as a source in numerous rabbinical/theistic books like, Rishonim ke-malʼakhim, "Minor Prophets Volume 2: Nahum-Malachi, Volume 2," " Miraculous journey: a complete history of the Jewish people from creation to the present, and many more.

As far as the symbolic meaning of the destruction, "The Shekhinah, as the last of the Sefiroth, becomes the "daughter" who, although her home is the "form of life," must wander into far lands. Various other motifs helped to complete the picture of the Shekhinah as drawn in the Zohar; above all, she was now identified with the "Community of Israel," a sort of Invisible Church, representing the mystical idea of Israel in its bond with God and in its bliss, but also in its suffering and its exile." (Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Gershom Scholem, p. 230) This why the temple date from the numerological POV is significant. To the Jewish mystic it describes a cycle on a spiritual / cosmological level.--Xtraeme (talk) 06:24, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm only asking you to make explicit what this "cycle" is, numerologically. According to the Seder Olam the Temple stood for 410 years; according to you, this number is significant "on a spiritual / cosmological level"; but so far you haven't said why. If you can tell me what the significance of 410 is, I'll be happy to see it in the article. Otherwise, it's just a number. PiCo (talk) 06:59, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I still see no reason for not having the traditional Jewish dating in an article that is unquestionably important to Judaism and Jewish history. I have no issues labeling the dating as "traditional according to the Seder Olam," so as to prevent any confusion, but leaving out the traditional Jewish dating from this article is, in my opinion, tantamount to leaving out the traditional dating of Zoroaster (which may be found at Date_of_Zoroaster#Date) or the dating of Homer (the Seder Olam is more recent than Herodotus, for what it is worth). -- Avi (talk) 07:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

RE: PiCo -- This is obviously an extension from your request earlier, "Can you suggest why the temple's dates are culturally important?" First I answered, "it's numerologically significant, with regards to the Judaic 6000 year chronology that's supposed to lead to the Messianic Age." Then you asked for more specifics, "You don't really answer the question I raise, which is what relevance the Seder Olam dates have to the Temple. ... They're not notable as genuine history, so why should we mention them?" Then I attempted to explain, "From a cosmologists point of view anthropocentric history is an unimportant drop and the bucket. However to exclude one or the other is foolish because they both have value in their given domains." My point being that "importance" is defined within a context. Your value judgment of what is "important" revolves around "historically accurate by modern-day standards." From a Jews perspective the significance has to do with the design of the temple and its relationship to the Olamot universes. Since then we've been arguing in circles. I keep saying in a Jewish context it's significant, and you keep asserting (without much basis I might add seeing as how the dates are WP:V and WP:NPOV), "Tell me why, or it should be removed." Even if I bothered to put together a full explanation as it has to do with the "silver bowls of a second sort four hundred and ten," using the Midrash Rabba and rabbinical comments from the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, it would come from about 10 to 15 sources and you still probably wouldn't understand it (please don't take that as an insult, it's not intended that way). Your ability to grasp something doesn't determine whether or not it's appropriate for Wikipedia. For instance, if I directed you to read this Lagrangian mechanics article and asked you to explain its importance in a physical "space" sense, I'd be surprised if you could make heads or tails of any of it (again not an insult it's a complex subject). The same is true here. The subject is studied by a small group of people who have their own language and means of conveying these things as it is important to them. This is reflected partially through their differing chronology. These people are called Jews. Please respect what they feel is "important" (as this article is about their culture) as they respect your idea of what's "important." --Xtraeme (talk) 09:36, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

August 2013[edit]

I disagree, PiCo, for reasons that I shall explain. To many Jews, Seder Olam is still a trustworthy Source for Chronology. Many scholars have tried to rectify the discrepancy between "34 years of Persian rule" and a Persian dynasty which lasted much longer. I cannot help but be reminded of a letter that I received from a man in the USA, complaining to me about what he saw to be an incredulous statement in the book, Seder Olam. He wrote: "The Seder Olam has contracted the entire Persian period of over 200 years into a (supposed) period of 34 years. That is a huge flaw. The author of the Seder Olam was in fact clueless of the TRUE chronology." To which argument, I replied:

"I think you will agree with me (after we have explained here the true import behind the writer’s words, and why he contracted the entire Persian period into a period of 34 years) that there was really no flaw in this one particular statement. To be even more precise, Seder Olam (chapter 30) says: "Rabbi Yose says: The kingdom of Persia during the time of the Temple lasted [only] 34 years." The key to understanding this timeframe lay in the words “during the time of the Temple.”

The 34-year Persian period must, therefore, be understood in the context of their hegemony over Israel while the Second Temple stood. Meaning, 34 years is the precise timeframe between Alexander the Great's rise to power in 318 BCE and the building of the Second Temple under Darius (II) in 352 BCE - altogether 34 years of hegemony while the Temple stood! Rather, it is always the reader’s inability to grasp the depth of the writer's mind that he finds fault.

Note that the Persian period was succeeded by the Grecian period. Being more precise, the rise of Alexander the Great (in 318 BCE) signaled an end to the Persian kingdom. This is not saying that there were no longer any Persian monarchs ruling out of Shushan (Susa), for there were still Persian kings who reigned long after Alexander the Great – such as Artabanus and Ahasuerus (also called Artaxerxes) who was the son of Xerxes the Great, and Xerxes II, who was succeeded by Sogdianus, who, in turn, was succeeded by Darius, the son of Xerxes II. Rather, their heyday had already come to an end as early as in the reign of Xerxes the Great, in the fourth year of whose reign (318 BCE) Alexander the Great became king of the Grecian Empire. From that moment forward, the Persian kingdom was no longer seen as important in G-d's eyes, nor was it the catalyst affecting G-d's purposes in the earth. Their role had now been usurped by the Grecians. Davidbena (talk) 14:49, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Davidbena, as it appears that you don't know how Wikipedia functions, may I kindly direct you to WP:RS. Any exchange of letters between you and "a man in the USA" is completely irrelevant to Wikipedia. So are your personal interpretations of biblical history. Wikipedia is about facts that can be sourced, and sourced in reliable sources as per WP:RS. Any discussion of what you or anyone else personally believes has no place on Wikipedia as per WP:NOTAFORUM.Jeppiz (talk) 15:33, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Proposed revision of lead para on the history of the Temple[edit]

The thread on the Seder Olam seems to be going nowhere, so I suggest we drop it for the time being - but please note that neither Dylan nor I am arguing that the Seder shouldn't be mentioned at all, just that (a) it should be mentioned as if its dates are accepted by mainstream historians, and (b) if it's mentioned, there should be a clear explanation of its significance to the Temple.

Anyway, what I propose here is a revision of the existing para on the history of the Temple. This is the existing para:

  • According to historians, the Temple would have been destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 or 586 BCE.[4] Various views have been presented as to its possible construction. A traditionalist dating places the time of Solomon, and therefore the construction of the temple, around 960 BCE.[4] However some scholars see the Temple as simply an evolution of a sanctuary that was already a cult site of the Jebusites;[5] and some see the Temple as being substantially remodelled, or even constructed in its entirety, only long after any supposed time of Solomon.[6] Traditional rabbinic sources state that the First Temple stood for 410 years and, based on the 2nd-century work Seder Olam Rabbah, place construction in 832 BCE and destruction in 422 BCE (3338 AM), 165 years later than secular estimates,[7] but historians consider the Seder Olam Rabbah to be an unreliable source, being based on the Book of Daniel rather than on contemporary knowledge of history.[8]

And this is an outline of what I suggest could be said instead:

  • According to the bible, the foundations of the Temple were laid in the fourth year of Solomon, and it was destroyed by the Babylonians when they captured Jerusalem in (insert whatever the bible says, in terms of the xth year of king so-and-so - the reason for this is made clear in the next sentence). The fall of Jerusalem is almost universally dated to 586/587 BCE; correlating the fourth year of Solomon with the modern calendar has proven more difficult, but the conclusion of Edwin Thiele, who places it (insert date), has wide support."

That's a basic outline. Note that it keeps things to a bare minimum - which is what a lead should do. Note also that it says "according to the bible" instead of "according to historians" - the historians come at the end of the para, in the person of Thiele (you could add Gershon Galil if you wanted). Of course, references are still needed, but that wouldn't be difficult. (Incidentally, why isn't Galil's book being used already?)PiCo (talk) 01:51, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

If we can fill in the blanks, then this formulation would qualify as compact and correct. Dylan Flaherty 02:51, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Filling in the blanks won't be a problem. I can also write a section on the chronology of the Temple, including a bit on Seder Olam - but in the main body of the article. (BTW, the Seder's chronology is secondary - the Book of Kings contains a different chronology, called the Priestly Chronology, which has a numerological meaning. It was written about 150 BC. The Seder, written about 160 AD, does the same thing, but with different numbers). PiCo (talk) 04:42, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, that's starting to come back to me. It's been a decade since I last studied this seriously, and even then, I wasn't that serious. Dylan Flaherty 05:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Other people have read the bible and come to different conclusions, even what is meant by 'the bible' can change. I'd give the particular studies for any such dates. A section on the chronology sounds good. Note that WP:LEAD says 'The lead serves both as an introduction to the article and as a summary of its most important aspects' rather than that it be a bare minimum and indicates for an article this size three paragraphs is about right - so it is doing okay at the current size though that last paragraph is getting a bit long. I'd leave out any quotation from the bible and just reference the section, the quote can be left to the body of the article. I can't say I'm too keen on the shorter version as it seems to be ascribing too much reliability on the construction date by Thiele and elides over that a lot of other things could have happened even according to secular historians. Dmcq (talk) 09:13, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Different conclusions about what - the years of construction/destruction in terms of the modern calendar? For the lead, I'd stay with Thiele, just because he seems to be the most commonly mentioned. But in a section on chronologies I'd mention the difficulties of turning Kings' information on reigns into modern years, the various attempts that have been made (even starting with Ussher if you want), and noting that despite differences these do agree to within a few years. But I'd go on to mention the internal chronology of the book itself (the Priestly Chronology), and the meaning this held for the authors (end of the 4000 year cycle in 164 BCE). Then the Seder Olam, a different cycle with a different meaning. It could be made quite interesting. The sources are quite scholarly - can use Oxford, Anchor, Mercer, all of them good mainstream tertiary sources. PiCo (talk) 12:06, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

(Undent) I've added a few more books to the bottom of the article - there are a lot of good books there already - and will get around to drafting something soon. In the meantime, other editors might also like to look through these (and other) potential sources) bear in mind that the topic is the chronology of the Temple, both in secular history and in the less-real world of the biblical authors). Incidentally, I see that quite a bit is not touched on in the article - for example, the form of the Temple cult - e.g. the fact that the king sat on the throne of the LOrd and was worshiped as the Lord, as described in Chronicles. Should this be mentioned? PiCo (talk) 11:29, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

What your new proposed version loses, but I think is useful in the lead, is the suggestion that Solomon's temple wasn't built by Solomon, either because (i) it (or something essentially equivalent) was already there; or alternatively (ii) if it was built much later. I think both those ideas are useful to at least flag in the lead.
I agree that Seder Olam Rabbah is WP:UNDUE in the lead, and should only appear further down the article, because there are very few who would write off the whole of the (rather well documented) 5th century BC in Greece just to make one text fit. (Orthodox UK Chief Rabbis such as Joseph Herman Hertz or Jonathan Sacks, even though they would happily excommunicate anyone who preaches against Torah-from-Mount-Sinai (cf Louis Jacobs), don't seem to have any problem with 586/587 BCE). Jheald (talk) 23:29, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

TfD: Religious text primary[edit]

A TFD has been opened on Template:Religious text primary. The TfD was opened on 2 December; so is due to close in two days time. Notification being added here, because argument over a similar issue has been a recent flashpoint, leading to the template being applied. Jheald (talk) 23:44, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

please, there is plenty of literature discussing the temple. All of it based on the biblical description, because duh, that's the only description there is.

Look, this isn't a case of a "bible as myth" dispute as in cases like Noah, Abraham, Moses or the Garden of Eden. The Biblical description of the temple is contemporary, it very likely dates to the 7th century BC, and describes the temple as it was standing there. In this case, the Bible (the Book of Kings), is simply a historical source. Yes, of course, the construction by Solomon is legendary, but that's beside the point. We are discussing a historical piece of architecture, dating to the 7th century BC, and described in great detail in contemporary literature (the Book of Kings). No, we don't know how many times the temple has been expanded or rebuilt between 960 BC and 590 BC. For that, we would need to perform an archaeological excavation. And probably even then we couldn't be sure, because lots of other buildings have been built on top of the ruins later. This is just the same situation as with any other Iron Age akropolis which was built up on several times over since antiquity. What makes this one special is the fact that we have an ancient description from the time when it was still standing. It is completely irrelevant that this description later ended up in religious scripture now known as the "Bible". What the Book of Kings is is a historical account of the Kingdom of Judah, which thankfully includes a description of this building. --dab (𒁳) 10:09, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Newton's divine assertion[edit]

Under the heading : Notable Mention, there is the statement:

"Newton was intrigued by the temple's sacred geometry and believed that it was designed by King Solomon with privileged eyes and divine guidance."

Giving the reference to Isaac Newton's book "The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms"

I have looked in this book and have found no mention of divine guidance or inspiration. Perhaps someone can give a more precise reference, or delete this statement if it is untrue.

Geburah (talk) 22:00, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Relevance of paragraph[edit]

I question the inclusion of this:

In 1940 American archaeologist Nelson Glueck "proclaimed ... that he had discovered the Edomite mines controlled by King Solomon."[23] Later in 1997, investigating the role of "metallurgy in [the] social evolution" of Southern Jordan, University of California anthropologist Tom Levy "started probing the site known as Khirbat en Nahas (Arabic for "ruins of copper")."[23][24] The samples Levy sent off to "Oxford for radiocarbon dating confirmed that Glueck had been on the right track: This was a tenth-century copper production site ‒ and Levy adds ... 'the closest copper source to Jerusalem.'"[23] This, along with Eilat Mazar's 2005 announcement "that she believed she had unearthed the palace of King David;"[25] and Hebrew University professor Yosef Garfinkel's claims to have "unearthed the first corner of a Judaean city dating to the exact time that David reigned," has put "[Israel] Finkelstein's theory ... under siege."[26] Since these discoveries Levy and Garfinkel have been awarded grants for additional research by the National Geographic Society.

Khirbat en-Nahas is north of Aqaba, quite far from Jerusalem. No connection with the temple has been established, only that it existed in a time period during which the temple might have existed. The general archaeology of Palestine of this time period is covered elsewhere. The last part of the paragraph seems to be poorly phrased argumentation, but it isn't clear what the argument is or what it is against. The final sentence is silly, every year many people get grants from many sources to do archaeology. Zerotalk 14:21, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

I agree. It seems to be an attempt to prove the existence of Solomon indirectly. It may belong somewhere, but not here. Dougweller (talk) 15:31, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Done. Zerotalk 09:03, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. This is an article about Solomon's temple, correct? Archaeological findings aren't independent variables. They speak to a larger network of possible interrelating facts. If the findings are falsified or proven to have no connection to the Solomonic era, then and only then should it be removed from the article.
re: "the final sentence is silly, every year many people get grants from many sources to do archaeology." The point was to indicate there's more field work being done (naming who, the source of funding to establish possible bias, etc.) and to close out the paragraph. I'm re-adding the content. --Xtraeme (talk) 04:27, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
This is an article about Solomon's Temple, not about the archaeology of the Holy Land. Neither of the two articles referenced mention the temple at all, not even in passing. So this text is WP:SYNTH and doesn't belong here. Zerotalk 07:17, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Well the section is titled "Related Archeological Artifacts." It doesn't require induction to say that if Solomon's temple existed it would have required raw materials (particularly bronze for the altar as described in 2 Chronicles 4). To apply WP:SYNTH in this scenario would be like requiring a citation for 1+1=2. Rather like the subsection is titled "Archaeological Artifacts" it certainly should encompass things from the era that likely or possibly would have a passing correspondence. Obviously the wording should be expressed in a way to indicate that no verifiable research has been done to establish a connection, but the fact is it's a rather large archaeological finding. Much more so than the other bullet-points on the list (particularly the forgery). --Xtraeme (talk) 08:46, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Your own words are against you. The source has to make the connection to the article topic, not you. Zerotalk 09:06, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm attempting to come to a compromise. It's from the era. Your remark that it's broadly or nebulously unconnected "archaeology of the Holy Land" is facetious at best. If you want to make the edit it I'd be happy to submit the article for moderation. 20 cubits * 20 cubits * 10 cubits = 382.3 cubic meters. This translates to 100987 gallons. 1 gallon of copper is 33.8 kg. The mass of 100987 gallons of copper is 3.41 * 10^6 kilograms. Meaning the weight of 100987 gallons of copper would be a whopping 3,410 metric tons (less the interior). You'd need a massive site for something like that. This fits the MO and it doesn't require an academic article to make the conclusion. It requires being able to do basic arithmetic. --Xtraeme (talk) 09:15, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Please see WP:ORN#Solomon's Temple. Zerotalk 09:57, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Another, independent, problem with the paragraph is that it refers to "Finkelstein's theory" but that theory is nowhere to be found on the page. There is also a balance problem, see for example this article to see that there is another side to it. Zerotalk 10:02, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Finkelstein has several citations in this article:

[6] Finkelstein, Israel; Neil Asher Silberman (2006). David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-4362-5.

[14]. According to Finkelstein in The Bible Unearthed, the description of the temple is remarkably similar to that of surviving remains of Phoenician temples of the time, and it is certainly plausible, from the point of view of archaeology, that the temple was constructed to the design of Phoenicians.

Finkelstein, Israel; Neil Asher Silberman (2006). David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible's Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-4362-5.

Finkelstein, Israel, and Silberman, Neil Asher, The Bible Unearthed : Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, Simon & Schuster, 2002. ISBN 0-684-86912-8

In particular, his description of 10th century BCE Jerusalem, the period associated with the biblical kings David and Solomon, as a mere 'village' or tribal center.,(cf. Tel Aviv University. Digging Biblical History At 'The End Of The World'. ScienceDaily 2007-11-21. retrieved 2007-11-30.; and: Miller, Laura King David was a nebbish Salon. 2001-02-07 retrieved 2007-11-30) So it's relevant in the sense that the conjecture isn't based in objective fact. Therefore some balance is necessary to show, as you note, that there's another side to the story advocated by other noteworthy institutional blocks. --Xtraeme (talk) 17:24, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Nelson Glueck found some mines. Did he find any reference to someone called "Solomon" at these mines? No, he didn't did he? He just found some mines from the time. They could be anyone's mines. Your argument is like saying that the discovery of a quarry is evidence that the temple existed, or the discovery of trees is evidence, since it would have needed wood. Unless these are directly linked to Solomon they are not evidence of anything other than the fact that quarrying and mining existed at the time. Oh, I guess they are also evidence that archaeologists like to get publicity for an otherwise banal finding by saying, "These mines are king solomon's mines. Hello reporter". Paul B (talk) 20:48, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Reduction of paragraph[edit]

I reduced the paragraph to this,

In 1940 American archaeologist Nelson Glueck "proclaimed ... that he had discovered the Edomite mines controlled by King Solomon."[23] In 1997 radio-carbon dating confirmed that this was a tenth-century copper production site.[23] Amihai Mazar has stated, "I believe that if, one day, we should find the copper objects from the temple in Jerusalem, it will prove to come from this area".[24]

Here's why: the other material is wholly irrelevant to the topic of the article. The stuff about Finkelstein and research grants is wholly beside the point, since the only theory of Finkelstein's mentioned here is that the temple design was probably based on Phoenician models (and that's in a footnote). Bear in mind that concision and clear relevance are mandated by WP:MOS. Note that I retained and made visible in the main text the newly added quotation linking this mine to possible use in the temple. The rest of the paragraph was utterly irrelevant to the article, but migh be relevant to the articles on Biblical minimalism or Israel Finkelstein. Please bear in mind that this is an article about Solomon's Temple, and not a space to argue about topics only marginally related to it. Paul B (talk) 20:04, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I should add that I was clearly rather too concise in that edit, since I should have had a sentence stating where the mines are! However, the rest of the points about relevance stand. Paul B (talk) 20:09, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
So it doesn't get lost. Here's the commentary that was ongoing from Wikipedia:ORN#Solomon.27s_Temple.

To claim you're acting in good faith when you've removed citations:

* The original piece by Dr. Levy from UC San Diego discussing "Solomon's Mines" being dated to the period and being the closest source to Jerusalem, which is then commented on as possibly relating to Solomon's temple ...

Is pretty questionable. Now that we're done discussing the original OR contestation -- having illustrated that Nat-Geo, Levy, and that Amihai Mazar all were drawing a parallel to the historical text the entire article and temple derive from. Lets address your completely and altogether different contentions (hopefully this time we can stay focused):

a) "Indeed the passage you quote clearly says that copper could be sourced from elsewhere."

b) "How does this evidence [of the mine's being dated to 10th century bc] in any way contradict what Finkeelstein (sp?) says? It is merely evidence that copper was available, which no one has ever doubted."

c) "There is no point in having a paragraph debating a theory that has not even been expressed in the article."

d) "This whole paragraph is WP:SYN with regard to the topic of the article."

First (a) is unsupported and doesn't exist outside your unexpert conjecture. In fact the current commentary runs contrary to this statement, "The size of the slag heaps indicates that, over its lifetime, the site produced 5,000 tons of copper, enough to supply copper to the entire region. Isotope analysis of copper objects from sites all over ancient Israel has proved that they came from the Wadi Feynan area." (cf. NOVA/Nat-Geo 2010, @22:30) Show me a citation from a reputable source that suggests "copper could be sourced from elsewhere."

Second (b) "How does this evidence [of the mine's being dated to 10th century BCE] in any way contradict what Finkeelstein (sp?) says?"

If you had read the sources you would have realized,

'"Now," said Levy, director of the Levantine Archaeology Lab at UCSD and associate director of the new Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3), "with data from the first large-scale stratified and systematic excavation of a site in the southern Levant to focus specifically on the role of metallurgy in Edom, we have evidence that complex societies were indeed active in 10th and 9th centuries BCE and that brings us back to the debate about the historicity of the Hebrew Bible narratives related to this period.""' (UC San Diego, 2008)

"Now it is Finkelstein's theory that is under siege. On the heels of Mazar's claim to have discovered King David's palace, two other archaeologists have unveiled remarkable finds. Twenty miles southwest of Jerusalem in the Elah Valley—the very spot where the Bible says the young shepherd David slew Goliath—Hebrew University professor Yosef Garfinkel claims to have unearthed the first corner of a Judaean city dating to the exact time that David reigned. Meanwhile, 30 miles south of the Dead Sea in Jordan, a University of California, San Diego professor named Thomas Levy has spent the past eight years excavating a vast copper-smelting operation at Khirbat en Nahas. Levy dates one of the biggest periods of copper production at the site to the tenth century B.C.—which, according to the biblical narrative, is when David's antagonists the Edomites dwelled in this region. (However, scholars like Finkelstein maintain that Edom did not emerge until two centuries later.) The very existence of a large mining and smelting operation fully two centuries before Finkelstein's camp maintains the Edomites emerged would imply complex economic activity at the exact time that David and Solomon reigned. "It's possible that this belonged to David and Solomon," Levy says of his discovery. "I mean, the scale of metal production here is that of an ancient state or kingdom."" (Draper, 2010)

Nat-Geo's Draper makes the point not me. Your opinion as to whether or not this rebuts Finkelstein's theory is WP:SYN and OR. Which as we've established isn't acceptable on WP.

Third (c) your five repetitions that "The only theory of his mentioned is that the temple design was based on Phoenician models" is irrelevant. Finkelstein's primary thesis (as fingered by Draper) has everything to do with the 10th century BCE and Solomon. Seeing as how "Solomon's Temple" is dated to this period and Finkelstein's theory argues the "biblical kings David and Solomon, as a mere village or tribal center" (cf. Tel Aviv University. Digging Biblical History At 'The End Of The World'. ScienceDaily 2007-11-21. retrieved 2007-11-30.; and: Miller, Laura King David was a nebbish Salon. 2001-02-07 retrieved 2007-11-30) then this is a statement about Solomon's accomplishments as it rebuts the possibility of such a structure like the temple. The evidence as it stands runs counter to this. This is again Draper and Levy's commentary. Your opinion of what is relevant has no bearing here.

Fourth (d) "This whole paragraph is WP:SYN with regard to the topic of the article."

As it stands your edits and behavior are reductio ad absurdum. Please tell me when did Nelson Glueck "excavate" a site known as Khirbat en Nahas? This was your last edit to the article, no? I'll answer that for you. It didn't happen. That was Levy. Glueck simply identified the site. Furthermore you removed all the content that identifies periodization, counter arguments, and primary texts in favor of conjecture and personal innuendo. But this is all a part of your good faith "entirely legitimate edits," no?

For the time being we'll leave the edits as you currently have them in favor of some compromise. Perhaps if you would like to change the wording of "Finkelstein's theory is under siege" to something like, "His minimalistic theories of 10th century BCE are being challenged by new findings." That would be fine. We can just cite it to Draper since he's the one who made the claim that "Now it is Finkelstein's theory that is under siege." However if over the next week you can't come up with a wording to re-add the sources you pulled and the argumentation that exists against Finkelstein's theory I will revert your modifications. --Xtraeme (talk) 00:49, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Little coverage of furniture?[edit]

Just wondering about including some coverage on the furniture in the temple:

  • table of shewbread
  • lampstand / candlestick
  • altar of incense
  • golden altar / mercy seat / ark of the covenant
  • Aaron's rod

--Graham Proud (talk) 04:52, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest being able to cite reliable, verifiable scholarly sources without the slightest hint of original research, synthesis, religious bias or fringy nonsense about them. Do scholarly sources exist which discuss the furnishings of the temple? If you have access to such materials, could you post a link to them here for the rest of us to look at and discuss with you? Unfortunately, this is one of those articles that attracts more than its fair share of the previously mentioned bluelinks, sorry to be so blunt about it. Heiro 05:28, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Ivory pomegranate[edit]

The lead states that the Ivory pomegranate is a hoax (with a grammatical error: should be "which turned out to be a hoax", but that sentence wording is wrong; perhaps "which turned to be a hoax"). However, a recent edit at the linked article has added a claim that it is authentic. I'm posting this in the hope that someone with the necessary skill can investigate. Johnuniq (talk) 07:34, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I've added a bit of an update in the section describing the pomegranate toward the bottom of the article. The widely reported initial claim by the IAA that this article is a forgery was never accepted by many and has been seriously challenged since. This is also the case with the First Temple Jehoash Inscription. The best we can probably note at this time is that the authenticity is still under discussion. The claim in the lead section that there "is no archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple nor mention of it in contemporary extra-biblical literature" is also somewhat dated and contradicts the "Related archeological artifacts" section, as well as at least a couple of pre-Exilic ostraca that exist which mention the temple ("House of YHWH"). • Astynax talk 10:04, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
What I could see from the sources given is that Hershel Shanks disagrees with the consensus view. He always does. His disagreement is notable enough to mention, but it isn't enough to change the text to deny that there is a consensus. Zerotalk 23:37, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Hershel Shanks is hardly the only notable to disagree with the initial report, and some who originally accepted the report have since withdrawn their support for its conclusions. Though the guy has been a thorn in the side of some scholars since before he forced publication of the DSS, he is still a respected reporter of findings made by others. The idea that there ever was a consensus is unsupportable, and until there is a consensus, it is better to simply state that there is still ongoing discussion and examination. • Astynax talk 07:35, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Did Solomon's Temple exist? The article needs to be a lot clearer![edit]

Currently, this article does not give an encyclopedic impression, and it comes very close to contradicting itself. At the very end of the article, it is stated that there is no archaeological evidence for the temple's existence. This leads to a second question: can we be sure that this temple ever existed? I personally believe it did, but my personal beliefs are as irrelevant as any other person's beliefs, Wikipedia is about facts. If there is no scientific proof for the existence of this temple, I think this needs to be indicated clearly indicated from the start. Rather than saying that Solomon's Temple was the first temple, it might be more neutral to say that it "allegedly was". The history section would also need to reflect this doubt (if indeed there is doubt) rather than to threat the temple as a historical fact. On the other hand, if there are scientific proofs for the temple's existence, they should be more prominent. The worst solution is the current state of the article, in which individual sections are at odds with each other. There are three possibilities: 1. It can be shown that the temple existed. Then the whole article should reflect that fact. 2. It can be shown that the temple never existed. Then the whole article should threat it as mythological. 3. It cannot be shown that the temple existed or that it didn't exist. In that case the whole article should reflect that doubt.Jeppiz (talk) 18:32, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

The article says in "Archaeology" near the end:
"Because of the religious and political sensitivities involved, no archaeological excavations and only limited surface surveys of the Temple Mount have been conducted.[14][15] Because no excavations of the site have been allowed, there is no direct archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple. This building is not mentioned in extra-biblical accounts which have survived"
which is true. There is absolutely no evidence, either archaeological or in extra-biblical accounts, that there ever was such a structure or for that matter any such person as "Solomon". Therefore I think that the lead sentence of the article is very misleading as it flatly states that "Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem". It really ought to say something like "According to the Bible, Solomon's Temple" etc as the Bible is the only evidence that there ever was such a building. However I do not feel inclined to try to change it as it would likely lead to disputes that I do not feel up to getting involved with.Smeat75 (talk) 05:18, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

The text "Because no excavations of the site have been allowed, there is no direct archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple." is uncited and dubious. First, it appears to assume that evidence would be found if excavation was allowed; for this reason I just changed it to "evidence for or against the existence". Second, excavation might not be allowed now but that wasn't true in the past. Third, direct evidence doesn't necessarily need excavation on the spot. (For example, a contemporary inscription that refers to the temple would be direct evidence no matter where it was found.) Zerotalk 08:53, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

That is an improvement Zero but I think that clause "Because no excavations of the site has been allowed" is not necessary and is misleading. As you say, it gives the impression that if excavations were allowed, evidence for the First Temple would be found and that cannot be known. I do not see how there could ever be positive evidence against the existence of the Temple so I am going to remove "against the evidence" so that the sentence will read "There is no direct archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple." Smeat75 (talk) 13:57, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
That's better. "Because" suggests a causal relationship which doesn't exist, since the block on excavations hasn't existed for very long in terms of the time since the the supposed destruction of the Temple. Dougweller (talk) 14:48, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree. (But, to answer a point of Smeat75, a thorough excavation would be able to determine with fair certainty whether there was a monumental building on the site before the known buildings. If there wasn't, no temple on that site. But this is means nothing since there won't be such an excavation any time soon.) Zerotalk 14:58, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

This article is not written from a neutral POV in my opinion[edit]

There are many problems with this article in my opinion in that it is not written from an unbiased point of view and relies too heavily on an uncritical acceptance of Biblical accounts which are unsupported from any other evidence. Starting with the very title "Solomon's Temple", which gives the impression that it is an accepted historical fact that there was such a person as "Solomon" and he built the temple, but this is far from the case. There is no evidence outside the Bible that "King Solomon" ever existed as the wiki article on Solomon says "Historical evidence of King Solomon other than the biblical accounts is material evidence indisputably of Solomon's reign has been found." The article should not be called "Solomon's Temple". However I note a long discussion of the title of the article from two years ago and so I am not going to try to change it right now. Then, still in the lead paragraph, we find : "During the kingdom of Judah, the temple was dedicated to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and housed the Ark of the Covenant." That is what the Bible says but there is no other evidence for this statement and in fact there is no way to be sure that there ever was a real "Ark of the Covenant" and that it is not a fictitious element in a made up story. That sentence should also say something like " According to the Bible, the temple was dedicated to Yahweh during the kingdom of Judah and housed the Ark of the Covenant". I am not going to change that right now either however. I don't like the sentence in the lead "Since no excavations have been allowed on the Temple Mount during modern times, there is no direct archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple, and no mentions of it in the surviving contemporary extra-biblical literature." It gives the impression that if excavations were allowed on the Temple Mount, direct archaeological evidence would be found, and this cannot be known. I am going to remove the word "since" and start a new sentence at "there". Then in the "history" section the article does say " The following is a summary of the history according to Book of Samuel and Book of Kings, with notes on the variations to this story in the later Book of Chronicles" but I believe does not make it clear enough that all of this is completely uncorroborated by any other evidence outside these Biblical accounts. Then the sections "Most Holy Place,Holy Place, Porch,Boaz and Jachin, Chambers, Courts" and "Brazen Sea" once again merely restate Biblical accounts that are unsupported by any other evidence and this should be made clear.Smeat75 (talk) 14:36, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Be bold... I think the title is ok, though, since even fictional characters get articles. Zerotalk 15:00, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Coming to this fresh, I see your point, I think. I have put in a largish section under Jachin and Boaz with 'facts' arising purely from the text which are immediately deduceable by anyone with a wide knowledge of the text. On a subject which has no external verifiability any encyclopaedia reader will surely expect to find this textual material displayed at the very least, with all appropriate caveats of course.

Naturally I don't expect this to go completely unchallenged as to content, but I see it as meeting a readers's needs.

(Simbastrainer (talk) 23:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC))

We do not add material that's "immediate deduceable (sic)". What's obvious to one writer is utter balderdash to another. That whole Jachin and Boaz edit is OR. Certainly, the notion that masseboth are "phallic", which is repeated at least twice, can NOT be deduced neither from the text at all. And there's considerably research on the subject from archaeology. for instance, directly contradicts a good deal of what is said. (This is an 11 year old article, so it's not even new information.)
I have tagged the section as OR accordingly. I'd do the cuts myself, but I'm trying desperately to avoid diving back into the morass that is regular Wikipedia editing, and only touch things like this where there's an obvious, egregious problem. (talk) 04:22, 5 January 2013 (UTC)


Based on the discussions here, in which there seems to be a broad consensus that the current version of the article is POV, I have placed a POV tag and made some edits to the introduction. As there is no evidence for the existence of this temple (as opposed to the second temple, for which there is plenty of evidence), the article needs to reflect that. Solomon's Temple might have existed, but we cannot state that for a fact as long as there is no evidence at all for it.Jeppiz (talk) 00:52, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

The introduction now appears to specify that no actual evidence of the first temple was ever discovered, and that other than traditional abrahamic sources other literature lack references to it. Is the tag still necessary? Thanks, (talk) 03:57, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
The article has improved, but most of it still treats the temple as a fact so I'd say the POV-tag is still needed. The introduction is fine, but the bulk of the text is not yet NPOV.Jeppiz (talk) 17:10, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

First paragraph[edit]

[introduction by (talk) 08:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC) the detail in the first paragraph based on bbc conflicts with british researchers at which claim archaeological evidence shows the building of a temple either 100 years after solomon or during solomon. on this background we can see the fallacy of trying to prove "non-existence" as this writer follows as well as the unreliable denial of bbc of the conclusions of the researchers at britannica (talk) 08:27, 28 July 2015 (UTC) ]

"No conclusive archeological evidence for or against the existence of Solomon's Temple has been found"

Sorry, I know this is out of an effort to be fair - but this sentence suggests the onus is on historians, etc. to prove a negative. How would one prove that something which did not exist did not exist? If this weren't about religion, and perhaps Jewish religion in particular, would there ever be an assertion that the lack of proof for some thing X is matched by a lack of evidence that there was no X? I mean, there's fair, and then there's logical fallacy...

Though much honoured in legend (and Hollywood) the simple truth is that no evidence has ever been found of David, Solomon or his ‘empire.’ Neither secular history, nor archaeology, provides a shred of confirmation for the highly detailed and colourful biblical stories. Not a single stone or artifact from what was supposedly the world’s most fabulous temple has ever been identified. The extraordinary magnificence of the Jewish Empire is matched only by the total void when we seek confirmation from any other source.

For example, the Asiatic Greek Herodotus – writing one of the world’s first histories in the 5th century BC – wrote of peoples and places throughout the Persian empire and beyond. Herodotus knew of lake-dwellers in far away Europe and of barbarous tribes along the north African coast. He was familiar with the painted warriors of the Sudan and with the nomads of southern Russia.

Yet in all his work Herodotus makes no single mention of Jews or Hebrews, Judah or Israel. He speaks of the coastal cities of Sidon and Tyre but never of Jerusalem. He records the great temple of Aphrodite Urania at Ascalon but fails to mention any temple of Solomon.

He does, however, know of circumcision and says this:

'"The Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians are the only races which from ancient times have practiced circumcision. The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine themselves admit that they adopted the practice from Egypt…No other nations use circumcision, and all of these are without doubt following the Egyptian lead."

– Herodotus, The Histories, Book 2,104; Penguin, p167.

Herodotus gathered much of his information first-hand from priests and holy men. His travels took him to the frontier of Upper Egypt and to Babylon itself. He also recorded popular beliefs and legends. Speaking of the inhabitants at the eastern end of the Mediterranean he says:

'The Phoenicians, with the Syrians of Palestine…have a tradition that in ancient times they lived on the Persian Gulf, but migrated to the Syrian coast, where they are found today. This part of Syria, together with the country which extends southward to Egypt, is all known as Palestine.'

– Herodotus, The Histories, Book 7,89; Penguin, p472.

For Herodotus, this land is the home of ‘Syrians known as Palestinians’. If tribesmen in the interior escaped his attention they assuredly were not the authors of a great empire which supposedly had existed a few hundred years before his own time. More than two thousand years later nothing has emerged to change our understanding:

"This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel.

Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom."

– Ha'aretz Magazine, October 1999. (talk) 06:10, 2 October 2013 (UTC)dkt41

  • What are you talking about ?? There is plenty of evidence for the nation of Israel existing in the Land of Canaan. I suggest reading articles about the Merneptah Stele which is an Egyptian source mentioning the nation of Israel as early as 1200 BC. There is also proof now that the House of David was a ruling dynasty of the united Kingdom of Israel. You do realize that there is widespread proof for the existence of the Second Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem ? Additionally, the original Roman names for their provinces in the land of Canaan were as follows: Judaea, Samaria and Galilea. "Palestina" was a Roman corruption applied to the whole of the region after the Jewish revolt against Roman rule. You clearly have an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish bias which is non-sense. The Hebrew language is also the only living member of the Canaanite languages (includes Phoenician), indigenous to the western Levant. The Israelites/Jews/Hebrews are the indigenous inhabitants of the land. (talk) 13:04, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

The Temple According to the Bible[edit]

Apologies for any violations of protocols, for I've never gone in the process of determining the correctness of Wikipedia articles, but in reading the article on Solomon's temple, I came across this sentence which struck me as overwhelmingly subjective, biased and unfounded.

Can I be enlightened about the below statement? Thank you.

The earliest source of information on the First Temple is the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), which have both been rewritten by humans to erase the true messenge of god . (talk) 19:24, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. That was removed within 5 minutes of it being added. Dougweller (talk) 22:08, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

This is my own entry, not connected to the one above. I have been studying and writing about ancient Ethiopian records and inscriptions for almost thirty years and am quite used to my comments being immediately erased from Wikipedia. However, I hope this entry will last long enough for some readers to take note. The Ge'ez Sheba-Menelik Cycle of the Kebra Nagast, translated from an Arabic document that was apparently translated from a Coptic original, has a detailed account not only of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon's court when the Temple was being constructed but also how the Ark of the Covenant was stolen and the route it took to Ethiopia. The details of the queen's visit are summarised by Josephus and the Books of Kings and Chronicles. The Torah in the Sheba-Menelik Cycle appears to be have been written before the 7th century B.C.E. as it lacks most of strictures of Deuteronomy associated with Hilkiah. Theodore Noeldeke and Chaim Rabin [Ancient West Arabian 1951] also commented that the Ethiopian word for the Ark is very ancient (Noeldeke was considerably annoyed!) and dates from Solomon's time. Josephus and the Old Testament books do not mention the Ark's fate as narrated in the Sheba-Menelik Cycle and until the 1980's nobody took the Sheba-Menelik account seriously because its geography was completely bizarre. However, when Kamal Salibi's highly provocative book "The Bible Came from Arabia" was published in 1985, some of us were astonished that the route of the Ark in the Sheba-Menelik Cycle (of which Salibi was ignorant) matched the place names of his hypothesised Arabian Judah. Other evidence, such as the Sabaean inscriptions at Adi Kaweh, Wukro, testifying to the presence there of “Black” Hebrew ca. 800 B.C.E. ruled jointly by kings and queens of Sheba [Roger Schneider 1973] adds weight to the suggestion that the ancient kingdom of Israel and Judah were originally in West Arabia and Old Jerusalem may very well have been at An Nimas, south of Taif. Since no evidence of a pre-Babylonian conquest presence of Israelites in Palestine/Israel has been found, it seems worth considering the Arabian Judah hypothesis irrespective of prejudice and political agenda. (Dr Bernard Leeman) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bernleeman (talkcontribs) 02:07, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Very interesting, but this remains a disputed theory, and the "no evidence of a pre-Babylonian conquest presence of Israelites" bit is particularly contentious. Wikipedia cannot, by its nature, discuss or pass judgement on fringe theories. It can merely record what has been written. This subject is tangential to the Temple, an article which has enough issues already, and probably merits no more than a sentence. If the theory has any serious, published support apart from Salibi, then it probably deserves its own article. If it needs extended mention within another article, then I strongly suggest there are more appropriate places, such as the Kebra Nagast. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 11:26, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

OR, Synthesis, other tags: Red flags regarding veracity, verifiability[edit]

There are a variety of red flags regarding the biblical description section's veracity and verifiability that need to move the article from being an interesting read to take with a grain of salt, to being a section in which one can have confidence.

First, the repeated use of models and reconstructions created by others, without citation, constitutes WP:OR. An architectural or engineering reconstruction is a research and scholarly endeavor based on assumptions; it is not akin to a photograph. I recommend their immediate sourcing, or removal.

Then, a comment/question: Do not selections of biblical references as appear in this section need to be sourced to the scholar(s) making the compilation decisions (this set of biblical references being chosen, as opposed to others)? To avoid that selection being the OR/original synthesis of a WP editor, vs. a scholar in a secondary source? For this reason, the OR section tag was placed, and the Synthesis inline tags were added to indicate the specific paragraphs in question.

Also, in this same section, the references to BibleGateway text results as inline links were moved into markup language (making them references), as the former construction is in my understanding, policy prohibited. (Is there a translation standard at WP? How is translation in-use to be indicated in WP articles about biblical topics?) The repeated appearance of inline links to bare URLs has not been checked in the rest of the article, and as the continuing appearance of bare URL citations in links/references is also explicitly discouraged, for the obvious reason of link rot, tags were placed about this. Their prevalence here is very unfortunate.

Then, for large parts later in the section, the singular use of the Leithart reference seems to be unnecessary (and so unfortunate), given the enormity of secondary literature on this subject. Finally, there are a variety of other places where sources are unclear, or thin, or lacking, and some of these were noted. For instance, at one point "Peake's commentary on the Bible" appears as the complete content of a reference (without page, volume, publisher, date, etc.).

The article is an informative first read on this subject, but, as indicated, is one that has to be taken with a grain of salt, given the state of its sourcing. Cheers. (talk) 13:44, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, it might be that the person who wrote it took the information straight from "the" Bible. But as there indeed is an inordinate amount of secondary literature available, removal seems unnecessary, unless factual mistakes are discovered — which can then be corrected. We just have to wait until someone completes the sourcing. That's Wikipedia.
As regards the images: the policy states: "Original images created by a Wikipedian are not considered original research, so long as they do not illustrate or introduce unpublished ideas or arguments, the core reason behind the NOR policy". Which ideas or arguments were introduced by the images you tagged? By this we mean non-trivial ideas, not that the temple had a roof or walls, for instance. The historic lithograph can of course not be OR (though it seems to have some copyright problems).--MWAK (talk) 14:53, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Modern archaeology[edit]

The actual site hasn't been found, but it seems that the modern view of Solomon's temple is that the specifications given in the Bible are more or less those of some Phoenician and Syrian temples of the same time period. The article discounts this possibility by using an encyclopedia published in 1906. And most of the rest of the space is given to repeating descriptions from the Bible, which would be like writing an article about the Iliad by posting a plot summary without commentary. It would be nice to see a modern, archaeology-oriented version of this that describes the temple in context of other cultic centers in Canaan and Syria. Geogene (talk) 23:55, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

[2],[3], [4],[5], I remember a brief mention in Abulafia's "The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean", but without enough content to be useful (other than to show that the idea is still current). Geogene (talk) 00:01, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
User:Geogene - as the text starting with "however" was added by an IP after the sourced text was added, and there was no reason to think it was in the sources, I've removed it. It would be brilliant if you could use those sources to improve the article. I don't have the time. If you don't have access to JSTOR, email me through my talk page and I can send you the article. A lot has happened in over a century, so the JE source should be removed. Dougweller (talk) 10:10, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


User Arminden is repeatedly disrupting the article by inserting their own POV and blatantly ignoring WP:BRD even when it's clear to them that there is no consensus for their edit. The user keeps removing and rewriting the sourced fact that there is no archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple, changing this to saying "No proper archaeological excavation has ever been allowed on the Temple Mount", which is not what the source says. When we have a source, we report what that source is saying. The user also inserts the claim that the disagreement between tradition and scholarly opinion is when the temple was built. There is no scholarly consensus that this temple was built at all.Jeppiz (talk) 21:23, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Go to ALL MAJOR encyclopedias and read relevant article--90% if not all write the same. Name ONE PROPER ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATION on the Temple Mount. It's easy to write "no archaeol. proof" if no freakin' arch. dig is or was ever allowed. I don't care if there was a temple or not, there, on Mt Gerizim or on the moon, but I truly hate propaganda, hiding behind disingenuous wording, knowingly obfuscating what's accepted by the sane majority as being yet another "theory" etc. I've lived under a regime using all these methods, and I can smell them 100 km against the wind. Hiding behind WP rules, which are constantly being adapted anyway and are not "from Mt Sinai", so to say, coupled with threats and lack of willingness to read through, stinks. When I revert to older versions and thus undo more than one edit, or when I only want to rewrite a specific bit of an edit, I TAKE THE EFFORT TO DEAL WITH EACH BIT SEPARATELY and leave uncontentious bits alone, or reintroduce them by hand if needed. Got thanks for that, but that's not the point. What you did, on the other hand, IS vandalism--undoing ALL my edits, including removal of clear, long repetition, addition of valid reference etc. I haven't spent all that time & effort for smb. to royally say "it's all POV" and erase it. So who's talking of vandalism? Signed, Rome alias Arminden (talk) 21:47, 22 April 2015 (UTC)Arminden
You also apparently failed to take into account WP:SYNTH and WP:BURDEN. The first specifically says that we repeat only what the sources themselves say, and we at no time add anything which is a conclusion based on the evidence available. It may well be true that your contention that there has never been an archaeological excavation of the temple mount is cited as one of the reasons why there has never been any evidence of its existence. But it would be a violation of WP:SYNTH to add such material without a source specifically saying exactly what you say in the article. Also, as per WP:BURDEN, it is up to Arminden to provide the sources which specifically support the changes he wishes to make. I have yet to see those sources provided. Also, honestly, considering that this is, based on the available evidence, a rather controversial issue, it is also standard procedure around here to specific propose changes regarding controversial content and receive consensus about the changes before adding the material directly to the article. So, Arminden, please produce the sources which clearly and explicitly make the contentions you are making, and, when and if you do that, please discuss on this talk page the changes you wish to make and receive consensus from others before making them. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 21:56, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
First of all Arminden, please indent your answers. Second, your whole argument seemed to be based on WP:TRUTH. At Wikipedia, we don't care about the "truth", we care about sources. As I already explained, you changed sourced content so that it no longer represented what the sources say. You also added personal, unsourced opinion without sources. And if you have a problem with users "hiding behind WP rules" that are "from Mt Sinai", then Wikipedia is quite frankly not the right place for you. And accusing me of "vandalism" for restoring the consensus version sounds very much like an unsubstantiated personal attack. As John Carter explained to you, the burden to back up your edits is on you, not on me. Last but not least, your claim "I haven't spent all that time & effort for smb. to royally say "it's all POV" and erase it." is an attitude you need to get over. Fast. You don't WP:OWN this page, and how much time you put in is of no relevance at all. The quality of edits count, and that means using reliable sources and represent them accurately.Jeppiz (talk) 21:58, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

This sentence is a stinker[edit]

"There is no archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple.[1]" True, but there's plenty of literary evidence plenty of presumably Iron Age texts that refer to a temple) and contextual evidence (every Iron Age kingdom had a state temple). Please consider whether this sentence should stand alone, and in the lead. PiCo (talk) 11:26, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

What literary evidence, apart from the Bible, can be found in WP:RS sources unambiguously referring to Solomon's Temple?Jeppiz (talk) 14:36, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
Only in the bible, since the neighbours weren't so impressed with Jerusalem's importance as the the people who lived there were. But there's a scholarly consensus that, e.g., many of the Psalms originate from the First Temple period, and they clearly imply the existence of a temple. Also the interesting vision in Ezekiel that puzzles so many Americans UFO-seekers, in which the prophet sees a wheel within a wheel set with eyes - what he's describing is probably the chariot on which Yahweh was taken out in procession through the city. You'll need to look in secondary sources, like say Collins and Blenkinsopp. Plus of course nobody denies that the kingdom of Judah existed, and Iron Age kingdoms always had a temple. PiCo (talk) 01:48, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

pico check out before conceding "true" (talk) 08:33, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Is everything found at the Temple Mount relevant here?[edit]

I'd argue that only material that reliable sources have linked to Solomon's Temple should be mentioned in the article. Dougweller (talk) 09:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

archeaological evidence exists[edit]

according to british researchers at -archeological evidence shows a temple was built in jerusalem either 100 years after solomon or during solomon. i would quote it but it would violate the copyright so check for yourself at the site cited. the article should be improved by showing in the first paragraph the contrast between bbc to britannica (talk) 08:32, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The best would be if we could find the sources the Britannica quotes and reference those. I'm not certain referencing the Britannica directly is the best path. -- Avi (talk) 14:22, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually that doesn't say there is any archaeological evidence for the temple. I don't know how old that entry is, but Cyrus H. Gordon died in 2001 an old man. He also believed that Jews, Phoenicians etc visited both North and South America. What he's saying basically is that there are contrasting viewpoints on Solomon, some that see him as having had a large or even vast empire, some who don't. But nothing about archaeological evidence for the temple as opposed to archaeological evidence dating to the time of Solomon. Doug Weller (talk) 16:24, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I just added haarez's report goan (talk) 18:47, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

As it's behind a pay-wall, it doesn't do much good, I'm afraid. Jeppiz (talk) 22:15, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Did you try clicking on it??Sadya goan (talk) 13:23, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

"There is no archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple" this is funny to be credited to Finkelstein as mentioned in Haaretz above so I am taking it out (it seems almost like some sort of propaganda) Jeppiz the Haaretz article is premium but it works so you can use it for now.Sadya goan (talk) 13:31, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

    • Where in the world does Mazar get "heavily fortified Israelite capital 4,000 years ago". Israelites 4000 years ago? Fortified city 4000 years ago? I'm wondering if he's been misquoted. Doug Weller (talk) 19:07, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

Location of Solomon's Temple[edit]

Recently there has been a lot of disussion on the web about the actual position of Solomon's Temple on the Temple Mount. Most are advocating the position where the Dome of the Rock currently stands which lines up with a newly identified gate in the Eastern Wall and the Dominus Flevit Church on the Mount of Olives. Some are advocating a position to the North positioned over the Dome of Spirits (also called the Dome of the Tablets) which aligns with the Golden Gate and the highest point on the Mount of Olives (and also the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). A few other are advocating for a position to the South of the Dome of the Rock. I think that this debate sould be mentioned somewhere in this article. [xyz 1][xyz 2] (talk) 20:27, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^

Wish-list: Non-biblical sources?[edit]

If 1. there exist no extensive archeological proofs for the existence, 2. we know about the (alleged) temple from the Tanakh/Old Testament, 3. ???

are there independent non-Biblical sources for the existence?

If so I would like to have it in the article. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:30, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Good question. According to William G. Dever, the answer is no. " For the writers and editors of the orthodox history of Israel in Joshua through Kings (all the textual evidence we have), there was only one temple, that constructed by Solomon under divine edict in Jerusalem."[6] Doug Weller talk 12:24, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Finkelstein and Silberman[edit]

Reliance on one controversial book is dangerous, especially when presented as the current academic consensus, which it clearly is not. The debate is complicated (try the [National Geographic review article]) but in brief, Finkelstein seems to take the known date of composition of at least the D text (Josiah's reign) of the Tanach and produced, with his friend, a Reductio ad Absurdam which sold quite well. He has a point, but as his biog here points out, he remains controversial, which is sailing perilously close to WP:Fringe. His dating is strongly challenged, and presenting his findings as if they were unchallenged mainstream history/archaeology is just plain wrong. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:48, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

Finkelstein is one of Israeli's leading archaeologists and about as far from "fringe" as it is possible to get. Your description of his status is wrong and it would be quite absurd to not include his opinion in this article. However there is another problem here: the text cited to F&S is not very well supported by the listed pages of that source. Someone with more time than me should read the source carefully (and Finkelstein's more recent publications) and present his opinion properly. Zerotalk 00:36, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
There is a wide divergence between discussing an opinion and reporting it as fact. (You also imply that the contributor who started all this hadn't read the book.) Again, we go back to disputed dating, and the presentation of contentious opinion as academic consensus. Still clearly wrong, but peer reviewed papers would help. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 01:46, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
His article no longer says that. I've removed the "one of the most controversial theories" from his article, clearly a staff writer at Salon isn't a reliable source for opinions on archaeology. And why use 'friend' instead of 'colleague'? Attributing views that may be disputed is however usually a good idea. The idea that the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University is fringe seems very unlikely. Silberman isn't fringe either. Doug Weller talk 13:18, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
And I've now restored the deleted text but rewrote it and the next sentence to attribute. But yes, checking the source carefully and looking for more recent stuff is always good. Doug Weller talk 13:23, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
Their 2007 book says ""The evidence clearly suggests that tenth-century Jerusalem was a small highland village that controlled a sparsely settled hinterland. If it had been the capital of a great kingdom with the wherewithal to muster tens of thousands of soldiers, collect tribute from vassals, and maintain garrisons in Aram Damascus and Edom (as the biblical narrative informs us it did), one would expect the presence of administrative buildings and storehouses, even outside the royal compound at the summit of the ridge. One would also expect to see changes in the villages of Judah—from which a significant portion of David’s armies were presumably mobilized and which would stand to benefit at least indirectly from the kingdom’s great wealth. Yet there is not the slightest evidence of any change in the landscape of Judah until the following century. The population remained low and the villages modest and few’ in number throughout the tenth century bce."[7] Of course what I don't know yet is whether they have or he has written more about this. I can find out pretty easily I guess when I have time. Lemche would know. Doug Weller talk 15:08, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

"Josephus claims"? and "Yahweh"[edit]

To Jews, "Yahweh" is a name of God. Writing it as "Yahweh's temple" makes it confusing. Solomon made a temple for God. "Claims" insinuates there's a debate, and that Josephus is a minor view. He isn't. Josephus states. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Potter's best (talkcontribs) 19:01, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

But Yahweh doesn't always refer to God. We should be specific and follow the archaeology where there are inscriptions or reasons to think that the word Yahweh may not mean the monotheistic God of Israel and we should not just substitute "God" for Yahweh. Doug Weller talk 19:27, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Please stop making that change until you have consensus for it. The "states" or even better "says" change is fine; the "Yahweh" > "God" thing is not. As Doug said we locate this in the archeology and the narrative in a scholarly fashion, and that is all about "Yahweh". I don't know what you mean by "God". Jytdog (talk)

Because "says" is better than "states"? right? talking about an edit war, how, because I dared argue with you? According to Jewish sources, the temple was made for Yahweh, the God of the Jews. see Kings i chapter 3-4. "Yahweh" refers to G-d consistently throughout Jewish sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Potter's best (talkcontribs) 22:15, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

Your objection to "claims" was fine. Doesn't matter if it is "states" or "says". I prefer "says" as it is simple and 'states' is kind of wierdly formal but yes "claims" should be replaced. This is discussed in the MOS here: WP:CLAIM. Jytdog (talk) 23:21, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
The Ivory pomegranate says "house of ---h" - it's a big leap from that on a 13th century BCE artefact to the monotheistic God of Israel. Tel Arad may have been dedicated to may have been dedicated to Yahweh and Asherah - again, not the monotheistic God. I've edited the article to be accurate about what we can actually read on the inscription. Doug Weller talk 08:58, 18 May 2016 (UTC)


First, it states with certainty not just that it existed but when it was built. We shouldn't be stating as fact something that is disputed.

Secondly, it mentions archaeologists. Anyone reading that would likely assume there's been archaeological excavations of the temple, but that is not the case. If it were we'd have archaeological evidence.

And although we have no physical evidence, we tell readers that we know what kind of stone was used. I see violations of NPOV and VERIFY. Doug Weller talk 07:05, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

You are entirely correct. Can you propose alternative infobox contents? Zerotalk 08:06, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes per WP:INFOBOX, fields are for facts. Where things are complex or uncertain, I don't think we should have anything in a given field. I had removed Solomon as builder, as that is legend, and the date, as that is uncertain. Agree with the original comments about type of stone and archeologists as well. Is it really disputed that it existed? I don't think that is so... Jytdog (talk) 20:20, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
While we cannot affirm its builder, the existence of the structure isn't legitimately disputed in academics. There is enough proof of its existence that having an infobox is indeed warranted. That being said, it is indeed somewhat unfounded that we include Solomon or Jerusalem stone as certain facts. So I propose a slight compromise. I am performing an additional edit to the infobox for review. If it is not acceptable, it will be deleted and this will be the last on the matter. However, should it be acceptable, we will play it by ear. BedrockPerson (talk) 20:50, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Contrary to what BedrockPerson claims, the existence of the temple is not a fact. It may have existed (I personally believe it did), but we do not know. If it existed, we're not sure where it stood. Probably on the Temple Mount, but that's also an assumption not a fact. If it existed and if it stood on the Temple Mount, we still don't know its measures, who built it, etc. The Bible is not a reliable source for the temple. I see very little point in having an infobox at all, given that there is virtually no single verifiable fact in the infobox. Jeppiz (talk) 22:56, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Well, this is getting pointless. Jytdog, Doug Weller and myself have all explained the problems with having an infobox of this kind. Not only does BedrockPerson completely ignore the consensus, they also continue to edit war even after Jytdog warned them for their edit warring. To summarize: there is a consensus against claiming "facts" in the infobox, there is one single user in favour of it, that user is edit warring, has been warned for edit warring, but just continues to edit war. I'm afraid I have to log off, but I hope someone can do the necessary for paperwork for the block BedrockPerson seems to be applying for. In the meantime, I've restored the last consensus version from before all the recent edit warring by BedrockPerson. We cannot claim as facts things for which there is no consensus, and finding some dubious cherry picked sources does not change that. Over and out for me for today. Jeppiz (talk) 23:17, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Firstly, there is no edit war. I have simply taken what you have provided in the infobox and assigned references to it. There is no indication of an edit war, in fact I find it odd that you are crying edit war when I am backing up references you yourself left in the infobox. Each reference provided is used in other articles, with the possible exception of The Temple Database, which was only used to affirm the compound's height. If we are to consider declaring these references unfit for an article pertaining to their subject matter, I suggest that we comb through every related page and remove them. No unconfirmed or speculative (i.e. ineligible) information was inserted into the infobox. As it stands now, what little evidence we have for this page is being used to its fullest, and there are no implausible, or even unsupported, arguments being made. There is no consensus approved version at this point, it's all just been either you or me. Now that being said, I am aware the term 'consensus' in this parameter is not confined to a number of people, but I have not broken any rules regarding either inserting information OR engaging in an edit war. All I have done is add resources and references to help solidify the viability of the information provided. In fact, all the aforementioned people did in regards to the edit box was slap [citation needed] on a multitude of items, most of which were covered and cited later in the article. If we're letting improvement on such a horrendous edit job pass for vandalism or unconstructive editing, I don't know what I can even say. I'm not going to undo the page or any edits, I feel soon an actual edit war will erupt one way or another. Right now, I'm just going to back off, and let the higher-ups take care of all of this. I'm sorry for causing any grief but at this point, its too late in the day to be dealing with this particular brand of conflict. Just, do whatever you want, I don't care. I'm at least keeping the picture of the Temple up. Regardless, the infobox was a bad choice to begin with, even if these people are erroneously deeming ipso facto information to be wholly false. @Doug Weller: to officially end this at his earliest convenience. BedrockPerson (talk) 23:26, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree that removing the infobox is the best option. Otherwise there will just be a small number of fields with most of them qualified by some clause which is equivalent to "according to the Bible", and I don't think that will be sufficiently useful. BedrockPerson, it is clear you do not have consensus for your version. If you want to continue you should present your proposal here and be prepared to argue for each part of it. Incidentally, the "Excavation dates" field is thoroughly misleading since there have been no excavations at all. Zerotalk 23:36, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@Zero0000: You know I didn't even notice that those dates were listed. It must have gotten carried over when I copy/pasted the Second Temple infobox and I forgot to delete it. Hm. BedrockPerson (talk) 23:37, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
  • i support removing the infobox from this article. there are too few fields we can use and it will just become a magnet for argument. Jytdog (talk) 00:18, 2 January 2017 (UTC)