Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come from?

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Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? is a book by American biblical scholar and archaeologist William G. Dever.[1]

Dever has been prominent in the debate between biblical "maximalists" and "minimalists" over the historicity of the Bible (specifically the Old Testament). This book, which coincided with Dever's retirement from the University of Arizona, where he served as professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology for many years, was written on a semi-popular level to explain the background and origin of the people Dever describes as the "protoIsraelites."[2] It followed an earlier book, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?, in which Dever, contrary to the "minimalists", asserted that the writers of the Old Testament knew a good deal about the Israelites' past.[3]


  1. ^ Dever, William G. (2003). Who were the early Israelites, and where did they come from?. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-0975-8.
  2. ^ Ralph Hawkins, Review of "Who Were the Early Israelites",[dead link] Biblical Theological Bulletin, Fall 2003
  3. ^ John Barclay Burns, review of Who Were the Early Israelites?,[dead link] Biblical Theological Bulletin, Spring 2004