Stepped Structure Unearthed in the City of David

Stepped Structure Unearthed in the City of David. By Davidbena – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Evidence for Iron Age Jerusalem

BAR readers are already familiar with a recent school of Biblical interpretation that denies any historicity to the ancient Israelite kingdom of David and Solomon. I call this the “revisionist” school. Others have described these scholars as “Biblical minimalists” or even “Biblical nihilists.”

Jerusalem in the tenth century B.C.E., when David and Solomon were supposed to have lived, was, according to the Biblical revisionists, hardly a town, let alone a city. It was, they contend, still centuries away from being able to challenge any of the dozens of more powerful small autonomous towns in the region. According to two prominent members of this school of thought, University of Copenhagen scholars Niels Peter Lemche and Thomas Thompson, “[Jerusalem] first took on the form and acquired the status of a city, capable of being understood as a state capital, sometime in the middle of the seventh century.”

Read the rest of Cow Town or Royal Capital? in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.