New International Version
The New International Version is an English translation of the Bible first published in 1978 by Biblica. The NIV was published to meet the need for a modern translation done by Bible scholars using the earliest, highest quality manuscripts available. Of equal importance was. A team of 15 biblical scholars, representing a variety of denominations, worked from the oldest copies of reliable texts, variously written in Hebrew and Greek; each section was subjected to multiple translations and revisions, those assessed in detail to produce the best option. Everyday Bible readers were used to provide feedback on ease of comprehensibility. Plans were made to continue revision of the Bible as new discoveries were made and as changes in the use of the English language occurred; the NIV is published by Zondervan in the United States and Hodder & Stoughton in the UK. The NIV was updated in 1984 and 2011, has become one of the most popular and best selling modern translations; the NIV began in 1956 with the formation of a small committee to study the value of producing a translation in the common language of the American people.
The project was formally started after a meeting in 1965 at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, of the Christian Reformed Church, National Association of Evangelicals, a group of international scholars. The initial "Committee on Bible Translation" consisted of Leslie Carlson, Edmund Clowney, Ralph Earle, Jr. Burton L. Goddard, R. Laird Harris, Earl S. Kalland, Kenneth Kantzer, Robert H. Mounce, Charles F. Pfeiffer, Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Francis R. Steele, John H. Stek, J. C. Wenger, Stephen W. Paine, Marten Woudstra; the New York Bible Society was selected to do the translation. The New Testament was released in 1973 and the full Bible in 1978; the NIV underwent a minor revision in 1984. In 1997 a new version was published in the UK as the New International Version Inclusive Language Edition, but was not published in the U. S. because of opposition from conservative evangelical groups there to inclusive language. A revised English edition titled Today's New International Version released a New Testament in March 2002, with the complete Bible published February 2005.
In 2011, an updated version of the NIV was released. The update modified and dropped some of the gender-neutral language of the TNIV, along with other changes. Translational issues with Paul's letters were addressed. Keith Danby and chief executive officer of Biblica, speaking of the TNIV, said they had failed to convince people revisions were needed and underestimated readers' loyalty to the 1984 edition. An'easy-reader' version, New International Reader's Version, was published in 1996. In 1979 it was decided to produce a version of the New Testament in Spanish with the title La Santa Biblia, Nueva Versión Internacional though at this point this version was based only on the former English translation of the historic manuscripts. In 1990 the committee on Bible translation headed by Drs. René Padilla and Luciano Jaramillo conducted a translation from the historic manuscripts directly into Spanish of both testaments, bypassing English altogether and producing a complete Spanish NVI Bible in 1999.
The manuscript base for the Old Testament was the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia Masoretic Hebrew Text. Other ancient texts consulted were the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Aquila and Theodotion, the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac Peshitta, the Aramaic Targum, for the Psalms the Juxta Hebraica of Jerome; the manuscript base for the New Testament was the Koine Greek language editions of the United Bible Societies and of Nestle-Aland. The deuterocanonical books are not included in the translation; the core translation group consisted of fifteen Biblical scholars using Hebrew and Greek texts whose goal was to produce a more modern English language text than the King James Version. The translation involved a team of over 100 scholars. From the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa; the range of those participating included many different denominations such as Anglicans, Assemblies of God, Christian Reformed and Presbyterian. The NIV is a balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought or literal and phrase by phrase translations.
Recent archaeological and linguistic discoveries helped in understanding passages that have traditionally been difficult to translate. Familiar spellings of traditional translations were retained. In Genesis 2:19 a translation such as the NRSV uses "formed" in a plain past tense "So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal...". Some have questioned the NIV choice of pluperfect "Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals..." to try to make it appear that the animals had been created. Theologian John Sailhamer states "Not only is such a translation... hardly possible... but it misses the point of the narrative, that the animals were created in response to God's declaration that it was not good that the man should be alone."Biblical scholar Bruce M. Metzger criticized the NIV 1984 edition for the addition of just into Jeremiah 7:22 so the verse becomes "For when I brought your forefathers/ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Metzger criticized the addition of your into Matthew 13:32, so it becomes "Though it is the smallest of all
Concubinage is an interpersonal and sexual relationship in which the couple are not or cannot be married. The inability to marry may be due to multiple factors such as differences in social rank status, an existing marriage, religious or professional prohibitions, or a lack of recognition by appropriate authorities; the woman or man in such a relationship is referred to as a concubine. In Judaism, a concubine is a marital companion of inferior status to a wife. A concubine among polygamous peoples is a secondary wife of inferior rank; the prevalence of concubinage and the status of rights and expectations of a concubine have varied among cultures, as have the rights of children of a concubine. Whatever the status and rights of the concubine, they were always inferior to those of the wife and neither she nor her children had rights of inheritance. Concubinage was entered into voluntarily as it provided a measure of economic security for the woman. Involuntary or servile concubinage sometimes involved sexual slavery of one member of the relationship the woman.
Sexual relations outside marriage were not uncommon among royalty and nobility, the woman in such relationships was described as a mistress. The children of such relationships were counted as illegitimate and were barred from inheriting the father's title or estates in the absence of legitimate heirs. While forms of long-term sexual relationships and co-habitation short of marriage have become common in the Western world, these are not described as concubinage; the terms concubinage and concubine are used today when referring to non-marital partnerships of earlier eras. In modern usage, a non-marital domestic relationship is referred to as co-habitation, the woman in such a relationship is referred to as a girlfriend, fiancée, lover or life partner. Concubinage was popular before the early 20th century all over East Asia; the main function of concubinage was producing additional heirs, as well as bringing males pleasure. Children of concubines had lower rights in account to inheritance, regulated by the Dishu system.
In China, successful men had concubines until the practice was outlawed when the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949. The standard Chinese term translated as "concubine" was qiè 妾, a term, used since ancient times, which means "concubine. Concubinage resembled marriage in that concubines were recognized sexual partners of a man and were expected to bear children for him. Unofficial concubines are of lower status, their children are considered illegitimate; the English term concubine is used for what the Chinese refer to as pínfēi, or "consorts of emperors", an official position carrying a high rank. In premodern China it was illegal and disreputable for a man to have more than one wife at a time, but it was acceptable to have concubines. In the earliest records a man could have as many concubines. From the Eastern Han period onward, the number of concubines a man could have was limited by law; the higher rank and the more noble identity a man possessed, the more concubines he was permitted to have.
A concubine's treatment and situation was variable and was influenced by the social status of the male to whom she was attached, as well as the attitude of his wife. In the Book of Rites chapter on "The Pattern of the Family" it says, “If there were betrothal rites, she became a wife. Wives brought a dowry to a relationship. A concubinage relationship could be entered into without the ceremonies used in marriages, neither remarriage nor a return to her natal home in widowhood were allowed to a concubine; the position of the concubine was inferior to that of the wife. Although a concubine could produce heirs, her children would be inferior in social status to a wife's children, although they were of higher status than illegitimate children; the child of a concubine had to show filial duty to two women, their biological mother and their legal mother—the wife of their father. After the death of a concubine, her sons would make an offering to her, but these offerings were not continued by the concubine's grandsons, who only made offerings to their grandfather’s wife.
There are early records of concubines being buried alive with their masters to "keep them company in the afterlife". Until the Song dynasty, it was considered a serious breach of social ethics to promote a concubine to a wife. During the Qing dynasty, the status of concubines improved, it became permissible to promote a concubine to wife, if the original wife had died and the concubine was the mother of the only surviving sons. Moreover, the prohibition against forcing a widow to remarry was extended to widowed concubines. During this period tablets for concubine-mothers seem to have been more placed in family ancestral altars, genealogies of some lineages listed concubine-mothers. Imperial concubines, kept by emperors in the Forbidden City, had different ranks and were traditionally guarded by eunuchs to ensure that they could not be impregnated by anyone but the emperor. In Ming China there was an official system to select concubines for the emperor; the age of the candidates ranged from 14 to 16.
Virtues, character and body condition were the selection criteria. Despite the limitations imposed on Chinese concubines, there are several examples in history
The Israelites were a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods. According to the religious narrative of the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites' origin is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham and his wife Sarah, through their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca, their son Jacob, called Israel, whence they derive their name, with his wives Leah and Rachel and the handmaids Zilpa and Bilhah. Modern archaeology has discarded the historicity of the religious narrative, with it being reframed as constituting an inspiring national myth narrative; the Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the indigenous Canaanite peoples that long inhabited the Southern Levant, ancient Israel, the Transjordan region through the development of a distinct monolatristic—later cementing as monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
The outgrowth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites. In the Hebrew Bible the term Israelites is used interchangeably with the term Twelve Tribes of Israel. Although related, the terms Hebrews and Jews are not interchangeable in all instances. "Israelites" refers to the direct descendants of any of the sons of the patriarch Jacob, his descendants as a people are collectively called "Israel", including converts to their faith in worship of the god of Israel, Yahweh. "Hebrews", on the contrary, is used to denote the Israelites' immediate forebears who dwelt in the land of Canaan, the Israelites themselves, the Israelites' ancient and modern descendants. "Jews" is used to denote the descendants of the Israelites who coalesced when the Tribe of Judah absorbed the remnants of various other Israelite tribes. Thus, for instance, Abraham was a Hebrew but he was not technically an Israelite nor a Jew, Jacob was both a Hebrew and the first Israelite but not a Jew, while David was all three, a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Judahite.
A Samaritan, on the contrary, while being both a Hebrew and an Israelite, is not a Jew. During the period of the divided monarchy "Israelites" was only used to refer to the inhabitants of the northern Kingdom of Israel, it is only extended to cover the people of the southern Kingdom of Judah in post-exilic usage; the Israelites are the ethnic stock from which modern Jews and Samaritans trace their ancestry. Modern Jews are named after and descended from the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Many Israelites took refuge in the Kingdom of Judah following the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel. In Judaism, the term "Israelite" is, broadly speaking, used to refer to a lay member of the Jewish ethnoreligious group, as opposed to the priestly orders of Kohanim and Levites. In texts of Jewish law such as the Mishnah and Gemara, the term יהודי, meaning Jew, is used, instead the ethnonym ישראלי, or Israelite, is used to refer to Jews. Samaritans refer to themselves and to Jews collectively as Israelites, they describe themselves as the Israelite Samaritans.
The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, derived from the Greek Ισραηλίτες, used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b'nei yisrael, יִשְׂרָאֵל as either "sons of Israel" or "children of Israel". The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29, it refers to the renaming of Jacob, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel, who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had "striven with God and with men, have prevailed". The Hebrew Bible etymologizes the name as from yisra "to prevail over" or "to struggle/wrestle with", el, "God, the divine"; the name Israel first appears in non-biblical sources c. 1209 BCE, in an inscription of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. The inscription is brief and says simply: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not"; the inscription refers to a people, not to a nation-state. In modern Hebrew, b'nei yisrael can denote the Jewish people at any time in history. From the period of the Mishna the term Yisrael acquired an additional narrower meaning of Jews of legitimate birth other than Levites and Aaronite priests.
In modern Hebrew this contrasts with the term Yisraeli, a citizen of the modern State of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The term Hebrew has Eber as an eponymous ancestor, it is used synonymously with "Israelites", or as an ethnolinguistic term for historical speakers of the Hebrew language in general. The Greek term Ioudaioi was an exonym referring to members of the Tribe of Judah, which formed the nucleus of the kingdom of Judah, was adopted as a self-designation by people in the diaspora who identified themselves as loyal to the God of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem; the Samaritans, who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, are named after the Israelite Kingdom of Samaria, but until modern times many Jewish authorities contested their claimed lineage, deeming them to have been conquered foreigners w
Tribe of Judah
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Judah was one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Judah, its conquests, the centrality of its capital in Jerusalem for the worship of the god Yahweh figure prominently in the Deuteronomistic history, encompassing the books of Deuteronomy through II Kings, which most scholars agree was reduced to written form, although subject to exilic and post-exilic alterations and emendations, during the reign of the Judahist reformer Josiah from 641–609 BCE. According to the account in the Book of Joshua, following a partial conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes. Judah's divinely ordained portion is described in Joshua 15 as encompassing most of the southern portion of the Land of Israel, including the Negev, the Wilderness of Zin and Jerusalem. However, the consensus of modern scholars is. Other scholars point to extra-biblical references to Israel and Canaan as evidence for the potential historicity of the conquest.
In the opening words of the Book of Judges, following the death of Joshua, the Israelites "asked the Lord" which tribe should be first to go to occupy its allotted territory, the tribe of Judah was identified as the first tribe. According to the narrative in the Book of Judges, the tribe of Judah invited the tribe of Simeon to fight with them in alliance to secure each of their allotted territories; as is the case with Joshua, most scholars do not believe that the book of Judges contains reliable history. The Book of Samuel describes God's repudiation of a monarchic line arising from the northern Tribe of Benjamin due to the sinfulness of King Saul, bestowed onto the Tribe of Judah for all time in the person of King David. In Samuel's account, after the death of Saul, all the tribes other than Judah remained loyal to the House of Saul, while Judah chose David as its king. However, after the death of Ish-bosheth, Saul's son and successor to the throne of Israel, all the other Israelite tribes made David, the king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel.
The Book of Kings follows the expansion and unparalleled glory of the United Monarchy under King Solomon. A majority of scholars believe that the accounts concerning David and Solomon's territory in the "united monarchy" are exaggerated, a minority believe that the "united monarchy" never existed at all. Disagreeing with the latter view, Old Testament scholar Walter Dietrich contends that the biblical stories of circa 10th-century BCE monarchs contain a significant historical kernel and are not late fictions. On the accession of Rehoboam, Solomon's son, in c. 930 BCE, the ten northern tribes under the leadership of Jeroboam from the Tribe of Ephraim split from the House of David to create the Northern Kingdom in Samaria. The Book of Kings is uncompromising in its low opinion of its larger and richer neighbor to the north, understands its conquest by Assyria in 722 BCE as divine retribution for the Kingdom's return to idolatry; the tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to the House of David.
These tribes formed the Kingdom of Judah, which existed until Judah was conquered by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and the population deported. When the Jews returned from Babylonian exile, residual tribal affiliations were abandoned because of the impossibility of reestablishing previous tribal land holdings. However, the special religious roles decreed for the Levites and Kohanim were preserved, but Jerusalem became the sole place of worship and sacrifice among the returning exiles and southerners alike. According to the biblical account, at its height, the Tribe of Judah was the leading tribe of the Kingdom of Judah, occupied most of the territory of the kingdom, except for a small region in the north east occupied by Benjamin, an enclave towards the south west, occupied by Simeon. Bethlehem and Hebron were the main cities within the territory of the tribe; the size of the territory of the tribe of Judah meant that in practice it had four distinct regions: The Negev – the southern portion of the land, suitable for pasture The Shephelah – the coastal region, between the highlands and the Mediterranean sea, used for agriculture, in particular for grains The wilderness – the barren region next to the Dead Sea, below sea level.
In biblical times, this region was further subdivided into three sections – the wilderness of En Gedi, the wilderness of Judah, the wilderness of Maon. The hill country – the elevated plateau situated between the Shephelah and the wilderness, with rocky slopes but fertile soil; this region was used for the production of grain, olives and other fruit, hence produced oil and wine. According to the Torah, the tribe consisted of descendants of Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and of Leah; some Biblical scholars view this as an etiological myth created in hindsight to explain the tribe's name and connect it to the other tribes in the Israelite confederation. With Leah as a matriarch, Biblical scholars regard the tribe as having been believed by the text's authors to have been part of the original Israelite confederation. Like the other tribes of the kingdom of Judah, the tribe of Judah is absent from the ancient Song of Deborah, rather than present but described as unwilling to assist in the battle between Israelites and their enemy.
Traditionally, this has been explained as being due to the southern kingdom being too f
The Septuagint is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew. It is estimated that the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. Considered the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is quoted a number of times in the New Testament,particularly in the Pauline epistles,by the Apostolic Fathers, by the Greek Church Fathers; the full title in Ancient Greek: Ἡ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα μετάφρασις "The Translation of the Seventy", derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas that the Septuagint was translated at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by 70 Jewish scholars who independently produced identical translations. The miraculous character of the Aristeas legend is indicative of the esteem in which the translation was held in the ancient Jewish diaspora and early Christian circles, it is clear that a Greek translation was in circulation among the Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew, but in Greek.
The evidence of Egyptian papyri from the period have led most scholars to view as probable Aristeas's dating of the translation of the Pentateuch to the third century BCE. Whatever share the Ptolemaic court may have had in the translation, it satisfied a need felt by the Jewish community, among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was waning before the demands of every-day life." While there are other contemporaneous Greek versions of the Old Testament, most did not survive except as fragments. Modern critical editions of the Septuagint are based on the Codices Vaticanus and Alexandrinus; the Septuagint derives its name from the Latin versio septuaginta interpretum, "translation of the seventy interpreters", Greek: ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, hē metáphrasis tōn hebdomḗkonta, "translation of the seventy". However, it was not until the time of Augustine of Hippo that the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures came to be called by the Latin term Septuaginta; the Roman numeral LXX is used as an abbreviation G or G. Seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria.
This narrative is found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, is repeated by Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and by various sources, including St. Augustine; the story is found in the Tractate Megillah of the Babylonian Talmud: King Ptolemy once gathered 72 Elders. He placed them in 72 chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why they were summoned, he entered each one's room and said: "Write for me the Torah of Moshe, your teacher". God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically. Philo of Alexandria, who relied extensively on the Septuagint, says that the number of scholars was chosen by selecting six scholars from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. According to rabbinic tradition, the Septuagint was handed in to Ptolemy on the date of an annual fast and mourning for the Jewish people; the date of the 3rd century BCE is supported by a number of factors, including the Greek being representative of early Koine, citations beginning as early as the 2nd century BCE, early manuscripts datable to the 2nd century.
After the Torah, other books were translated over the next two to three centuries. It is not altogether clear, translated when, or where; the quality and style of the different translators varied from book to book, from the literal to paraphrasing to interpretative. The translation process of the Septuagint itself and from the Septuagint into other versions can be broken down into several distinct stages, during which the social milieu of the translators shifted from Hellenistic Judaism to Early Christianity; the translation of the Septuagint itself began in the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE in Alexandria, but in time elsewhere as well. The Septuagint is the basis for the Old Latin, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament; the Septuagint is written in Koine Greek. Some sections of the Septuagint may show Semiticisms, or idioms and phrases based on Semitic languages like Hebrew and Aramaic. Other books, such as Daniel and Proverbs, show Greek influence more strongly.
The Septuagint may elucidate pronunciation of pre-Masoretic Hebrew: many proper nouns are spelled out with Greek vowels in the translation, while contemporary Hebrew texts lacked vowel pointing. However, it is unlikely; as the work of translation progressed, the canon of the Greek Bible expanded. The Hebrew bible called Tanakh, has three divisions: the Torah, the Neviʾim, the Ketuvim; the Septuagint has four: law, history and prophets, with the books of the Apocrypha inserted where appropriate. The Torah has held pre-eminence as the basis of the canon.
Kingdom of Israel (united monarchy)
The United Monarchy is the name given to the Israelite kingdom of Israel and Judah, during the reigns of Saul and Solomon, as depicted in the Hebrew Bible. This is traditionally dated between 1050 BCE and 930 BCE. On the succession of Solomon's son, around 930 BCE, the biblical account reports that the country split into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel in the north and the Kingdom of Judah in the south. In contemporary scholarship the united monarchy is held to be a literary construction and not a historical reality, pointing to the lack of archaeological evidence, it is accepted that a "House of David" existed, but many believe that David could have only been the monarch or chieftain of Judah, small, that the northern kingdom was a separate development. There are some dissenters to this view. According to standard source criticism, a number of distinct source texts were spliced together to produce the current Books of Samuel; the most prominent in the early parts of the first book are the pro-monarchical source and the anti-monarchical source.
In identifying these two sources, two separate accounts can be reconstructed. The anti-monarchical source describes Samuel as having routed the Philistines, yet begrudgingly accepting the people's demand for a ruler, subsequently appointing Saul by cleromancy; the pro-monarchical source describes the divinely appointed birth of Saul, his leading of an army to victory over the Ammonites, resulted in the clamouring of the people for him to lead them against the Philistines, whereupon he is appointed king. Textual critics point to disparities in the account of David's rise to power as indicative of separate threads being merged to create a Golden Age of a united monarchy. David is thought by scholars to have been a ruler in Judah, while Israel, comparatively immense and developed, continued unfettered. Modern archaeology supports this view. Most scholars believe the Books of Samuel exhibit too many anachronisms to have been a contemporary account. For example, there is mention of armor, use of camels and iron picks and axes.
The historicity of the conquest described in the Book of Samuel is not attested, many scholars regard this conquest as legendary in origin given the lack of evidence for the battles described involving the destruction of the Canaanite peoples. Most scholars believe that Samuel was compiled in the 8th century BCE based on both historical and legendary sources serving to fill the gap in Israelite history after the events described in Deuteronomy; this gap in the historical record is characteristic of the Late Bronze Age collapse. According to Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman, authors of The Bible Unearthed, ideas of a united monarchy are not accurate history but rather "creative expressions of a powerful religious reform movement," "based on certain historical kernels." Finkelstein and Silberman do accept that David and Solomon were real kings of Judah about the 10th century BCE, but they cite the fact that the earliest independent reference to the Kingdom of Israel dates to about 890 BCE, while that for the kingdom of Judah dates to about 750 BCE.
This is supported by Jonathan Tubb, who argues that the story of the united monarchy was fabricated as a Golden Age tale during the Exile. He accepts the historicity of David and Solomon but cautions that "hey must be seen... as local folk heroes and not as rulers of international status." Oded Lipschits wrote in the Jewish Study Bible that "the premonarchic period long ago became a literary description of the mythological roots, the early beginnings of the nation and the way to describe the right of Israel on its land. The archeological evidence does not support the existence of a united monarchy under David and Solomon as described in the Bible, so the rubric of "united monarchy" is best abandoned, although it remains useful for discussing how the Bible views the Israelite past". On the other hand, while Amélie Kuhrt does acknowledge that "there are no royal inscriptions from the time of the united monarchy, not a single contemporary reference to either David or Solomon," she concludes that "gainst this must be set the evidence for substantial development and growth at several sites, plausibly related to the tenth century."
Kenneth Kitchen reaches a similar conclusion, arguing that "the physical archaeology of tenth-century Canaan is consistent with the former existence of a unified state on its terrain." Excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, an Iron Age site located in Judah, found an urbanized settlement radiocarbon dated well before scholars such as Finklestein suggest urbanization began in Judah, supporting existence of a Judahite kingdom. The Israel Antiquities Authority stated: "The excavations at Khirbat Qeiyafa reveal an urban society that existed in Judah in the late eleventh century BCE, it can no longer be argued that the Kingdom of Judah developed only in the late eighth century BCE or at some other date." The techniques and interpretations used to reach some conclusions related to Khirbet Qeiyafa have been criticized by some scholars, among them Finkelstein and Alexander Fantalkin of Tel Aviv Un
Bethlehem is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank, about 10 km south of Jerusalem. Its population is 25,000 people, it is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate. The economy is tourist-driven; the earliest known mention of the city was in the Amarna correspondence of 1350–1330 BCE during its habitation by the Canaanites. The Hebrew Bible, which says that the city of Bethlehem was built up as a fortified city by Rehoboam, identifies it as the city David was from and where he was crowned as the king of Israel; the Gospels of Matthew and Luke identify Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Bethlehem was destroyed by the Emperor Hadrian during the second-century Bar Kokhba revolt; the church was badly damaged by the Samaritans, who sacked it during a revolt in 529, but was rebuilt a century by Emperor Justinian I. Bethlehem became part of Jund Filastin following the Muslim conquest in 637. Muslim rule continued in Bethlehem until its conquest in 1099 by a crusading army, who replaced the town's Greek Orthodox clergy with a Latin one.
In the mid-13th century, the Mamluks demolished the city's walls, which were subsequently rebuilt under the Ottomans in the early 16th century. Control of Bethlehem passed from the Ottomans to the British at the end of World War I. Bethlehem came under Jordanian rule during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Since the 1995 Oslo Accords, Bethlehem has been administered by the Palestinian Authority. Bethlehem now has a Muslim majority, but is still home to a significant Palestinian Christian community. Bethlehem's chief economic sector is tourism, which peaks during the Christmas season when Christians make pilgrimage to the Church of the Nativity, as they have done for 2,000 years. Bethlehem has 300 handicraft workshops. Rachel's Tomb, an important Jewish holy site, is located at the northern entrance of Bethlehem; the earliest reference to Bethlehem appears in the Amarna correspondence. In one of his six letters to Pharaoh, Abdi-Heba, Egypt's governor for Jerusalem, appeals for aid in retaking Bit-Laḫmi in the wake of disturbances by Apiru mercenaries: "Now a town near Jerusalem, Bit-Lahmi by name, a village which once belonged to the king, has fallen to the enemy...
Let the king hear the words of your servant Abdi-Heba, send archers to restore the imperial lands of the king!" It is thought that the similarity of this name to its modern forms indicates that this was a settlement of Canaanites who shared a Semitic cultural and linguistic heritage with the arrivals. Laḫmu was the Akkadian god of fertility, worshipped by the Canaanites as Leḥem; some time in the third millennium BCE, Canaanites erected a temple on the hill now known as the Hill of the Nativity dedicated to Lehem. The temple, subsequently the town that formed around it, would have been known as Beyt Leḥem, "House of Lehem"; the Philistines established a garrison there. Biblical scholar William F. Albright noted that the pronunciation of the name remained the same for 3,500 years, but has meant different things: "'Temple of the God Lakhmu' in Canaanite,'House of Bread' in Hebrew and Aramaic,'House of Meat' in Arabic."A burial ground discovered in spring 2013, surveyed in 2015 by a joint Italian-Palestinian team found that the necropolis covered 3 hectares and contained more than 100 tombs in use between 2200 B.
C. and 650 B. C; the archaeologists were able to identify at least 30 tombs. Archaeological confirmation of Bethlehem as a city in the Kingdom of Judah was uncovered in 2012 at the archaeological dig at the City of David in the form of a bulla in ancient Hebrew script that reads "From the town of Bethlehem to the King," indicating that it was used to seal the string closing a shipment of grain, wine, or other goods sent as a tax payment in the 8th or 7th century BCE. Biblical scholars believe Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath, which means "fertile", as there is a reference to it in the Book of Micah as Bethlehem Ephratah; the Bible calls it Beth-Lehem Judah, the New Testament describes it as the "City of David". It is first mentioned in the Tanakh and the Bible as the place where the matriarch Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside". Rachel's Tomb, the traditional grave site, stands at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Book of Ruth, the valley to the east is where Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields and returned to town with Naomi.
It was the home of Jesse, father of King David of Israel, the site of David's anointment by the prophet Samuel. It was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his warriors brought him water when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam. Writing in the 4th century, the Pilgrim of Bordeaux reported that the sepulchers of David, Asaph, Job and Solomon were located near Bethlehem. There has been no corroboration of this; the Gospel of Matthew 1:18–2:23 and the Gospel of Luke 2:1–39 represent Jesus as having been born in Bethlehem. Modern scholars, regard the two accounts as contradictory and the Gospel of Mark, the earliest gospel, mentions nothing about Jesus having been born in Bethlehem, saying only that he came from Nazaret