A four-part documentary series that attempts to cast more light on the world's best-selling book, by analyzing its history and the archaeological evidence for the Old Testament.
Based on the 2002 book “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's new vision of ancient Israel and the origin of its sacred text” by Prof. Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University and Neil Silberman of the Ename Centre of Public Archaeology in Belgium, this series brings together scientific findings as well as archaeological discoveries to try and cast light on whether certain aspects of biblical history are true. By particularly analyzing the Old Testament collection of books, the archaeologists' findings challenge the original Biblical stories in addition to creating contentious debate about the history of the nation of Israel.
In The Bible Unearthed, Israel Finkelstein and historian Neil Silberman compare the discoveries made by archaeology with biblical texts to test the historical veracity of the Old Testament; the foundation text of the three main monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Some of their findings challenge both the original biblical stories and the scope of 'biblical archaeology' that prevailed from the 19th century to the 1930s.
Considering the Bible is one of the most analyzed books in all of literature, that it raises contentious debate is nothing new. What is new, however; are the assertions of Finkelstein and Silberman, including that the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never existed; and that the exodus and the conquest of Canaan - the 'promised land' - never actually happened. While many scholars dispute the assertions of Finkelstein and Silberman, what is certain is that the debate these assertions have raised casts a shadow of doubt over what has been regarded as history by so many; in particular affecting the history of Israel as a nation.