Who Was Israel’s First King? No, It Was Not Saul

The biblical King Saul and the boy David

During the nineteenth and early twentieth century archaeological dig after archaeological dig seemed to strongly support the historical claims of the Bible. But by the end of the twentieth century, most archaeologists rejected the historicity of the Exodus, the Conquest of Canaan, and the United Monarchy of David and Solomon. The Bible was no longer seen as an historically reliable book.

What happened?

If you ask conservative Christians, the change occurred due to a sinister conspiracy among liberal and atheist archaeologists to discredit the Bible and Christianity. “Good” archaeologists still believe in the historical accuracy of the Bible, apologists assure their Christian audiences.

Most archaeologists will scoff at this explanation. The reason that archaeology as a field has changed its opinion on the historical reliability of the Bible has nothing to do with an agenda against Christianity and everything to do with evidence. New and improved methods of evaluating the archaeological evidence just do not support the historical claims of much of the Bible, in particular in regards to the formation of the kingdom of Israel.

So who was the first king of Israel, based on the archaeological evidence: Saul? David? Solomon? No, no, and no. The answer is: Omri, the father of Ahab.

Excerpt from World Archaeology:

According to the Bible, David and his son Solomon were powerful kings who ruled the kingdom of Israel from their capital at Jerusalem. After Solomon’s death, at the end of the 10th century BC, the Bible states that their kingdom divided, never again to reach such opulent heights. But was this really so?

Drawing on a gamut of archaeological evidence, a new picture emerges – one that dates the appearance of the Kingdom of Israel to the 9th century BC, puts its original capital at Samaria, and casts King Omri and his son King Ahab as Israel’s first kings.

Gary: the authors of the Christian Bible, from the anonymous authors of the Gospels to Paul of Tarsus, believed in the historical reliability of the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament), in particular the historical reality of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon and the stories about them. Most modern archaeologists doubt these characters ever existed.

What does that say about Christianity?

Christian apologists can appeal to (alleged) first century eyewitness testimony as evidence for the veracity of Christianity but if archaeological evidence indicates that Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon did not exist, Jesus was a liar or a fool, as he too believed in the historicity of these characters.

Archaeological evidence is much stronger evidence than disputed eyewitness testimony, my friends.

Christianity is a fraud.

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End of post.

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