You can find a lot of different views on the internet about the accuracy of Old Testament history and how archaeology does, or doesn’t, support the Old Testament accounts. Minimalist historians, and internet sceptics, will tell you it’s almost all invented myth, while maximalist historians and christian apologists will tell you that archaeology supports the truth of the entire Bible.
How does an honest seeker after the truth find a way between the conflicting extremes to a fair understanding?
The best way, it seems to me, is to read an expert who is as unbiased as possible, with a slight leaning towards the sceptical. That way, I can be reasonably confident that anything the expert tells me is likely to be accurate, and maybe a little more besides.
So it was with these expectations that I purchased and read William Dever’s Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah. And it lived up to my hopes.