I'm looking to increase my knowledge of biblical archeology. As an orthodox jew, I'd prefer a book which takes a more traditional view with regards to the historicity of tanach. Any suggestions?

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    Note to potential answerers: As always with these types of questions, an answer containing just a title will likely be deleted. Answers should include, besides a title (and similar bibliographic information), an explanation, possibly brief, of how the book in question serves the asker's stated needs.
    – msh210
    Jun 25, 2014 at 0:21
  • @msh210 I assume that means that I should put more detail/summary in the answer below? Jun 25, 2014 at 2:08
  • @Matt yours looks okay to me. But you can see what the community thinks.
    – msh210
    Jun 25, 2014 at 4:56

4 Answers 4


The Riddle of the Exodus by James Long adheres fairly well to Orthodox religious beliefs (it was recommended to me by an Orthodox Rabbi), and discusses much of the relevant archaeology. The book's focus is, like the title, on the Exodus: showing that the decline of the great empire of Egypt corresponds with the time of the Biblical story of its destruction and how the plagues etc. fit with the relevant historical and archaeological evidence. The book isn't really so 'academic' and doesn't really meet scholarly standards, but there you go.

Kenneth Kitchen is a well known historian known to believe in Tanakh as well. His main book on the subject is "On the Reliability of the Old Testament", which is more of a proof-of-Tanakh book than it is meant to be a general overview of the history/archaeology. But he has other books that do that as well. On that book's link on Amazon, this book, "Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition" by James Hoffmeier, is also suggested, and it looks good but I've never read it myself. Similarly, I've heard good things about "A Biblical History of Israel", but that too I haven't read myself.


Some books that I suggest that take a more Torah orientated view on Archeology:

  1. מקרא מול ארכיאולוגיה by דניאל משה לוי, יוסף רוטשטיין (Reuven Mass Publishing, 2011) cover many psukim of Tanach with archeological findings. Daniel Moshe Levi is an Archeologist expert from Bar-Ilan University. There is an interesting article here in which they deal with some aspects of Archaeology and the Exodus from Egypt.

  2. The Accuracy Of The Bible by the Jewish polymath and researcher Abraham Shalom Yahuda cover the stories of Yosef, the Exodus and Genesis confirmed and illustrated by Egyptian monuments and language.

  3. Biblical Personalities and Archaeology by Professor of Bible and Jewish History Leila Leah Bronner (Keter Publishing House, 1974) establishes relationships between biblical profiles and artefacts within archaeological evidences.

  4. Daily Life in Biblical Times by Oded Borowski (Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) addresses cultural, social, and religious activities in Israelite society in biblical times. The author is Associate Professor of Biblical Archaeology at Emory University.

  5. Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest by David M. Rohl (Three Rivers Press, 1997) sets a better correlation between the findings of archaeology and the Bible by revising Egyptian chronology.

  6. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible by the Israeli archaeologist Amihai Mazar (Yale University Press, 1992) offers a comprehensive overview, updated and objective of the traces left in Israel over 12 thousand years. The book covers the period from the farming communities of the Neolithic, dating back to approximately 10,000 BCE until the year 586 BCE, when it began the Babylonian domination period.

  7. Exodus: The Egyptian Evidence by Ernest S. Frerichs (Eisenbrauns, 1997) addresses the main indirect evidences to Exodus.

I hope this will be of some help.

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    Another book by the first book's authors is online here
    – b a
    Apr 8, 2018 at 15:50

Asimov's Guide to the Bible by Isaac Asimov takes an academic view but includes information about both miraculous and mundane archaeology. He does invoke rabbinical sources and I was surprised that certain things are actually supported. Og's bed, for example, is indeed visible to this day.


The perfect book for an orthodox Jew interested in archaeology is: Excavating the Bible by Yitzchak Meitlis Ph.d. it features an approbation by Rabbi Pinchas Stopper attesting to the authors yiras shamayim.

Bio from amazon: About the Author Yitzhak Meitlis, PhD, received his doctorate in archaeology from Tel Aviv University. He also holds degrees from the Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University. He is a professor of biblical archaeology at Herzog College.

In 2005 he was honored with the Minister of Education Prize for innovation in Jewish Studies. They said, There are but few who combine a profound knowledge of the Bible and its traditional commentators together with an inside understanding of modern archaeological research. Meitlis is one of the most promising of those

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