In 1992 Philip R. Davies, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield, provoked a storm that still rages in academic circles by arguing that both archaeological evidence and clear thinking about the Bible narrative forced one to conclude that the Israel of the Bible never existed. 

There was no historical Abraham, no real-life Moses, no Kingdom of David and Solomon. The Israel of the Bible, he argued, was a story-book fiction written as late as (even late) Persian times. Another author, Thomas L. Thompson, compared the Biblical story of ancient Israel with the myth of King Arthur and his kingdom of Camelot.

This web site summarizes central arguments from Philip R. Davies' In Search of 'Ancient Israel' as he attempts to locate where the idea of the Israel of the Bible narratives originated.

The Bible: History or Story?

Common Sense and Credulity

The First Problem in the Search

The Archaeological Evidence for the Existence of Ancient Israel

Origins of the Israel of the Bible's narrative

Who wrote the Bible books, and where, how and why?

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