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The Penultimate CuriosityHow Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions$
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Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.001.0001

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By the Waters of Babylon

By the Waters of Babylon

(p.343) Chapter Forty-Two By the Waters of Babylon
The Penultimate Curiosity

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Oxford University Press

The story of the exile and the seemingly miraculous return of the Jewish people to their homeland was the apparent context for the writing and editing of a large percentage of the Old Testament. The Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles both end with descriptions of the fall of Jerusalem and the forced transport of its people to Babylon. But had these events actually happened? While late-nineteenth-century evangelicals were committed to reading every word of Scripture as literal truth, late-nineteenth-century sceptics were equally committed to reading it as wholly mythological. This chapter shows that the archaeological traces of the Babylonian captivity were dug up in reverse order.

Keywords:   Babylon, Bible, exile, Book of Kings, Book of Chronicles, biblical writings, Jehoiachin

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