The New Yorker Attempts to Topple King David

Unpacking the media’s latest ‘did David exist’ archaeology exposé.
Editions of the New Yorker magazine

As statues of eminent historical figures fall around the world, another effort is underway to “topple” the biblical “image” of David. Did the king exist? And if so, was he really ruler over a kingdom of any significance? That’s the premise of the recent New Yorker exposé by Ruth Margalit. Spoiler alert: The article concludes that there is little, if any, evidence—and even if David existed, he certainly didn’t rule a significant kingdom.

The conclusion was not surprising from the New Yorker. What was surprising was that the article content was not about archaeology. In fact, the article was hardly about King David himself!

On today’s program, host Christopher Eames examines the “evidence” presented against King David (or rather, the lack thereof) and the primary focus of the article: a fawning biography of the “generous, witty, courtly, overwhelmingly charming,” anti-David theorist Prof. Israel Finkelstein.

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Show Notes

New Yorker’s ‘Did David Exist?’ Exposé Falls Epicly Short