FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Perched above the Valley of Elah, where David defeated Goliath, the ancient city of Khirbet Qeiyafa may provide evidence that refutes the recent claims of revisionist scholars who deny the existence of the biblical kingdom of David.
Recent excavations confirm that a Judean kingdom existed in the time of the biblical king David, archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel said during the Joan & Andy Horner Lecture series at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Oct. 2. Garfinkel, who directs the excavation at Khirbet Qeiyafa, serves as professor of prehistoric archaeology and archaeology of the biblical period in Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
According to Garfinkel, revisionist archaeologists have, over the past 30 years, questioned the biblical account by denying the existence of a united kingdom under Kings David and Solomon. These scholars also argue that the southern kingdom of Judah existed only after the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel to the Assyrians in 722 B.C.
“Now, according to our site, we have evidence and radio-carbon dating that show us that Judah indeed started about 1,000 B.C.,” Garfinkel said. On the other hand, the evidence from Khirbet Qeiyafa does not provide information concerning the existence of a united kingdom of Israel and Judah. He briefly added, however, that data from excavations at the ancient city of Tel Gezer may someday provide evidence concerning the existence of a united monarchy.
During a lecture in July, archaeologist Steven Ortiz described the results from five years of research at Tel Gezer. The current research program at Tel Gezer, a biblical city associated with King Solomon, is sponsored by Southwestern Seminary and directed by Ortiz, who serves at the seminary as associate professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds. This spring, Gezer was also featured in an issue of Near Eastern Archaeology, a prominent academic journal published by the American Schools of Oriental Research.
To learn about Southwestern Seminary’s M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in biblical archaeology and about its archaeological field schools, visit For more information on the Joan & Andy Horner Lecture series, which accompanies Southwestern’s Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition, visit