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The earliest is the victory stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah, from 1208 B. Both the stele and the Bible place a people called the Israelites in the hill country of Canaan, which includes modern-day Israel and Palestine.It is here, between two of history's greatest empires, that Israel's story will unfold.From beneath the sand, appears the corner of a royal monument, carved in stone.Dedicated in honor of Pharaoh Merneptah, son of Ramesses the Great, it became known as the Merneptah Stele. Most of the hieroglyphic inscription celebrates Merneptah's triumph over Libya, his enemy to the West, but almost as an afterthought, he mentions his conquest of people to the East, in just two lines.Then, I think, we are on a very sound ground, historically.Scholars search for intersections between science and scripture.This archeological detective story tackles some of the biggest questions in biblical studies: Where did the ancient Israelites come from? How did the worship of one God—the foundation of modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—emerge?In addition to the Editors' Picks at left, see the original program website for more related features.
In return, Abraham and his people, who will become the Israelites, must worship a single god.
Often called the Old Testament, to distinguish it from the New Testament, which describes the events of early Christianity, today the Hebrew Bible and a belief in one God are woven into the very fabric of world culture.
But in ancient times, all people, from the Egyptians to the Greeks to the Babylonians, worshipped many gods, usually in the form of idols.
Near the banks of the Nile, in southern Egypt, in 1896, British archaeologist Flinders Petrie, leads an excavation in Thebes, the ancient city of the dead.
Here, he unearths one of the most important discoveries in biblical archaeology.
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How did the Israelites, alone among ancient peoples, discover the concept of one god?