It Ain’t Necessarily So is a well-crafted book which recounts recent archaeological investigations in the Holy Land. It attempts to show how much or how little the archaeologists have found that matches the stories of the Old Testament. Bringing in history, archaeology, and new research, the author looks at such subjects as the truth behind Jericho’s ‘tumbling’ walls, the mystery of the Promised Land, who was Solomon, when did the Jews become monotheists, what was Zion, and when were the texts of the Old Testament actually written?
The book offers fresh, sometimes unsettling, perspectives on the Bible and its history–results which are not encouraging for Biblical fundamentalists as the author concludes that virtually all of the early stories of the Bible are fabrications. Not surprisingly, however, the later in history the more the archaeological evidence coincides with the Biblical accounts.
The author is a professional writer with an interest in historical subjects. He has researched the book professionally and presents the facts with admirable detachment. The problem with the book is that it feels researched by a writer rather than written by an enthusiastic expert. Despite this criticism, it provides a readable and fascinating insight into the historical background of the Bible. If there is a scepticism about the Biblical account there is also a proper scepticism about the conclusions of the rather inexact science of archaeology. As a result we are often left with tantalising questions about Biblical times which will probably never be answered.