Pyramid Codes, Playacting, and Veiled Israelite Histories: Pre-Critical Biblical Interpretation and Victorian Archaeology
Biblical archaeology is often thought to have emerged as a positivist hybrid of Victorian Near Eastern studies and the new critical approach to biblical studies. When the results of this emerging field were applied to biblical studies, rather than solely helping focus critical approaches along historical lines, the newly discovered Near Eastern materials opened up interpretation beyond the academy. The enterprise gave pre-critical biblical studies a new life for now there were different and charismatic sources. This paper examines some of the new pre-critical readings of the Bible inspired by archaeology offered by artists, playwrights, showmen, and new religious leaders.