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William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971) is a towering figure in modern biblical studies whose shadow still looms large in the field today. Albright received his PhD at Johns Hopkins under Paul Haupt, whose position he later replaced. He had the greatest contribution to archaeology, not only is he considered the “dean of biblical archaeology” but he is also an important frontrunner in establishing the ceramic typology of Palestine. His contribution in epigraphy and early alphabetic inscriptions continue to be important, and perhaps his greatest influence that remains are the enduring influence of his many students such as Freedman, Cross, Lambdin, Dahood, Moran, and Fitzmyer. Albright was firm believer in the essential historicity of the biblical account and looked mainly to archaeology and other ancient Near Eastern evidence to bear this out. Freedman contends that Albright was no historian, but was interested in the Bible and comparative religion. Much of Albright’s positivist worldview about the objectivity of archaeology and its positive support for the Bible has been subsequently called into question even by his students.

BibliographyEdit

DBI (Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation)I:22-23; Gignilliat, A Brief History of Old Testament Criticism, chapter 6