Kenneth Anderson Kitchen
|Born||1932 (age 88–89)|
|Occupation||Bible scholar, archaeologist and Egyptologist|
|Title||Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology|
|Institutions||University of Liverpool|
|Notable works||Ramesside inscriptions: Historical and biographical; The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100-650 BC); On the reliability of the Old Testament|
Kenneth Anderson Kitchen (born 1932) is a British biblical scholar, Ancient Near Eastern historian, and Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, England. He specialises in the ancient Egyptian Ramesside Period (i.e., Dynasties 19-20), and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt, as well as ancient Egyptian chronology, having written over 250 books and journal articles on these and other subjects since the mid-1950s. He has been described by The Times as "the very architect of Egyptian chronology".
His 1972 book The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100-650 BC) is regarded by Egyptologists as the standard and most comprehensive treatment on this era, although current research has called into question some of its specific conclusions. It noted a hitherto unknown period of coregency between Psusennes I with Amenemope and Osorkon III with Takelot III, and established that Shebitku of the 25th Dynasty was already king of Egypt by 702 BC, among other revelations.
Some of its points are now regarded as being rather dated. It stated that Takelot II succeeded Osorkon II at Tanis, whereas most Egyptologists today accept it was Shoshenq III. Secondly, the book presented King Shoshenq II as the High Priest of Amun Shoshenq C, a son of Osorkon I who predeceased his father. However, this interpretation is weakened by the fact that no objects from Shoshenq II's intact burial at Tanis bears Osorkon I's name. Finally, contra Kitchen, most Egyptologists today such as Rolf Krauss, Aidan Dodson and Jürgen von Beckerath accept David Aston's argument that the Crown Prince Osorkon B, Takelot II's son, assumed power as Osorkon III, a king of the 'Theban Twenty-Third Dynasty' in Upper Egypt.
Kenneth Kitchen is regarded as one of the foremost scholars on the Ramesside Period of the New Kingdom; he published a well-respected book on Ramesses II in 1982 titled Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II, King of Egypt. Kitchen is a scholar who advocates a high view of the Old Testament and its inherent historicity. His 2003 book On the Reliability of the Old Testament documents several clear or indirect allusions to King David's status as the founder of Ancient Israel, based on passages in the Tel Dan ('House of David') and Mesha stelas as well as in Shoshenq I's Karnak list.
Kitchen has strongly criticized the new chronology views of David Rohl, who posits that the Biblical Shishak who invaded the Kingdom of Judah in 925 BC was actually Ramesses II rather than Shoshenq I and argues that the 21st and 22nd Dynasties of Egypt were contemporary with one another due to the absence of Dynasty 21 Apis Bull stele in the Serapeum. Kitchen observes that the word Shishak is closer philologically to Shoshenq I and that this Pharaoh records in his monuments at Thebes that he campaigned actively against Ancient Israel and Judah. Kitchen also notes that there are various contemporary non-Serapeum sources such as the Karnak Priestly Annals, the Nile Quay Texts, and various stelas which mention these Dynasty 21 and Dynasty 22 kings.
Kitchen is an evangelical Christian, and has published frequently defending the historicity of the Old Testament. He is an outspoken critic of the documentary hypothesis, publishing various articles and books upholding his viewpoint, arguing that the Bible is historically reliable. Kitchen has also published articles for the Biblical Archaeology Review including, 'Where Did Solomon's Gold Go?' (1989), 'Shishak's Military Campaign in Israel Confirmed' (1989), 'The Patriarchal Age: Myth or History?' (1995) and 'How we know when Solomon ruled' (2001).