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Archive for the ‘Archaeology’ Category

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

In Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, Archaeology, commentary, HB/OT, John H. Walton, Kurtis Peters, Zondervan on June 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

ZIBBC

2015.06.13 | Walton, John H., ed. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. 5 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009. $249.95. ISBN 978-0-310-25572-7).

Review by Kurtis Peters.

Many thanks to Zondervan for providing a review copy.

John Walton, chief editor of Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, has taken on an enormous task. Enormous, of course, is simply the gathering of data and contributors for a multi-volume commentary. But perhaps more significant yet is his aim: to have the evangelical world engage with the ancient Near East (hereafter ANE) in a meaningful way. 5 volumes, 32 contributors, and nearly 3,000 pages later, Walton has, it seems, succeeded at least insofar as he has provided the evangelical community with perhaps the most thorough and most accessible resource for them to grapple with the reality of the Old Testament and its ANE setting. Read the rest of this entry »

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant: c. 8000-332 BCE

In Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, Ann E. KILLEBREW, Archaeology, Kurtis Peters, Margreet L. STEINER, Oxford University Press on November 17, 2014 at 12:14 am


2014.11.18 | Margreet L. Steiner and Ann E. Killebrew, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant: c. 8000-332 BCE. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. £110. pp. 912. ISBN 978-0-19-921297-2.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters,
University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

Steiner and Killebrew have delivered exactly what those of us in Biblical Studies needed – an access point for engaging with the world of archaeology as it pertains to the Levant. In the past it has been difficult for biblical scholars and students to engage critically with archaeological research on a particular subject, or time period, or geographic region. A quick glance through the table of contents will immediately reveal that this book is designed for such novice or intermediate readers. It is as a guidebook for interested amateurs, such as many of RBECS’ readers, that it will be evaluated here. Read the rest of this entry »

The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero

In Ancient Israel, Andrew Knapp, Archaeology, Biblical Criticism, David (king of Israel), HarperOne, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Historical Criticism, Joel BADEN on January 31, 2014 at 12:00 am

Historical David

2014.1.3 | Joel Baden. The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero. New York: HarperOne, 2013. 310 pages. ISBN: 9780062188311.

Reviewed by Andrew Knapp.

Many thanks to HarperOne for providing a review copy.

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It is often said of historical Jesus studies that each biography reflects the scholar who wrote it more than it reflects Jesus of Nazareth. Let us hope that the same does not apply to historical David studies, because Joel Baden considers the famed king of Israel to be a villainous, duplicitous, overreaching scoundrel. Through Baden’s critical reading of the biblical text, David “is revealed as a thoroughly amoral individualist, concerned only for his own well-being” (98). David was “a vile human being” (259) who “even in his own day, was considered guilty of horrific crimes” (260). Read the rest of this entry »

The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II

In Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Avraham FAUST, Eisenbrauns, HB/OT, Iron Age II, Kurtis Peters on January 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm

FAUARCHAE

2014.1.1 | Avraham Faust, The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II. Translated by Ruth Ludlum. (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2012. pp. xviii + 328. ISBN: 978-1-57506-179-5).

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to Eisenbrauns for providing a review copy.

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Avraham Faust has provided those of us in Biblical Studies with a gift. For decades, biblical scholars have tried to make sense of the society (or societies) represented in the biblical texts. What were they like? How was their social structure organized? Were there significant cultural differences among various regions within the kingdoms of Israel and Judah? These questions were usually answered by appeal to the Bible – whether the things it said or the things it left unsaid – or by appeal to basic synopses of archaeological and ethnographic studies on the matter.

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The Vatican Necropoles. Rome’s City of the Dead

In Alexandra Ion, Archaeology, Brepols, Giandomenico SPINOLA, Paolo LIVERANI, Pietro ZANDER, Vatican Necropoles on February 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

VNR

2013.02.01 | Paolo Liverani, Giandomenico Spinola and Pietro Zander, The Vatican Necropoles. Rome’s City of the Dead. Turhout: Brepols Publishers, 2010. 352 pp., 292 figs., hbk, ISBN 978-2-503-53578-4.

Reviewed by Alexandra Ion, University of Bucharest.

Many thanks to Brepols Publishers for kindly providing us with a review copy.

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This book is the most updated synthesis of the funerary discoveries from the Vatican Hill. It continues and completes the wide range of literature on the topic (e.g.: Liverani 1999; Liverani and Spinola 2006; Nicolai 1999; Nicolai et al. 2009), by presenting the results of the excavations carried on the Vatican Hill during the years of 1940-1947, 1953-1958, and from 2001 to 2006. It examines 3 areas with funerary vestiges: the so called Vatican necropolis under St. Peter’s basilica, the Autoparco and the Santa Rosa sections along Via Triumphalis (8). Read the rest of this entry »

David Kim, “Hearing the Unsung Voice: Women in the Qumran Community”

In Archaeology, David KIM, DSS, Edinburgh, Judaism, Kerry Lee, Philo, Qumran, SEMINAR REPORTS, Women on February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm

A report on a paper given by Dr. David Kim (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh) at the New College Biblical Studies Research Seminar, 3 February 2012. Dr. Kim received his PhD from the University of Sydney. His research has largely been centred around Coptic texts related to the New Testament and Christian origins. He is currently working on the Gospel of Judas.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. RBECS is also on facebook, here.

In his paper, Dr. Kim gathered together a wide range of evidence in order to call into question the scholarly opinion that the Qumran community consisted exclusively of celibate males. This evidence fell into three categories: evidence from Hellenistic Jewish writings, evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and evidence from archaeology at Qumran.

Reading texts from Philo of Alexandria and Josephus, Dr. Kim pointed out that in describing Palestinian ascetic communities, especially the Essenes, both authors depict a mixed picture where marriage and the presence of women in the community was, on one hand, held with suspicion while, on the other hand, marriage was in many places accepted or even the norm. Read the rest of this entry »