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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 »

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