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Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament Paperback – November 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801021375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801021374
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John D. Currid (PhD, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago) is Carl W. McMurray Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. He has served on several archaeological excavations and is author of several books and commentaries.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Virgil Brown VINE VOICE on April 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the Foreword to John Currid's book, the eminent Kenneth Kitchen writes that the "whole subject of the interrelations of ancient Egypt and the Old Testament is very much larger than most people realize" and in this book Currid has selected a series of themes. I would agree that this is a most apt description.
Currid divides his 13 chapters between an introduction and various portions of the Old Testament. There are six chapters on the relationships between the Pentateuch and Egypt, two on the historical books, one on wisdom literature, and two on prophecy. Currid is widely read on Egyptology and this comes across in his writing. In his chapter called "The Egyptian Setting of the Serpent Confrontation," Currid shows the breadth and depth of his studies in Egyptology. Numerous Egyptian sources are cited showing the meaning of the serpent in ancient Egypt. Then Currid adds the battle of the biblical writers. Aaron's throwing the rod-snake before Pharaoh was an assault on the latter's authority since the serpent was a symbol of Pharaoh's. The reader might want to have a look at the story in Exodus again for the full impact of this.
Currid treats the biblical figures as historical figures. Moses or Aaron did this or that, etc. Currid does the same with Potiphar where he concludes that what can be known about Potiphar is "not much." Potiphar's name does not tell us much about the station and function of a person by that name though probably he was not a eunuch. Moreover the name itself "seems to be an anomaly" if the Joseph story occurred in the second millennium; "the name itself is primarily confined to the 1st millennium."
One would do well to read Currid's book for what Kitchen said: because the interrelations between Egypt and the Old Testament is much larger than most people think. On that basis Currid's book is thought-provoking reading from cover to cover.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Coming from a family fascinated by ancient Egypt (my brother, Dr. Hoyt Hobbs, has written numerous books on Egypt, several published by Fielding/Morrow), I found John Currid's treatment an outstanding, well-documented, readable book. For me, Currid's book provided a stimulation and informative study of how the world of ancient Egypt illuminates the pages of the Old Testament. A must read for those of us interested in Egypt and the Old Testament.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Taylor on March 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is extremely informative. With all the reading I have done over the years on the Ancient Near East nearly 100% treat Mesopotamian connections. Currid does a great job of comparing and contrasting the Hebrew paralels with Ancient Egypt.

I am by no means a scholar but I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is interested in more fully understanding the Old Testament world, especially the one in which the sons of Abraham grew from a small clan into a nation ready to take their first steps toward the Promised land.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on June 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The whole subject of the interrelation of ancient Egypt and the Old Testament is very much larger than most people realize, be they lay or scholars!" K. Kitchen
Curried valued credentials:
If you are new to the subject, how would you support your expectations? The author, John Currid got his Ph.D. degree from the Oriental Institute, at the University of Chicago, one of the finest, a Pioneer to the Past, established by the eminent Egyptologist James H. Breasted. Prof. Edwin Yamauchi, a towering expert, and author of 'Persia and the Bible', described the book as; "An excellent study of the Egyptian background of certain parts of the Old Testament. The author has read widely and commented judiciously on a number of very interesting topics." While K. Kitchen, attests that; "Currid's well documented book is a breath of fresh air and represents a valuable contribution." I may add that John Currid has shown scholarly prudence, in referring to the Septuagint, the Alexandrian Koine translation of the Hebrew Bible.
Book's Thesis:
Kitchen's Forward, and Currid own Preface should be examined carefully before reading and after finishing its discourse. In five parts, Currid writes a plan, elaborates on his defense of the Old debated case for the Egyptian Origins of OT, as follows
1. Egypt and the Bible / ancient Near east Cosmologies.
2. Pentateuch Egyptian Element.
3. Egypt / Israel in the Historical Books
4. Parallels of Egyptian Wisdom
5. Prophecy in Egypt and Israel.
This book represents the depth of American scholarship in comparison to the broad and versatile style treatment of such subjects as represented by: Moses, The Egyptian, which Jan Assmann, of Heidelberg University wrote in California, same year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Shaw on June 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
Though this book is almost twenty years old, I don't know of any more recent work that covers the same material, though Kenneth Kitchen's On the Reliability of the Old Testament includes some similar coverage. The Introduction gives a brief overview of the relationship between Egypt and the Old Testament as well as a summary review of Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) cosmologies. The remaining four parts are: Egyptian Elements in the Pentateuch; Contacts Between Israel and Egypt in the Historical Books; Egyptian Wisdom Literature and the Poetical Books; and Egyptian and Israelite Prophecy. The whole book is well done. Currid's treatment is careful and balanced, noting where there is diversity of opinion and giving a fair presentation of differing views. The most important part of the book is the first, in that Currid shows that the biblical cosmogony in the opening chapters of Genesis is much closer in character to that of Egypt than it is to the Mesopotamian cosmogonies. This is particularly important in light of the recent works of such scholars as John Walton, who trace the influences on the opening chapters of Genesis from the Mesopotamian sources. Such a fundamental misapprehension calls into question the conclusions that Walton draws. Other significant contributions of Currid's work are the treatment of the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7-10), the Israelite wilderness itinerary (Numbers 33), and the relationship between Proverbs 22-24 and the Egyptian "Instruction of Amenemope." Highly recommended to all students of the Bible, though it should be noted that this is a technical, and would be heavy going for those with little background in the field.
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More About the Author

JOHN D. CURRID is the Carl McMurray Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the author of several books and Old Testament commentaries. A PhD graduate in Syro-Palestinian archaeology (University of Chicago), he has extensive archaeological field experience from projects throughout Israel and Tunisia.

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