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Bible Archaeology: An Exploration of the History and Culture of Early Civilizations Hardcover – February 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801012872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801012877
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,005,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

How would your faith change if you knew about the history and culture in which the Bible was written?

For years archaeologists have been excavating historical sites to recover a better understanding of early civilizations. Their discoveries have given us insight on how, where, and why our essential religious beliefs came to be. Now Alfred Hoerth and John McRay offer you the opportunity to experience these early cultures for yourself.

An informative and engaging introduction to biblical archaeology, this accessible book explores the histories, cultures, and social forces of the earliest civilizations. Full-color maps, photographs, and diagrams walk you through archaeological digs, including those in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Palestine. The knowledge gained through these excavations will give you insight into the historical context and cultural setting of the biblical narratives. The result is a compelling look at the biblical text that allows you to see and truly experience the life and work of such godly men as Abraham and Moses, as well as Jesus and his disciples.

Alfred Hoerth is the former director of archaeology at Wheaton College, where he taught for almost thirty years. He is the author of Archaeology and the Old Testament, coeditor of Peoples of the Old Testament, and has participated in numerous archaeological excavations.

John McRay (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is professor of New Testament and archaeology at Wheaton College Graduate School and the author of Archaeology and the New Testament and Paul: His Life and Teaching.

About the Author

John McRay (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is emeritus professor of New Testament and archaeology at Wheaton College Graduate School. He has taught at the college level for more than forty years and is the author of Archaeology and the New Testament and Paul: His Life and Teaching.

Alfred Hoerth is the author of Archeology and the Old Testament and Peoples of the Old Testament. Both authors live in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RadioScribe on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I like this book a lot. It's a very accessible introduction to the world of Biblical Archaeology. It shows how Biblical Archaeology fits as a scientific discipline within the other realms of archaeology of the ancient world. It also shows how what we know about the Biblical world from archaeology fits in with what we know archaeologically about other nearby ancient civilizations. Modern scientists treat these realms as separate disciplines but in the ancient world they were inter-related and we profit by better understanding the relationships. This book is bountifully illustrated with beautiful color photographs, many photographs and perspectives that I haven't seen in other books on Biblical Archaeology.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chaplain Weasle on October 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In my intro classes, I get students who are hungry and excited to learn about archaeology. Mind you, all they know about 'archaeology' is usually from movies or programmes on the History Channel and PBS. Some of the mental image they have is correct, but they have many mis-perceptions also. This book gives a good introduction to what archaeology is, how it is carried out in the field, and what conclusions can (and more importantly CAN'T) be derived from the material record. It also gives historical background over the major periods of Biblical history - which is a good foundation for not only students of archaeology, but students of the Bible!

I strongly recommend this book if you would like to learn the basics of archaeology, middle eastern history from ~5300 BCE to ~70 CE, or more about the world and cultures of the Bible. I believe if you read this book and study your Bible with it, you'll know more than probably 95% of the general population on this subject.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is up to date and is well written and illustrated. It covers the entire Biblical text with emphasis given to each separate geographic area, i.e. Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc. Suitable for either a classroom text or for the general reader, it is a good place to start.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christian Review of Books on April 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Hoerth and McRay have put together a helpful resource for people who want to know what kind, quantity, and quality of archaeological evidence exists for Bible times. Beginning with Mesopotamia and continuing with Egypt, Palestine, Persia, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, Hoerth and McRay systematically walk us through the archaeological finds pertaining to each of these regions and show us the significance to the Biblical narrative.

Filled with hundreds of pictures and maps, Bible Archaeology can be a useful resource to own. Written in an easy-to-understand style, this book puts lots of useful information at your fingertips without forcing you to wade through the technical shop-talk.

While using these resources is important, it is necessary to remember their limitations. The authors are neither inspired nor inerrant, their conclusions should not be accepted blindly as fact, and we should always try to corroborate their conclusions with other sources and experts. Having said that, I would recommend this book to pastors, youth pastors, small group leaders, and anyone else striving to strengthen the faith of fellow believers (or their own).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cantaffordchoos on September 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was disappointed with this book. It would be better titled "Ancient Civilizations of the Bible". It has the occassional reference to the Israelites or Jewish figures, but few specifics to archaeology that directly relates to the Bible. In that regard, it is interesting, but not what I was looking for.

I guess my biggest complaint is the author's insistance that archaeology cannot be used to "prove" the Bible. While I understand the point, it would have been nice to have been at least presented with some archaeological evidence to substantiate historical things in the Bible. There are plenty of books about ancient civilizations but few that pull together all of the numerous Biblical archaeological finds which academia so often glosses over or minimizes. The authors in this book seem to be more concerned with their standing in the academic community than illuminating the rest of us. I guess my search will continue for that type of book...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're visiting the Holy Lands, including Greece, Turkey, and Rome, then this is a book you need to pack away in your carry-on to read on the plane flight over there. I have read a number of books on archaeology, especially when they relate to biblical sources, and this is by far my favorite. It is well illustrated and the information is generally up-to-date. (I'd love to see them update it soon, though, as there are many new discoveries not covered here, including finding Herod's tomb at Herodium). It is a fascinating read, and you don't have to have much background knowledge to get a lot out of this book. While biblical archaeology does not prove the Bible to be true, it sure provides the evidence that the people and places mentioned in the Good Book are historically accurate. The evidence for our Bible is just overwhelming, with new discoveries every day.
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