Starred Review. It is often the work of biblical literalists to find harmonies and agreements in the scriptural record. Others seek, and celebrate, the differing views of the biblical writers. Freund, professor of archeology, history and Judaic studies, and director of Jewish studies at the University of Hartford, has put together a masterful and eminently readable study of these differences, not to resolve them, but rather to explore the rich traditions that produced these writings. In an invaluable introductory chapter, he leads the reader through the world of biblical archeology, examining the methods of textual criticism and historical research. He then explores the biblical and archeological foundations for our understandings of such notables as Abraham, David, Jesus, Mary and many others. Freund's quest for history brings him also to Qumran and to the search for the teacher of righteousness. He masterfully studies the rise and centrality of the synagogue system within the Hebrew community. His conclusions may be discomfiting to some, but his commitment to objective research and sound exegesis will surely inspire and inform every reader. (Nov.)
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Richard Freund's Digging Through the Bible
is a personal account of excavating the most important sites of the Bible, and it is spellbinding. A provocative and fascinating account of the major controversies of the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity. (Rabbi Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, New York University)Digging through the Bible
does something that no other book on archaeology and the Bible does. It brings the reader in a pedagogical as well as in a very updated and well-learned way from the Hebrew Bible through the New Testament, touching on most of the major contemporary controversies about Jerusalem, the Exodus, Jesus, and Qumran. (Adolf Roitman, curator, The Shrine of the Book, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem)
Richard Freund’s extensive knowledge of the literary and archaeological sources, as well as his insights and ability to make connections, make this a must-read for any student of the Bible. His work at numerous excavations in Israel and his experience as a professor and Rabbi make him uniquely qualified to write this lively book, which is comprehensible to both lay reader and scholar alike. (Elizabeth McNamer, Rocky Mountain College; director, Rocky Mountain College Bethsaida Excavations Project)
A fascinating, riveting excavation through layers of history (and quite literally, earth and humankind) that will be of tremendous interest to both scholars and a general readers. Richard Freund is remarkable at casting a fresh eye on texts and artifacts that seem to be well known, but deserve more careful scrutiny. (Michael Berkowitz, University College London)
Richard Freund has produced a very readable and stimulating book that addresses a number of vexing biblical issues. Thanks to his direct involvement in excavations in Israel, he is able to offer new firsthand data to bolster the case he makes. (James K. Hoffmeier, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
Freund has put together a masterful and eminently readable study of these differences, not to resolve them, but rather to explore the rich traditions that produced these writings. In an invaluable introductory chapter, he leads the reader through the world of biblical archaeology, examining the methods of textual criticism and historical research. . . . He masterfully studies the rise and centrality of the synagogue system within the Hebrew community. . . . His commitment to objective research and sound exegesis will surely inspire and inform every reader. (Publishers Weekly, (Starred Review)
Well written and researched. . . . Recommended. (Library Journal, December 2008
For those who enjoy the study of biblical archaeology but don't claim to be experts, this will be a rewarding read. Freund is an informed and interesting narrator. (The Bible Today, July/August 2009
In fairly simple terms, [Freund] explains the different sides of each question and presents the available evidence. He describes the methodologies of biblical literary criticism and of biblical archaeology. . . . It is a good introduction to the problems of 'believing' the Bible in a post-modern, scientificized world. (Jewish Book World, November 2009
Freund offers an erdutite, clearly written study of the biblical Old and New Testaments, as well as inscriptional and literary evidence that relates to them. . . . Recommended. (CHOICE, October 2009
)After providing a 46-page 'crash course' in biblical archaeology, Freund, professor of Jewish history at the University of Hartford and author of Secrets of the Cave of Letters: A Dead Sea Mystery (2004), uses archaeological finding to draw conclusions about key biblical characters and events.
(New Testament Abstracts