Susan Ackerman In Did God Have a Wife? Bill Dever presents a multidimensional portrait of ancient Israelite religion with his characteristic eloquence and panache. Most significantly, through his detailed examination of archaeological materials, Dever reveals crucial facets of what he calls "folk religion," or the religion of one of ancient Israel's most neglected communities, the everyday people. Ronald Hendel Dever has done it again. The dean of biblical archaeology presents a wide-ranging and lively treatment of folk religion in ancient Israel, including the possibility of a prominent role for the goddess Asherah. Dever's synthesis of the archaeological evidence is masterful. This is a must-read for students of the Bible. J. Edward Wright Did God Have a Wife? is the book that Bill Dever has been preparing to write for decades. In fact, he is probably the only person prepared and bold enough to attempt it... Dever finds that the only way to uncover the rich diversity of the religious impulse in ancient Israel is for archaeology to work in conversation with texts and iconography... Professionals will know much of the data but will nonetheless be impressed with Dever's synthesis of evidence from diverse sources. Lay readers will appreciate Dever's clear reconstruction and, at the same time, will be challenged by his conclusions. It is fitting that a book focusing on folk religion is written in a style that makes the information readily available to modern audiences. Mark S. Smith A lucid treatment of a most provocative aspect of the Bible, namely, the question of a goddess in ancient Israel who might have been thought of as Yahweh's consort. Dever is one of the leading biblical archaeologists in the world, and he tackles one of the Bible's burning issues in this book. Fresh, clear, accessible, and recommended to anyone interested in the religion of ancient Israel. Ziony Zevit Once again William Dever has written a page-turner for thoughtful individuals interested in the Bible. This time, however, he explores what most biblicists ignore -- the folk religion of ancient Israel, the religion as lived and practiced... Although written for the general public, this is one book that scholars cannot afford to miss... Writing in a personal style sprinkled with anecdotes, Dever has produced a rare work -- a book that may be read and appreciated by all who take the Bible, archaeology, and history seriously. Packed with information, crackling with brilliant observations.
About the Author
William G. Dever is professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. He is also the author of What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?, What Archaeology Can Tell Us About the Reality of Ancient Israel and Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?