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The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (Oxford Archaeological Guides) Paperback – March 20, 2008


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The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (Oxford Archaeological Guides) + Streetwise Jerusalem Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Jerusalem, Israel - Folding pocket size travel map
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Archaeological Guides
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 5 edition (March 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199236666
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199236664
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.3 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


Review from previous edition
"The Oxford Archaeological Guides offer a wealth of detailed, accurate but always readable information, providing anyone who has a serious interest in archaeology with the means to derive the utmost benefit from a visit to an ancient site. They are user-friendly and highly recommended."--Paul Bahn


Review from previous edition
"Always respectful, yet never gullible or preachy, Father Murphy-O'Connor's The Holy Land is by far the best popular guide to its subject ever written. Every entry bears the indelible mark of having been written by someone who knows the place it describes, and has seen it with an expert intelligence and an open mind."--John Romer


Review from previous edition
"A brilliant accomplishment, packed with authoritative information... the one book you must bring with you when you visit Israel."--Walter Zanger


About the Author


Jerome Murphy-O'Connor is Professor of New Testament at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem and a leading authority on the historical Jesus and Saint Paul. His other publications include Paul: A Critical Life and Paul, His Story.

Customer Reviews

This is a guide book, thus not meant to be read from cover to cover.
Michael Billingsley
I was hoping for light reading about Israel when I ordered the book but as I travelled around Israel I found the book to be a good companion to me.
SHORETALK
As i look at our photos and my very skimpy notes, I find this book very good for researching the places we saw.
ERFC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SHORETALK on March 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is important that any potential reader understand that this is a scholarly examination of the archaeological treasures of Israel. If you want a tourist guide this isn't it.

I was hoping for light reading about Israel when I ordered the book but as I travelled around Israel I found the book to be a good companion to me. It is a book that I will keep on my ministerial bookshelf as a resource!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was superb. Written by a top-notch Scripture scholar, and an archaeologist to boot. It sifts the probable from the likely from the possible, which means that when Murphy-O'Connor pronounces a site or a building authentic, you sit up and take notice. Next to the Bible, this was my bible in the Holy Land. I've recommended it to many people.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Glahn on November 1, 2009
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I asked an Old Testament scholar which guide he recommended for people visiting Israel, and this was his pick. So a seminary-grad friend and I each bought copies. We kept it with us everywhere we went and found it a most useful resource. It includes both historical backgrounds and summaries of all the major attractions. But don't look for it to include places such as Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum), even though that's the second most popular tourist site after the Western Wall in Jerusalem. This is an archaeological guide. It includes museums with collections relating to archaeology, but it is not intended to be a tourist's guide to every place in the Holy Land.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Diogenes on October 19, 2009
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For sheer quantity of information, this book is unequaled. It also covers many places that are skipped over by most other guidebooks. But even with regard to the book's greatest virtue, its inclusiveness, a serious problem must be addressed, and this is the book's bias toward Latin sites, often to the exclusion of Byzantine sites. Some background may help contextualize this problem for those visiting the area for the first time. The Eastern Church has been present in the Holy Land from the beginning, and its oral and written traditions have been carefully passed down from one generation to another, through adversities of all kinds. The Latin Church, in comparison, is a relative newcomer, arriving "in force" only during the Crusades. Of course, human nature being what it is, the Crusaders, and the Franciscans after them, wanted their own holy sites and their own narratives. So a pilgrim to the Holy Land will often find parallel worlds, one Byzantine, and usually older, and one Latin, and usually more recent. And sometimes there are even specifically Protestant locations as well, such as the so-called "Garden Tomb" outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, that gained celebrity in the nineteenth century due to its promotion by General Charles Gordon. Unfortunately, Fr O'Connor sometimes ignores the Byzantine sites and narratives, or else gives them a dismissive line or two, while going on at great length about the Roman Catholic ones. Perhaps the most grievous of these omissions is St Gabriel's (Orthodox) Church in Nazareth, built over the spring (and site of the original well, before the nearby, Ottoman-built "Well of Mary" was constructed) from which the Virgin Mary would have drawn water, and where ancient sources consistently locate the Annunciation.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By WoodComic on April 5, 2008
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A must if you plan on going to any of the historical areas of the Holy Land. Much superior to any of the "name" travel guides, incredible detail and historical perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By whositwhatsit on February 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a superbly detailed archaeological guide to the Holy Land. I used it on a recent winter trip to Israel (for the first time) because it was recommended to me by a professor as the best guide for the kind of archaeological/historical trip that I wanted to undertake. Occasionally, the author waxes lyrical (he's a Catholic priest, after all) about the land and landscape in a way that non-Christians may find uncomfortable or endearing (or perhaps both).

I found it useful to purchase this as a Kindle edition, and to supplement it with the Lonely Planet's excellent guide to Israel and the beautifully illustrated archaeological guide by Fabio Bourbon and Enrico Lavagno. Of these, Murphy-O'Connor and the Lonely Planet are the most indispensable for those planning a visit focused on Israel's archaeological sites. A caveat to the traveller-buyer: none of these guides notes that you can purchase a "visit all the archaeological sites owned by the State of Israel" ticket for something like 100-120 shekels (so, basically, if you're going to be visiting at least 6 sites, you'll save money by getting the omni-card); and some of the opening times listed in the Lonely Planet and/or Murphy-O'Connor are not accurate--when in doubt, call ahead.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Edwin G. Bjore on May 21, 2008
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Great description of both the sights and the surroundings of all of the different areas of the Holy Land. Provides background to understand the significance, as well as other importance in other times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Paul V.M. Flesher on August 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Murphy-O'Connor has been updating this guide over the years and in 2014 it is quite helpful and up-to-date. I bought both the hard copy and the ebook!
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