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The Bible and the Ancient Near East (Revised Edition) Paperback – February 17, 1998
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Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Cyrus R. Gordon is professor emeritus of Mediterranean studies at Brandeis University.
Gary A. Rendsburg is professor of Near Eastern studies at Cornell University.
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The authors succinctly cover a huge expanse of time and geography while putting it all in perspective and context so that you learn not only about the Bible but about world history in general. The authors respect not only the Biblical text, but all the ancient texts (see footnote on p. 117), unlike "higher critics" who seem to assume all the ancient writers (especially Bible authors) were either pathological liars or bumbling fools. Some reviewers (see below) have criticized the book for taking the Bible too seriously, while some Christians may feel it doesn't take the Bible (e.g., Bible chronologies) seriously enough. Overall, though, it seems pretty well balanced - an excellent, scholarly look at Old Testament times from all angles!
My only complaint is that, given the enormous amount of time, ancient texts, people, places, and archaeology covered by the book, it can't be longer. That, nonetheless, is what makes it an excellent book for readers who don't want too much detail. Hopefully, the publishers will continue to revise and expand this book in the future.