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A History of Ancient Israel and Judah, Second Edition Paperback – July 12, 2006
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About the Author
J. Maxwell Miller is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in Atlanta, Goergia.
John H. Hayes is Professor Emeritusof Old Testament at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of numerous books, including Introduction to the Bible, Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook (with Carl Holladay), The Jewish People in Classical Antiquity (with Sara Mandell), and Old Testament Theology: Its History and Development (with Frederick Prussner), all published by WJK.
Top customer reviews
The second edition has kept pace with current research, without being partisan in the many debates currently raging through Syrio-Palestinian archaeology and Israelite history.
This is a definitive and comprehensive study, a major work of scholarship. Some other reviewers have chastised it for tedium. Well, yes, that charge can be laid against it, but really, what are these reviewers looking for? A comic strip history of Israel/Judah? Pop-up videos? Jokes? I've read a lot of academic works, and this one is by no means the driest I have read. Indeed, I find it fairly easy reading.
The text is supplemented by many timelines and ancillary boxes, such as extensive quotes from Assyrian and Babylonian sources. The only let down are the maps, which are very poorly reproduced.
This text is a standard in many bible study courses. I would recommended this to anyone wanting to read a comprehensive history with a progressive slant.
For those who want a southern American Baptist alternative that politely but firmly declines to engage with all the archeaological advances made since 1950, and the literary-critical scholarship simce 1850, I would recommend Longman and Dillard's An Introduction to the Old Testament: Second Edition.
The issue is that this particular history is between 2000 and 3000 years old. Miller and Hayes are willing to confront discrepancies, look at historical realities, and help us to better understand how all of these complex factors build into the Old Testament we have today.
If you are looking for a scholarly work on what we understand about the history of the area in which the Old Testament is set, this is the "gold standard" to have in your library. However, if you are looking for a commentary on the background of the Old Testament, I recommend that you consider The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament which will be much more applicable to your studies.
The reader who is interested in history will find this an valuable academic text. The reader who is looking for commentary on the theological history contained in the Bible will do better to purchase a good commentary on the Biblical book of their choosing.
For the thoughtful Christian interested in a history of ancient Israel and Judah, this book will be a resource that fills in the historical context out of which the Bibilcal texts arose. Said simply: 'A History of Ancient Israel and Judah' speaks from a disciplined, historical method; where the Bible offers historical facts, it does so not as a strict historical exercise, but as means to theological exploration of God and God's people. With this in mind, the thoughtful Christian will benefit from reading both the Bible and 'A History of Ancient Israel and Judah.'