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

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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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.
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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: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent guide. I purchased this book in Kindle format to take with me on Pilgrimage. For myself, this is a book which could have stayed at home, and been more useful in hard copy format. The text often refers to various pictorial plates, which I would have preferred to tab so that I could go back and forth to review while reading. I did not lower the stars due to my preference, as the guide is comprehensive.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want an easy-to-carry quick reference guide that sums up much of what's in the 5-volume archaeological books with info on all the sites in Israel, this is fantastic. Good for a trip guide or something you can use in a historical geography class when you want information but don't need the entire site report. Fr. Murphy-O'Connor did a wonderful job with this.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Contrary to first impressions of many tourists
in Jerusalem, the current walls and other fortifications were
not from Roman Times, rather the Ottoman built it. Fr. Murphy
revealed the positions of the old Jerusalem until its destruction
by the Romans and renamed it Aeolina Capitolina.

The famed Ecce Homo Arch was from the Ottoman Era and
had nothing to do with the scenes describe in the Gospel of
Saint John the Evangelist.

This book is highly recommended to tourists and academicians
alike.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If one has the time to do some exploring on their own and find and read about all the things described in this book, you would have quite the informative experience. Even if you are on a quick tour, having read ahead of time in this book about the places you will visit is very helpful. Lots of archaeological details.
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