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A fascinating tour of the cultures that produced the Bible, led by two of the preeminent scholars in the field. Recent archaeological and linguistic research shows that ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Hebrew peoples shared many common legends and even characters. By concentrating on what Biblical stories meant to contemporary hearers, the authors reveal undetected subtleties in the familiar narratives of the Bible.
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This work is a fourth, and most welcome, updated edition of Gordon's Introduction to Old Testament Times (1953). (Gordon was professor of ancient Near Eastern Studies at Brandeis and New York University; coauthor Rendsburg is professor of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell.) Like all the earlier editions, this latest aims to help readers situate the Bible in its ancient historical context. It includes much new information gleaned especially from the Ebla archives, discovered in the 1970s. While it is erudite and dense with information, the work is nevertheless readable and easily understood and will appeal to students and interested lay readers. Scholars might wish for fuller footnotes, but this is a small criticism in a text intended for a wide public. Recommended for both academic and public libraries.?James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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