“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Therefore when we decide to ignore our history we lose our sense of identity. For Christian’s that sense of identity can be found in Christ as part of the family of God. Now the family of God is the nation of Israel, not physical Israel but spiritual Israel, therefore all Christian must know the history of their family, and the way to do so is by studying the narratives in the Old Testament.
A wonderful scholastic book on this matter is, A Biblical History of Israel by Iain Provan, V. Phillips Long, and Tremper Longman III produced by Westminster John Knox Press. All of these men are well respected scholars in the field of Old Testament Biblical Studies. This book is now in its second edition and is as well done as its predecessor. The second edition has been extensively revised and updated to include recent discoveries in critical scholarship.
In A Biblical History of Israel, a critical study is laid out in two parts. The first part of this work tackles history, the study of history, and the Bible. There are many radial critical arguments explained and refuted in this section, and are extremely helpful to a scholar who is looking for a highly technical work on the subject.
Where the work becomes helpful to the non-scholar is in part two of the work, where this trio of scholars tackles the different eras of Old Testament History in chronological order. In this they detail dates, places, and times of the events which are recorded in scripture and examine critical scholarships arguments for and against traditional arguments. In the end the authors argue that the narrative of the Old Testament are historically trustworthy. Furthermore the recent advances in the field of archeology are detailed in this work and make it a fascinating read.
A Biblical History of Israel, is one of the most through and critical studies on Biblical history on the market. I was pleasantly surprised that while tackling such a critical heavy subject that most of the conclusions drawn had an conservative element to them. With that said I would be very cautious with this work, if you are not highly educated in critical thought, for the work can be wordy and arguments can be circuitous, yet it succeeds in what it set out to do, and places a mostly conservative voice in a highly critical scholastic world.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Westminster John Knox Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
A Biblical History of Israel, Second Edition
© 2015 by Iain Provan, V. Phillips Long, and Tremper Longman III
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Page Count: 550 Pages