The only thing seriously wrong with this readable, intelligent survey--an old (1955) favorite revised--is its subtitle:...

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THE BIBLE AS HISTORY: Archaeology Confirms the Book of Books, Rev. Ed.

The only thing seriously wrong with this readable, intelligent survey--an old (1955) favorite revised--is its subtitle: archaeology disproves the Bible at least as much as it ""confirms"" it. The best evidence suggests, for instance, that neither Jericho nor Ai fell to Joshua's army, but were already in ruins when the Israelites invaded Canaan. Keller knows this, and admits it. His point, in fact, is not to defend the scientific accuracy of biblical texts, but to explore the areas of convergence between the Bible and the various historical sciences. And he seems to be more interested in archaeological adventure than in religion as such: his heroes are Flinders Petrie and Leonard Woolley and AndrÉ Parrot rather than Moses or Jesus. Thus, Fundamentalists looking for aid and comfort will be disappointed. In his somewhat teasing fashion, Keller often builds a case for the historicity of a biblical narrative, only to pull it apart a few pages or paragraphs later. Abraham, he stoutly asserts at one point, ""must have lived about 1900 B.C."" But then he brings up some of the problems with the Abraham stories (e.g., the anarchronistic mention of camels), and the firm outline of the patriarch begins to dissolve in uncertainty. Despite his enthusiasm for the Bible, then, Keller is an honest and responsible reporter. Rehork, however, has not fully updated the text: it continues, for example, to speak of W. F. Albright, Nelson Glueck, and Yohanan Aharoni as if they were still alive. On its own terms, though, lively and informative overall.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1980