In this provocative yet persuasive book, now in paperback, Eric H. Cline uses the tools of his trade to examine some of the most puzzling mysteries from the Hebrew Bible and, in the process, to narrate the history of ancient Israel. Combining academic with an accessible style that has made him a favorite with readers and students alike, he lays out each mystery, evaluates all available evidence from established fact to arguable assumption to far-fetched leap of faith and proposes an explanation that reconciles Scripture, science, and history.
Numerous amateur archaeologists have sought some trace of Noah’s Ark to meet only with failure. But, though no serious scholar would undertake such a literal search, many agree that the Flood was no myth but the cultural memory of a real, catastrophic inundation, retold and reshaped over countless generations. Likewise, some experts suggest that Joshua’s storied victory at Jericho is the distant echo of an earthquake instead of Israel’s sacred trumpets a fascinating, geologically plausible theory that remains unproven despite the best efforts of scientific research.
Cline places these and other Biblical stories in solid archaeological and historical context and reserves judgment on ideas that cannot yet be confirmed or denied. Along the way, our most informed understanding of ancient Israel comes alive with dramatic but accurate detail in this groundbreaking and entertaining book by one of the rising stars in the field.
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Eric H. Cline holds degrees in classical archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, and ancient history, and currently serves as chair of the Department of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures at George Washington University. Prolific researcher, he is the prize-winning author of seven books, including The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age, which won a Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award for "Best Popular Book on Archaeology" and was a Main Selection of the Natural Science Book Club. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.From Booklist:
Cline, a professor at George Washington University who has written several popular books on biblical studies and archaeology, here turns his attention to some of the most enduring biblical mysteries: Was there really a Garden of Eden, and if so, where was it? What happened to Noah's ark? Did the Israelites really trek through the desert for 40 years? What happened to the 10 lost tribes of Israel? These are topics that can and have filled up numerous books of their own, but what Cline intends here is a quick overview, a brisk trip through some of the great mysteries of biblical history, advancing his own theories about what happened and mentioning alternative opinions.In the final chapter, on the lost tribes, for example, after offering persuasive arguments for his opinion that most of the Jews of the time fled to Judah or intermarried with the Assyrians, who occupied the land, he then says, definitively, These people were never lost. An accessibly written introduction that will likely prompt readers to dig deeper. Cooper, Ilene
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