Mesopotamia and the Bible: Comparative Explorations

Mesopotamia and the Bible: Comparative Explorations
Mesopotamia and the Bible: Comparative Explorations

Book Details

Categories: OT Archaeology

Book Information

Thirteen scholars explore possible points of connection between the Bible and its ancient Near Eastern context, illuminating the methodologies, contributions, and limitations of both biblical studies and Assyriology.

Contents include:
"Assyriology and Biblical Studies: A Century of Tension"‹Mark W. Chavalas

"The Quest for Sargon, Pul, and Tiglath-Pileser in the Nineteenth Century"‹Steven W. Holloway

"Sumer, the Bible, and Comparative Method: Historiography and Temple Building"‹Richard E. Averbeck

"Syria and Northern Mesopotamia to the End of the Third Millennium B.C.E."‹Mark W. Chavalas

"Syro-Mesopotamia: The Old Babylonian Period"‹Ronald A. Veenker

"Syria to the Early Second Millennium"‹Victor H. Matthews

"Apprehending Kidnapers by Correspondence at Provincial Arrapha"‹David C. Deuel

"The Bible and Alalakh"‹Richard S. Hess

"Emar: On the Road from Harran to Hebron"‹Daniel E. Fleming

"Voices from the Dust: The Tablets from Ugarit and the Bible"‹Wayne T. Pitard

"The Rise of the Aramean States"‹William Schniedewind

"Recent Study on Sargon II, King of Assyria: Implications for Biblical Studies"‹K. Lawson Younger Jr.

"What Has Nebuchadnezzar to Do with David? On the Neo-Babylonian Period and Early Israel"‹Bill T. Arnold

"The Eastern Jewish Diaspora under the Babylonians"‹Edwin Yamauchi

Pages: 400
Publisher: Baker Academic
Published: 2002
ISBN-10: 080102420X
ISBN-13: 9780801024207

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5 out of 5 based on 3 user ratings
Denver Seminary Journal December 5, 2009 5 5
A critical assessment of major ancient archives and cultures and their impact on the Old Testament. [Full Review]
The core of this collection of papers represents the work of a meeting of the Near EastArcheological Society held in Philadelphia in November 1995. The editors note that thedecision was made “to publish the proceedings in a slightly altered and expandedformat,” as well as to “take a very loose definition of Mesopotamia as encompassingsome regions of Syria immediately west of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley that wereobviously connected culturally to traditional Mesopotamia” (8). This later statement is ofparticular significance, since half of the fourteen essays consider the territory included inthis broader definition of Mesopotamia.Mark Chavalas, “Assyriology and Biblical Studies: A Century of Tension,” introducesthe topic through a review of the development of Assyriology, carefully describing thereasons for the strained relationship between the two disciplines. This consideration ofthe history of Assyriology also chronicles the methodological concerns in the applicationof insights from Assyriology to biblical studies, while setting the stage for the remainderof the presentations in the book and making clear the fact that there has been littleconnection between the two disciplines beyond those at superficial levels. [Full Review]
This volume of fourteen articles is a valuable resource for biblical scholars who wishcurrent information on Mesopotamian studies, including Syria and Ugarit, from theearliest times to the Neo-Babylonian era. Each article is supported by thorough footnotesand an extensive bibliography. There are two indices: biblical references and authors.This volume holds special interest for biblical scholars who concentrate on the patriarchalera and for those who deal with the interplay between Mesopotamia and the kingdoms ofnorthern Israel and Judah. Although interested in insights into the Bible offered bycomparisons with the culture and thought of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations, theauthors display great caution in making specific comparisons, save for the contributionby R. Hess (“The Bible and Alalakh”), which is essentially a catalogue of commonthemes and customs found in the Alalakh texts and the Bible. Consequently, the volumeis not plagued by parallelomania. In fact, a few articles, such as the one by D. Deuel(“Apprehending Kidnappers by Correspondence at Provincial Arraph ha”) about theimportant role of letters in the administration of Nuzi as illustrated in three letters that ledto the resolution of a case of kidnapping, make no reference to Scripture. The primaryvalue of this publication, then, lies more on providing current information on aspects ofMesopotamia studies than on the illumination of the biblical text. [Full Review]

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