In the 1950s the light shed by archaeology on the veracity of the Bible was fascinating enough; but this volume seeks to take the story up to the century's end. Among the issues it explores are the possible evidence for a Great Flood found at Ur, the discovery of thousands of clay tablets in Syria purporting to relate to Abraham, Esau and Ishmail, the evidence for the Biblical plagues and for the destruction of Jericho, the whereabouts of the Ark, the provenance of the gospels, and the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is written neither for the religious fundamentalist nor the blinkered atheist, but for the thinking layman eager to know to what extent the events described in the Bible may have been historically true, and is illustrated with colour photographs, maps and reconstructions of Biblical cities and buildings.
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Ian Wilson was born in London in 1941 and educated at Emanuel School, Wandsworth, and Magdalene College, Oxford, where he graduated in History in 1963. His previous books include The Turin Shroud, which became a worldwide bestseller when published in 1978 and Jesus: The Evidence (1984), a companion to the major three-part TV series of the same name and another bestseller. The Blood and the Shroud was published in 1998. His biography of Shakespeare, Shakespeare: The Evidence was published in 1993 and The Bible is History in 1999. All of his books have attracted critical acclaim.From Library Journal:
Wilson (The Turin Shroud; The Columbus Myth) skillfully presents the popular reader with a coherent narrative of the broad sweep of biblical and Palestinian history from Genesis to Revelation in a relatively small, beautifully illustrated book. Therein lie both its strength and its weakness. As in all such books, there is a problem with oversimplification and a number of relatively minor errors. Although Wilson's introduction well emphasizes the controversial nature of much of the scholarship of biblical history and the tentative nature of the results, in the rest of the book he gives an impression of certainty that will be very misleading to the careless reader. His stated goal is to use thoughtful historical scholarship to produce a "carefully reasoned, middle of the road approach" by a liberal-minded Catholic who favors the general historical veracity of the Bible. However, his approach and conclusions do not support the unqualified claim of the title; he also finds mythology and much unhistorical material in the Bible. All in all, however, Wilson's investigation is quite valuable, and readers mindful of the caveats described above will find much here. Recommended for all public libraries.DEugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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