Saturday, January 23, 2016

40 by 40 edited by Hershel Shanks

book cover
40 by 40
edited by Hershel Shanks

ISBN-13: 9780979635779
Paperback: 632 pages
Publisher: Biblical Archaeology Society
Released: Dec. 30, 2015

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley. I'm not certain if this was only for Volume One or if it was both volumes in one ebook.

Book Description, Modified from Amazon:
From the founding families of the Bible through the early Christian period and almost everything in between: The Exodus. Jerusalem Archaeology. Solomon's Temple. The Dead Sea Scrolls, the world of Jesus and more. This special collection of 40 articles celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR).

Exploring the breadth of Biblical history, these easy-to-read-and understand articles are written by the world s leading Biblical archaeologists and scholars, illustrated with glorious color pictures of artifacts and excavations, and include new commentary by BAR editor Hershel Shanks.

My Review:
40 by 40 is a collection of articles that were originally published in Biblical Archaeology Review. These articles were organized by time period, starting with the Exodus and ending after Acts. There were 43 main articles with numerous sub-articles. They contained many full-color photographs, diagrams, and maps of the places studied and things found.

For those not familiar with the magazine, it's written so the average person can follow what's being discussed without watering down the actual technical content. Enough information is provided that readers can follow the debates about a layer or object (dating, what it is, etc.) and form their own opinions. The general attitude of the contributors is that the Bible is not a historical book but contains historical memories. But you can believe the Bible is historically accurate (like I do) and still enjoy these articles.

Some articles focused on controversial issues while others described interesting finds or gave insights into a trade. There were articles about the meaning of the word translated "Red" in "Red Sea," the Hazor excavation, tombs of certain periods and lack of tombs in certain periods, an altar on Mount Ebal, an Edomite shrine, the Sea People, iron working, bronze working, fish and fishing techniques of the lake of Galilee, crucifixion, excavations in Jerusalem (a large public building, the Pool of Siloam, a gate under the Golden Gate, tombs, the Burnt House, etc.), and more.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to those who have enjoyed BAR articles in the past or who are interested in a high level of archaeological detail.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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