An image rich, passage-by-passage commentary that integrates textual and artifactual context from the ancient Near East to inform our understanding and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible—while remaining respectful to the inerrancy of Scripture.
Without a deep knowledge of the ancient cultures the Old Testament was born from, we can be tempted to impose our own culture on the text, potentially distorting it. This unique Bible backgrounds commentary examines:
- The history of the ancient Near East as a means of recovering knowledge of the events that shaped the lives of the people.
- The archaeology as a means of recovering the lifestyle reflected in the material cultures.
- The literature of the ancient Near East as a means of understanding the heart and soul of the people who inhabited the ancient world that Israel shared.
Detailed exegetical notes are combined with comparative discussions of the cultural settings that help scholars interpret the early historical books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and 1 & 2 Samuel.
This volume of the celebrated Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary series brings these five books of the Bible into sharper focus—enabling scholars, pastors, and laity to access rich data from over one hundred and seventy years of explorations and excavations in the Near East.
THE ZONDERVAN ILLUSTRATED BIBLE BACKGROUNDS COMMENTARY SERIES
Invites you to enter the world of the Old Testament with a company of seasoned guides, experts who will give new insights into these cherished writings. Features:
- Over 2000 photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams, and charts provide a visual feast that breathes fresh life into the text.
- Passage-by-passage commentary presents archaeological findings, historical explanations, geographic insights, notes on manners and customs, and more.
- Analysis into the literature of the ancient Near East will open your eyes to new depths of understanding both familiar and unfamiliar passages.
- Written by an international team of 30 specialists, all top scholars in background studies.
About the Authors
Daniel I. Block (D.Phil, University of Liverpool) is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College.Dale W. Manor (PhD, University of Arizona) is Professor of Archaeology and Bible at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He has been the Field Director of the Tel Beth-Shemesh Excavation Project in Israel since 2000. In addition, he served on the staff of the Tel Miqne/Ekron and Tel Rehov Projects in Israel. He served as an Assistant to the Editor of the Anchor Bible Dictionary in which he has several articles. Additional articles appear in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East, the Eerdmans' Dictionary of the Bible, and the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. V. Phillips Long (Ph.D., Cambridge) is professor of Old Testament, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Richard Hess (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is Earl S. Kalland professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Denver Seminary.
“The publication of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament marks a major step forward in the systematic integration of the textual and artifactual evidences from the ancient Near East that inform the context of Scripture. This important reference work will serve as an essential starting point for an ancient “contextual criticism” of the Hebrew Bible, enabling scholars, pastors, and laity to access the rich data from over one hundred and seventy years of explorations and excavations in the Near East. Readers will find the visual materials particularly valuable, since often these are scattered in many diverse places. While there will always be disagreements concerning the interpretations of the data, the collection in a single source will be a boon to all.” -- K. Lawson Younger
“Biblical commentaries have traditionally explicated the text verse-by-verse. By contrast, evidence from the wider archaeological, institutional and literary context has typically been organized thematically. John H. Walton and his collaborators have combined these two methods, presenting the context verse-by-verse. They have done so in a responsible manner, which will satisfy both maximalists and minimalists as well as the majority of Bible readers who find themselves between these two extremes.” -- William W. Hallo
“This is a unique and important commentary. It is a milestone in the collection and comparative interpretation of ancient Near Eastern texts, pictures, and other archaeological materials as well as geographical, historical, and cultural information as they relate to the Old Testament. There is nothing else like it available today. The interpretations provided are usually cogent and convincing. Where there is legitimate debate, the explanations generally show due caution. There will always be disagreements between scholars on such matters, but the many comparative and archaeological resources assembled in these volumes make it a veritable gold mine for those who desire to take the ancient context of the Lord’s work and word seriously in their study, teaching, and preaching of Holy Scripture.” -- Richard E. Averbeck
“This is an impressive and rich resource for scholars, students, seminarians, and interested lay readers. The volumes, with their insightful and perceptive commentaries, updated footnotes, wonderful illustrations, and sidebars---all judiciously researched---contain a veritable thesaurus of enlightening information relating to the Hebrew Bible within the cultural, ideological, and religious world of the ancient Near East. Notwithstanding their traditional approach to Scripture, I heartily recommend this series with enthusiasm.” -- Shalom Paul
“As a pastor, I am certain that the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament is a deeply valuable tool for ministry. With rock-solid scholarship, relevant commentary, and gripping visual illustrations, this will be a great tool for believers for years to come.” -- Kevin G. Harney
“This tool is a rich gift to everyone who seeks to teach the Scriptures.” -- John Ortberg