One of the most prolific publishers in the
United States is National Geographic. Their books are expensive (this
one costs $40.00), full of beautiful pictures, and well organized.
Unfortunately, their approach in the past has been highly critical of
Christianity. They have approached the Bible from a minimalist point of
view, with a generally negative air and an emphasis on problems more
than solutions. This book is a welcomed exception. The authors state
“The purpose of this book is not to prove or disprove the Bible but to
explore the world that gave rise to its Scriptures and consider them in
their historical context — an approach that can enhance one’s
appreciation for the Bible both as a work of history and as a statement
of faith” (page 19).
and the Scroll
by Robin Currie & Stephen G. Hyslop,
National Geographic, 2009,
335 pages, $40.00 (hardcover), ISBN-13: 978-1-4262-0514-9
The book is divided into eight chapters covering major eras in biblical
history. The chapters are titled (1) “Sumer and Akkad: Land of
Abraham”; (2) “Egypt: Pharaoh’s Land”; (3) “Canaan: The Promised Land”;
(4) “The United Monarchy: Kingdom of David and Solomon”; (5) “Israel
and Judah: The Divided Kingdom”; (6) “Persia, Greece and Rome: Imperial
Overlords”; (7) “Galilee and Judea: Where Jesus Walked”; and (8)
“Jerusalem: A Land Besieged.” Each of these subjects is discussed by
referencing or quoting Scripture and then showing what artifacts and
historical records there are for what is stated. There is very little
editorializing and a minimum of judging of the credibility of the
account given in the Bible.
This is a useful book. The pictures and art work are typical National
Geographic quality and the book could be used as a reference and
picture source for class teaching very effectively. It would be very
useful in a church library, but its price may make it of limited use
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Does God Exist?, JulAug10.