Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
ATJ vol 38 p. 117
Yohanan Aharoni, Michael Avi-Yonah, Anson F. Rainey, Ze’ev Safrai, The Carta Bible Atlas, 4th ed. Jerusalem: Carta, 2002; distributed in the U.S. by Eisenbrauns, P.O. Box 275, Winona Lake, IN 46590. Pp. 223, cloth, $38.95.
This very useful atlas was originally published in Israel under this title and then translated into English and published in the U.S. as The Macmillan Bible Atlas. Changes from the third edition are few indeed, with a brief new introductory note, a slight reordering of the end-pages and the addition of an index or persons. Those who already have the third edition should be satisfied with it.
An edition of the atlas is useful and should be in every serious Bible scholar’s library. It goes through the Bible chronologically (and on into the siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70) giving detailed maps of different biblical and extra-biblical events along with generous explanations of these events. For example, a map of Abram’s migration shows the entire ancient Near East, with arrows indicating the suggested route from Ur to Haran to Shechem, down into Egypt at Zoan, and back north to Beer-sheba. Relevant scripture verses accompany the maps. While many of the maps are conjectural, the volume supplies an invaluable supplement to the biblical text, breathing additional life into the journeys and battles which a simple textual rendition is unable to parallel.
David W. Baker
Yairah Amit, Reading Biblical Narratives: Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001. 187 pp., paper, $20.00.
In 1981 Robert Alter wrote The Art of Biblical Narrative. In 1993 David Gunn and Danna Nolan Fewell offered Narrative in the Hebrew Bible. Like these earlier contributions, Reading Biblical Narrative explores the distinctives of Hebrew narrative. The unique characteristics of Hebrew story telling are summarized and demonstrated with examples taken from a range of Old Testament texts.
This work began as a series of 13 lectures delivered at Tel Aviv University 1999–2000. It was subsequently published in Hebrew and then translated and published in English in 2001. Amit works with the Tanakh translation and makes judicious use of Hebrew in her explanations. Amit’s text is 147 pages of content (this excludes bibliography and notes) compared with Alter’s 189 pages of smaller type and the even longer text by Gunn and Fewell at 205 pages which also contains an extensive bibliography. The most significant difference of Amit’s text is that it omits full discussions of scholarly debate or history and remains focused on demonstrating characteristics of Hebrew Bible narrative. This, combined with its easy reading style, makes it ideal for...
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