Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 145:580 (Oct 1988)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel. By Eugene H. Merrill. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987. 546 pp. $24.95.

Kingdom of Priests marks a new era in evangelical studies on the history of Israel. Before this book appeared those who believed in the inspiration of the Word of God faced difficult choices when searching for a history of Israel. Those books that accepted the inspiration and authenticity of the Bible were often sketchy or incomplete in providing a detailed historical account in light of ancient Near Eastern events. Those books that provided details on archaeology or contemporary ancient Near Eastern history were based on critical assumptions that denied, amended, or discarded the clear, historical statements of the Bible. Merrill writes in his introduction, “Our purpose is to understand the history of Israel as an integration of political, social, economic, and religious factors, and to do so not only on the basis of the Old Testament as Scripture, but also with careful attention to the literary and archaeological sources of the ancient Near Eastern world of which Israel was a part” (p. 16).

Merrill has succeeded admirably in his endeavor. The book, written in a clear, flowing style, carefully traces the nation of Israel from the time of the Patriarchs to the close of the Old Testament at the time of Malachi. Laymen will enjoy the style of writing, which provides insight into the biblical events by “fleshing them out” with archaeological and literary data. Scholars will appreciate the careful attention to detail and informative footnotes that provide more technical argumentation. Merrill does an especially good job in analyzing and harmonizing apparent chronological problems such as the date of the Exodus (pp. 66-75), the dates and length of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt (pp. 75-78), the chronology of the period of the Judges (pp. 146-51), and the vexing question of the dating of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (pp. 402-5). His material is supplemented by clear tables and maps. The bibliography is selective but adequate, and a good Scripture index and subject index are provided.

In summary Merrill’s work is a welcome addition to the study of Israel’s history. Pastors and laymen who are serious about interpreting the biblical record of Israel in its historical context should acquire this book and read it.

Charles H. Dyer

Origin Science. By Norman L. Geisler and J. Kerby Anderson. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987. 198 pp. Paper, $8.95.

Coauthors Geisler and Anderson have developed in this book a creative new approach to the discussion of origins. What they ...

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