Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BETS 6:4 (Fall 1963) p. 140
A Primer of Old Testament Archaeology, by H. J. Franken and C. A. Franken-Battershill (E. J. Brill, 1963, pp. xv + 180, + 24 pls., 1 map, $6.46).
The idea is original; to equip seminary students for independent handling of archaeological material relevant to the Bible. Unfortunately, a student conscientiously applying the proffered guidelines would quickly conclude that archaeology was still in the age of Schliemann.
A premise of the book is that the baulk method is the only way to dig. The authors have such an intense regard for this Wheeler-Kenyon method that all other approaches are deprecated or ignored completely. Most archaeologists consider baulks useful only in certain instances and, consequently,, their site reports will not contain “checkerboard” photographs or complex sections distinctive of the method. But the reader is trained to evaluate all reports wholly on the degree of their conformity to the Wheeler-Kenyon method — a method that the majority of archaeologists neither fully agree with nor follow!
The treatment of older publications is overly critical. By introducing certain correctives, most of these reports can still be used. Nowhere is this taught the student. Much is said of pottery but it is not treated in a way that would be really useful to the armchair archaeologist.
Spelling and punctuation errors are numerous. The authors do not seem completely at home in English. Some passages must be re-read for meaning, others say what I am sure the writers did not intend (e.g. stratigraphy involves the “pealing [sic] off . . . of earth layers in their original order.”).
The final two chapters (Industries and Crafts, and Material Remains and Spiritual Life), and certain earlier portions, can be used in classrooms if the instructor is familiar with recent literature. Basically it is the failure to present a balanced evaluation of archaeological methods that destroys most of the usefulness of this book.
Alfred J. Hoerth
USING THEOLOGICAL BOOKS AND LIBRARIES, by Ella V. Aldrich and Thomas Edward Camp, (Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1963, 119 pp. Soft covers $1.95.)
This book is worth its weight in gold, and is an absolute must for all who are required to do research work in theological libraries — students in seminaries, colleges that offer courses in the field of religion, and graduate schools of theology — and for clergymen who want to be sure of their facts in the sermons they prepare. There has long been a crying need for a book like this, but until now nothing like it has been available. Teachers have had to take time to inform their students about the most important ...
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