Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 46:1 (Spring 1984)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

G. Cornfeld and D. N. Freedman: Archaeology of the Bible: Book by Book. Cambridge, Mass.: Harper and Row, 1976. 343. $12.95, paper.

In the advertising leaflet from Harper and Row the book is described as an amended, fully corrected first paperback edition of the original hardback edition by the same authors. The authors, Gaslyah Cornfeld and David Noel Freedman, are described in the leaflet as editors of the material in the volume, but on the paperback cover only Freedman is listed as Consulting Editor, while on the inside title page both are listed (seemingly) as authors. Being an overall survey and citing frequently from other authors, especially Benjamin Mazar and other Israeli archaeologists as Y. Aharoni and Y. Yadin, it could be said in some sense that both Cornfeld and Freedman can be called editors of the book.

As indicated in the title of the book (and in the Harper and Row advertising leaflet), the volume includes archaeological and geographical material and Bible history (discussed Bible book by Bible book), but it contains more: Bible book contents, historical-critical analysis, cultural background, etc.

The format of the work is as follows: a short Introduction, followed by three major sections composed of twenty Parts (I-XX), divided in the following manner: the OT, Parts I-XV, Genesis to Daniel; the Intertestamental Period, Part XVI; the NT, Parts XVII-XX, from an introduction to the Gospels to the book of Revelation; a brief conclusion, “New Testament as Scripture,” concludes the work. In the overall, the OT receives the largest coverage (pp. 5-236), the Intertestamental Period just 30 pages, and the NT some 67 pages.

In the Introduction (pp. 1-3) the authors point out that for the people of God “God’s own righteous ends in history provided the framework for the biblical understanding of both communal and personal history” (p. 1). They state that the biblical record is silent about many periods of ancient history (p. 1). They comment that archaeology cannot speak to such a subject as the resurrection of Christ, but that through the Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish-Christian inscriptions it has shed new light on the beginnings of Christianity (p. 1). The authors hold that archaeology has “substantiated and illuminated the biblical story,” but they note that “the biblical

archaeologist must limit his deductive thinking by rigid scientific discipline.” By this they mean that the archaeologist does not set out to prove that “the Bible is true,” and he must avoid “uncritical approaches” in dealing with archaeology and the Bible (pp. 1-2). In stating this, the authors further comment that, of course, the “biblical...

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