The Archaeology of the Bible by James K. Hoffmeier

imageThe Western Reformed Seminary Journal has a new review by John A. Battle of The Archaeology of the Bible, by James K. Hoffmeier (Oxford: Lion Hudson, 2008). Here is an excerpt with a brief mention of the Shroud of Turin:

If you’re looking for an attractive, well balanced survey of biblical archaeology by a recognized expert, this volume would serve your purpose well.  James Hoffmeier is an experienced archaeologist, specializing in the region of Egypt where the Israelites lived and through which they traversed to the Holy Land.  Hoffmeier, unlike many modern “minimalists,” takes historical texts seriously, whether from the Bible or from Egyptian or other sources.  While he teaches at a Christian institution and holds to an evangelical view of the Bible, he openly points out where the biblical record is strongly attested by archaeology and where that record has difficulties.  He makes it clear that we do not presently have all the data, and probably never will; therefore, he says, we need to suspend judgment in some cases.

The book is well organized with an introduction to archaeology and its practice in the biblical lands.  He then goes chronologically through the major periods of Israel’s history and the times of the early church, showing the important archaeological discoveries that help to explain or illuminate the biblical text.  Since his specialty is in the archaeology of the Egyptian settlement and exodus of Israel, his contributions in these chapters are especially interesting.  He supports the so-called late date for the exodus.  The materials he includes for the study of the united and divided monarchy of Israel are especially strong and well illustrated.  The chapters on the New Testament trace the major locations and artifacts for the life of Jesus, the early Judean church, and the cities of Paul.  Since the book is fairly recent, it includes major recent discoveries that further illumine the biblical narrative, including continuing debate on the Shroud of Turin and an interesting discussion on the disputed ossuary of James the brother of Jesus.

I will need to check out this book.

See Western Reformed Seminary : Personal Touch… Pastoral Vision

One thought on “The Archaeology of the Bible by James K. Hoffmeier”

  1. Just a little question as to the authority of the shroud of Turin. Namely, how is it possible to have a perfectly flat image of a supposed jesus of a shroud that was wrapped around a body. If this was a true image then surely the edges of the image would be diffused and stretched rather than showing a perfect 2 dimensional image. Forget about the exactness of Carbon dating which is extremely accurate to a few decades on objects less than 2000 years, just give me a reason as to why the image is so flat and symmetrical ?

Comments are closed.