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Examines seven mysteries of the Hebrew Bible, from the Garden of Eden and Noah's Ark, to the Exodus, the Babylonian Exile, and the Lost Tribes of Israel, placing these biblical stories in their archaeological and historical context.
Eric H. Cline uses the tools of his trade to examine some of the most puzzling mysteries from the Hebrew Bible and, in the process, to narrate the history of ancient Israel. Combining the academic rigor that has won the respect of his peers with an accessible style that has made him a favorite with readers and students alike, he lays out each mystery, evaluates all available evidencefrom established fact to arguable assumption to far-fetched leap of faithand proposes an explanation that reconciles Scripture, science, and history.
Numerous amateur archaeologists have sought some trace of NoahÕs Ark to meet only with failure. But, though no serious scholar would undertake such a literal search, many agree that the Flood was no myth but the cultural memory of a real, catastrophic inundation, retold and reshaped over countless generations. Likewise, some experts suggest that JoshuaÕs storied victory at Jericho is the distant echo of an earthquake instead of IsraelÕs sacred trumpetsa fascinating, geologically plausible theory that remains unproven despite the best efforts of scientific research.
Cline places these and other Biblical stories in solid archaeological and historical context, debunks more than a few lunatic-fringe fantasies, and reserves judgment on ideas that cannot yet be confirmed or denied. Along the way, our most informed understanding of ancient Israel comes alive with dramatic but accurate detail in this groundbreaking, engrossing, entertaining book by one of the rising stars in the field.
"In a world that turns more and more to irrational views of history, Eric Cline demythologizes the 'mysteries of the Bible.'He does so with the force of reason, using clear language and a perfect command of the ancient records and the finds from the field."
—Israel Finkelstein, Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, author of The Bible Unearthed
"Eric Cline explores some of the most challenging mysteries of the Bible, from the location of the mythic Garden of Eden to the historical question of how the Ten Lost Tribes were lost. A stimulating and fluent read throughout, and always instructive."
—Baruch Halpern, Pennsylvania State University, author of David's Secret Demons
"Cline is a serious scholar in full command of the subject matter and the available material evidence for recovering and reconstructing the history of Israel in its ancient Near Eastern context."
—David Noel Freedman, University of California at San Diego, author of The Nine Commandments
Eric H. Cline holds degrees in classical archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, and ancient history, and currently serves as chair of the Department of Classical and Semitic Languages and Literatures at George Washington University. A prolific researcher and the prize-winning author of seven books, including The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age, which won a Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Award for "Best Popular Book on Archaeology" and was a Main Selection of the Natural Science Book Club. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
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