Review: Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology

35720745The Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology: A Book by Book Guide to Archaeological Discoveries Related to the Bible by Randall Price with H. Wayne House is an up-to-date and comprehensive illustrated examination of the biblical world. Readers will encounter numerous full-color photographs, charts, maps, and illustrations that inform the historical context of Bible and offer insight into landscape of biblical archaeology.

The Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology opens with an informative introduction that is to be considered essential reading for most readers. Price and House do much to position readers towards the field and usefulness (or lack thereof in some cases [i.e. the limitations]) of biblical archaeology, including methodology, practices, and the significance of archaeology to the field of biblical studies. The Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology is organized into three sections: (1) Archaeology of the Old Testament, (2) Archaeology of the Intertestamental Period, and (3) Archaeology of the New Testament. With the exception of the second section (which is primarily concerned with the Second Temple Period and the Dead Sea Scrolls), Price and House guide the reader book-by-book (Genesis through Revelation) investigating the most important discoveries that enhance an understanding of the biblical text. Additionally, readers will find a full-bodied glossary, detailed atlas maps, and an updated bibliography.

The feature-packed pages of the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology make this volume an essential addition to the library of any serious student of the Bible. It’s a perfect companion to any major Bible Atlas. Moreover, the quality of images compliments the content and seriousness of the material presented. Price and House are appropriately cautious and transparent about the limitations of archaeology, though they are also equally forward about the significance of such discoveries for the study of the Bible. Still, the uniqueness of this volume comes in its canonical approach to the task at hand. Not only is this helpful for the reader to pinpoint where and how the archaeological discoveries supportively enhance the biblical narrative, but it brings a contextual edge to the biblical text that allows the reader to connect the historical dots with ease.

The Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology: A Book by Book Guide to Archaeological Discoveries Related to the Bible by Randall Price with H. Wayne House is an exciting resource that will quickly find its way into the academy as a textbook standard. That said, it’s well written and attractively presented to allow for a broad array of readers. If you’re serious about the Bible and desire to understand the world in which it emerged, then this up-to-date and comprehensive biblical archaeological resource could not be recommended more strongly. It will be used and consulted more than you think!

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