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Archaeology and the Old Testament

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"Teachers and students alike will welcome the combination of Hoerth's informed scholarship and engaging style of presentation as he skillfully guides them through the many facets of biblical archaeology."--John Walton, Wheaton College

Archaeological discoveries can shed a flood of light on the biblical text, and this richly illustrated resource offers illuminating archaeological information related to the Old Testament.

"The most important contributions of archaeology to biblical studies," according to Hoerth, "are the various ways it illuminates the cultural and historical setting for the Bible, adds to our knowledge of the people, places, things, and events in the Bible, and its aid to translation and exegesis of biblical passages."

Hoerth surveys the entire Old Testament, pointing out the relevant archaeological material and explaining how it enriches biblical studies. In an attempt to bridge the Old and New Testament worlds, the author devotes the final chapter to examining the intertestamental period.

Hoerth's readable and accessible volume boasts over 250 illustrative items--charts, photographs, line drawings, and maps--and includes a helpful index and bibliography.


"The publishing of Alfred Hoerth's Archaeology and the Old Testament fills a gap long existent in the archaeological literature. While other books introduce Near Eastern archaeology to the reader, seldom do they do so while maintaining a friendly appreciation of the Scriptures. Hoerth has done a masterful job of blending archaeology and the Bible, while not confusing or endermining the contribution of either. One cannot find a better introduction to the topic, nor one better written. No doubt, Archaeology and the Old Testament will become a classic."--David Merling, Andrews University

"Alfred Hoerth has been perhaps the most important influence on students in evangelical biblical archaeology over the past thirty years. No other teacher has prepared so many of us for careers that touch upon this discipline in one way or another. It is a great pleasure to welcome this well-written and illustrated volume that expresses in print those clear and enthusiastic presentations that first interested and excited many of the present generation of biblical scholars and archaeologists."--Richard Hess, Denver Seminary

"Teachers and students alike will welcome the combination of Hoerth's informed scholarship and engaging style of presentation as he skillfully guides them through the many facets of biblical archaeology. His careful selection of material and his sensible approach to showing the reader how to use that material to gain understanding of the Old Testament combine to make this a superb introduction to the discipline. Hoerth's archaeological expertise is evident on every page. His years of teaching experience also yield their subtle fruits as he masterfully intertwines the biblical story with the history and culture of the ancient Near East. Archaeology and its finds become the tools of his craft as he artfully portrays the rich culture of the biblical world."--John Walton, Wheaton College

The Author

  1. Alfred J. Hoerth

    Alfred J. Hoerth

    Alfred J. Hoerth taught archaeology at Wheaton College for almost thirty years and directed Wheaton's renowned biblical archaeology program. He has participated in numerous archaeological digs and served as coeditor of Peoples of the Old Testament World.

    Continue reading about Alfred J. Hoerth


"The books' organization unabashedly takes its lead from the biblical accounts. . . . This volume is richly illustrated with over two-hundred photographs, line-drawings, chronological charts, maps, and tables. Each chapter is enhanced by a full reference list, as well as Scripture and subject indexes. Indeed, Hoerth has achieved what few have attempted, an integration of the Bible and recent archaeological discoveries in the ancient Near East, while retaining a generally high view of Scripture. This volume makes a significant contribution to the field and is essential for anyone interested in Near Eastern archaeology and the Bible. . . . Archaeology and the Old Testament will undoubtedly serve as a reference source for interested students of the Bible and a textbook for introductory archaeology courses in seminaries and parochial schools for many years to come."--Michael G. Hasel, Andrews University Seminary Studies

"This volume contains a mature interpretation of the relevant issues from one who has enjoyed many seasons of archaeological research in the Near East. . . . This volume is profusely illustrated with photographs, maps, site plans, chronological charts, and line-drawings that add much to the discussion. The layout and sharpness of these carefully chosen illustrations, including images of clay tablets, is--with few exceptions--of a high quality."--Gerald L. Mattingly, Stone Campbell Journal

"The book gives a wealth of information on ancient documents whose relevance for the biblical world is beyond dispute. The book includes good illustrations and charts, and all readers will profit from this eminently learned work."--Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete

"A good historical overview."--Dianne Bergant, CSA, Bible Today

"For those interested in archaeology and its contributions to biblical studies, Archaeology and the Old Testament will be a good addition to your library. Hoerth approaches this vast topic from a conservative, Evangelical perspective. He begins by putting biblical archaeology in its place, explaining what it can and cannot do. He focuses on archaeology's value in enlightening understanding about the culture, people, places, and events of the Old Testament and as well as from time to time reversing critical claims against the Bible. He rightly warns, however, that 'evangelical confidence and hope should not be built on any external proof--not even archaeology."--Biblical Viewpoint

"This volume provides a thoughtful introduction for students of the discipline and those preparing for ministry in the church."--Arie C. Leder, Calvin Theological Journal

"Since Keith Schovile's Biblical Archaeology in Focus went out of print several years ago, a good up-to-date introductory textbook for the beginning student in archaeology has been difficult to reference. Hoerth's Archaeology and the Old Testament fills that void. The book is innovative in a number of ways."--Paul J. Ray Jr., Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin

"Illustrations take the form of black and white photographs, drawings, charts, timelines, and maps. They are clear, concise, and bring more life to the printed text. . . . Most readers of Archaeology and the Old Testament will be students reading chapter by chapter or pastors and Christian laity consulting it as a reference. It read well as a whole and was fascinating."--Paul J. Cain, Liturgy, Hymnody, and Pulpit Quarterly