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Digging Through the Bible
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Many of our religious beliefs are based on faith alone, but archaeology gives the opportunity to find evidence about what really happened in the distant past-evidence that can have a dramatic impact on what and how we believe. Join celebrated archaeologist and rabbi Richard Fruend as he takes readers through digs he has led in the Holy Land, searching for evidence about key biblical characters and events. Digging Through the Bible presents overviews of the evidence surrounding figures such as Moses, Kings David and Solomon, and Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as new information that can help us more fully understand the life and times in which these people would have lived. Freund also presents new evidence about finding the grave of the Teacher of Righteousness mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and gives a compelling argument about how the Exodus of the Israelites may have taken place in three separate waves over time, rather than in a single event as presented in the Bible. In addition to discussing some of the greatest Biblical controversies of our day, Freund provides a compelling discussion of how to understand these debates and how much information is necessary to form new conclusions about the past. An engaging introduction to the practice of Biblical archaeology, Digging Through the Bible shares information about the Holy Land that can provide a powerful connection between past history and present faith.
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Table of Contents

Chronology of Events Introduction Chapter 1 The Search for Sinai: Archaeological Reflections on Moses, the Exodus, and the Revelation at Mount Sinai Chapter 2 Searching for Kings David and Solomon and the Ancient City of Jerusalem Chapter 3 Searching for Jesus in Galilee and Babylonia Chapter 4 Searching Her-Stories: Women in Ancient Israel Chapter 5 Searching for Synagogues: A Lost Synagogue Ritual Recovered by Archaeology Chapter 6 Searching for the Mysterious Teacher of Righteousness at Qumran and in the Dead Sea Scrolls Chapter 7 Seeking Mary: The Mother of Jesus and the Well and Bathhouse of Nazareth Chapter 8 The Search for Bar Kokhba: One Biblical Character Who Was Found Appendix: Exploring an Archeological Site Acknowledgements Bibliography

About the Author

Richard A. Freund is Maurice Greenberg Professor of Jewish History and director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford. He is the author of several books on biblical archaeology and has been featured on NOVA, CNN, and the History and Discovery Channels.

Reviews

Richard Freund's Digging Through the Bible is a personal account of excavating the most important sites of the Bible, and it is spellbinding. A provocative and fascinating account of the major controversies of the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity. -- Rabbi Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, New York University Digging through the Bible does something that no other book on archaeology and the Bible does. It brings the reader in a pedagogical as well as in a very updated and well-learned way from the Hebrew Bible through the New Testament, touching on most of the major contemporary controversies about Jerusalem, the Exodus, Jesus, and Qumran. -- Adolf Roitman, curator, The Shrine of the Book, The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem Richard Freund's extensive knowledge of the literary and archaeological sources, as well as his insights and ability to make connections, make this a must-read for any student of the Bible. His work at numerous excavations in Israel and his experience as a professor and Rabbi make him uniquely qualified to write this lively book, which is comprehensible to both lay reader and scholar alike. -- Elizabeth McNamer, Rocky Mountain College; director, Rocky Mountain College Bethsaida Excavations Project A fascinating, riveting excavation through layers of history (and quite literally, earth and humankind) that will be of tremendous interest to both scholars and a general readers. Richard Freund is remarkable at casting a fresh eye on texts and artifacts that seem to be well known, but deserve more careful scrutiny. -- Michael Berkowitz, University College London Richard Freund has produced a very readable and stimulating book that addresses a number of vexing biblical issues. Thanks to his direct involvement in excavations in Israel, he is able to offer new firsthand data to bolster the case he makes. -- James K. Hoffmeier, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Freund has put together a masterful and eminently readable study of these differences, not to resolve them, but rather to explore the rich traditions that produced these writings. In an invaluable introductory chapter, he leads the reader through the world of biblical archaeology, examining the methods of textual criticism and historical research... He masterfully studies the rise and centrality of the synagogue system within the Hebrew community... His commitment to objective research and sound exegesis will surely inspire and inform every reader. Publishers Weekly, (Starred Review) Well written and researched... Recommended. Library Journal, December 2008 For those who enjoy the study of biblical archaeology but don't claim to be experts, this will be a rewarding read. Freund is an informed and interesting narrator. The Bible Today, July/August 2009 In fairly simple terms, [Freund] explains the different sides of each question and presents the available evidence. He describes the methodologies of biblical literary criticism and of biblical archaeology... It is a good introduction to the problems of 'believing' the Bible in a post-modern, scientificized world. Jewish Book World, November 2009 Freund offers an erdutite, clearly written study of the biblical Old and New Testaments, as well as inscriptional and literary evidence that relates to them... Recommended. CHOICE, October 2009 After providing a 46-page 'crash course' in biblical archaeology, Freund, professor of Jewish history at the University of Hartford and author of Secrets of the Cave of Letters: A Dead Sea Mystery (2004), uses archaeological finding to draw conclusions about key biblical characters and events. New Testament Abstracts

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