The View from NeboAmy Dockser Marcus (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2000) 1 map, 304 pp., $25.95 (hardback)
The Bible Is HistoryIan Wilson (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 1999) 173 color and 19 b&w illus., 13 maps, 256 pp., $29.95 (hardback)
I enjoyed reading these books, until I reached the end of each one. Both explore the relationship between archaeology and the Bible, focusing heavily on the “Biblical” periods in Palestine—that is, the Bronze and Iron Ages (c. 3000–586 B.C.E.). Both are intended for a popular audience and cover much of the same material in chronological order. Both books are well researched and incorporate the latest archaeological findings and debates, despite the fact that the authors are not academics trained in Biblical archaeology (Marcus was the Wall Street Journal’s Middle East correspondent from 1991 to 1998; Wilson—as the dust jacket informs us—“graduated in Modern History” from Oxford in 1963 and currently lives in Australia). But that is where the similarities between the two books end. Marcus’s perspective is reflected in the subtitle of her book, How Archaeology Is Rewriting the Bible and Reshaping the Middle East, whereas Wilson’s purpose is to demonstrate that The Bible Is History.