Biblical Archaeology Review 42:5, September/October 2016

ReViews: À la Carte: A Broad Approach to Exodus Research

As its subtitle suggests, this book examines many issues concerning the Exodus from a variety of multi-disciplinary perspectives. It consists of 43 essays, each by a different author or group of authors. Many of the names of the 60 contributors will be familiar to BAR readers—Manfred Bietak, William Dever, Israel Finkelstein, Lawrence Geraty, Baruch Halpern, James Hoffmeier, Thomas Levy, Nadav Na’aman and William Propp, to name a few.

The articles are based on papers presented at an interdisciplinary conference at the University of California, San Diego, in 2013 by an international group of scholars and experts in diverse fields, who were addressing their peers. When referencing ancient texts, these experts frequently use the original languages in the relevant scripts (e.g., in the Hebrew alphabet); sometimes they include a transliteration, but often they do not even provide an English translation of the text. As the book contains a lot of technical language and analysis, probably only a third of the articles would be of interest to most BAR readers.

The scholars include archaeologists, Egyptologists, Biblical scholars, computer scientists, geoscientists and other experts. Topics include the historicity of the Exodus, Egyptian and Near Eastern parallels to the Exodus story, archaeological fieldwork on emergent Israel, the formation of Biblical literature, the cultural memory of the Exodus in ancient Israel and ancient topography—among others. Due to the wide scope of offerings, the articles are arranged in nine parts.

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