Jerusalem I: From the Bronze Age to the Maccabees

Article excerpt

Jerusalem I: From the Bronze Age to the Maccabees. By Graeme Auld and Margreet Steiner. Cities of the Biblical World. Macon/Cambridge: Mercer University/Lutterworth 1996, xii + 100 pp., $16.95 paper.

This concise guide to ancient Jerusalem introduces the reader to the city by taking into account the archaeological and historical data available to date. The authors present the material in a readable, fresh manner, packing a great deal of information into the brief framework. The four main chapters orient us to the city, trace Jerusalem's historical development, examine information about the temple and royal houses and discuss matters of "life and death." The concluding chapter is a helpful field guide to the ancient city for the modern visitor, including a walking tour by points of interest mentioned in the book. A helpful bibliography of mostly European and Israeli sources, an index and numerous illustrations add value to the work. By virtue of the title, we may expect to see a second volume on Jerusalem beginning with the Maccabean or Roman era.

While the period discussed overlaps OT history, this work is more academically oriented than Biblical. It is most helpful in providing a current summary of scholarship to date, because working from primary sources of different strata of archaeological studies can be confusing. Yet the reader should be advised that many interpretations presented here may be questioned by others, but due to brevity many arguments are not considered. …