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A History of Israel

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  170 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Unsurpassed for nearly half a century, and now with a new introduction and appendix by William P. Brown, John Bright's A History of Israel will continue to be a standard for a new generation of students of the Old Testament. This book remains a classic in the literature of theological education.
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 574 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Westminster John Knox Press
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Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, religion
This is the most interesting book I've read all year. It's an attempt to tell the story of the Jews from the earliest times to the Maccabean revolt using the Bible, archaeology and the general history of the area. In the absence of other evidence – or common sense – Bright defaults to the Bible (using a critical approach).

The danger with this, of course, is that new facts emerge from the ground all the time. Even I, with my very sketchy knowledge of the period noticed a few points where more rec
Colin Pearce
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a young eager Theological College student raised in a conservative Christian church I trembled as I read Bright for the first time because he challenged everything I knew about the times and dates of the history of Israel from my Sunday School lessons and the wispy nature of the teaching by child and youth workers. About ten years ago I picked it up and it was like reading the newspaper.

I love it and recommend it to a serious Bible reader. it would be particularly useful to read it before to
Erik Graff
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bible fans
Recommended to Erik by: George Landis
Shelves: religion
I picked up this, Bright's most popular book, at the Union Theological Seminary bookstore (an excellent place at the time!). Of course I didn't get around to actually reading the thing until years later, but by then it was a good refresher since it had been so long since I'd taken a course on the Hebrew Scriptures and the history corresponding to them.
Mar 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ancient, history, jewish
I wanted a comprehensive HISTORY of ancient Israel. The author has a little too much faith in the bible to accomplish this task. That, and he has several annoying writing habits ("we have seen," "We may suppose," "as we have seen," ... all in the same paragraph!) All that said, I think I'm just the wrong audience for what is otherwise a very handy synthesis of history and the bible.
Jeff Noble
A history of Israel (Westminster aids to the study of the Scriptures) by John Bright (?)
May 09, 2016 marked it as reference-academic
(2nd ed.) This is so comprehensive and so brilliant. A tad conservative in some places, but so very good. Indispensable.
Jun 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The most useful history of Israel tracing through the Old Testament record and comparing and contrasting other cultures contemporary with historical Israel.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Has good information about wars, kings, battles, and conquence of Israel. It is not specifically my kind of book it is very much like a history textbook it has very good information and organization.
Andy Hickman
Jan 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Solid reference resource.

Bright, J. A History of Israel. 4th ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.
Very dry. Very informative.
Covenant Presbyterian Springfield Ohio
Call Number: 221.02 BRI

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John Bright was an American biblical scholar, the author of several important books including the influential A History of Israel, currently in its fourth edition. He was closely associated with the American school of Biblical criticism pioneered by William F. Albright, which sought to marry archaeology to a defence of the reliability of the Bible, especially the earlier books of the Old Testament ...more
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“Like David uniting Judah and Israel, but to no avail, Bright’s textbook facilitated an uneasy union between theology and history that has not held among most historians today. Two histories, one biblical (Geschichte) and the other the product of archaeology and sociological reconstruction (Historie), have for the time being seemingly gone their separate ways.40 For Bright, however, genuine history and genuine theology, as evidenced in Israel’s faith, were one and the same.” 0 likes
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