The World of Biblical Israel : The Great Courses: Comparative & World Religion

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Cynthia R. Chapman
  • Series: The Great Courses: Comparative & World Religion
  • 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

From Genesis to Job, the Hebrew scriptures contain some of the most influential stories in Western civilization. But what do these stories tell us about daily life in ancient Israel? And why do they still speak to us today?
In 24 captivating lectures, Professor Chapman introduces you to the stories of the Judeans in exile and grounds them in their historical context, giving you a grand vision of history as presented in the scriptures. She compares the history in the Bible to the archaeological record so that you come away with a complete picture of life in biblical Israel.
Discover the complete literary power of the scriptures by investigating many of the Bible's key historical moments, from the origins of the Israelites in the Torah to the Babylonian Captivity and the resettlement under the Persian Empire, which is the very heart of the Hebrew scriptures. Learn how the exilic period motivated the community to reexamine its relationship to its God, its land, its religious practices, and its legacy to the children who would become the new Israel.
But you'll tackle more than the sweep of history. From the family compounds to the battlefields and from the kitchens to the temples, Professor Chapman puts flesh on the bones of the biblical stories. Spiritually engaging and historically fascinating, this course is unlike any other, and it will give you a new appreciation both for ancient history and for the foundation of the three Abrahamic faiths.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Liberal Bias

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Cynthia R. Chapman?


What was one of the most memorable moments of The World of Biblical Israel?

When I realized the author did not believe the Bible was God's inspired Word.

Do you think The World of Biblical Israel needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, I am not interested. I was hoping that Audible Books would also offer more books from conservative scholars.

Any additional comments?

Warning to a Biblical conservative that this series has a liberal bias. Author does not believe Moses wrote the five books attributed to him and that Judges is a retelling of the book of Joshua. I wish in the details of any book the author's biases would be noted.

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- Ronald "Bart D. Ehrman is an atheist and I wish you had more scholarly books written by believers."

Interesting, if you can stomach the bias.

I was excited when I found this course - I thought I would be getting historical and cultural insight into ancient Israel. I got some interesting tidbits, but was distracted by the overtone of cynicism with regard to the Bible as anything beyond rewritten family stories full of propaganda, or "composed" literature. As a believer in the Bible as the Word of God, I felt the delivery to be dismissive and disrespectful of listeners who believe these scriptures to be true and ordained by God. The information could have been communicated entirely apart from these subjective interjections - it didn't add anything to the series to have the obvious personal bias of the lecturer against the validity of scripture as truth coating the delivery, and indeed took away from my experience of this series. By the end, I had given up getting any real content, and resolved that the lectures would be mostly the a retelling of scriptural accounts with the speaker's own thoughts and ideas woven in, full of subtle jabs at its accuracy. One might ask how we can learn ANYTHING from the text, if we are also saying it isn't trustworthy. The duplicity is aggravating, and the lack of integrity saddens me. How disappointing.
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- Selah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-25-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses