Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PDT
Local: 6:32 PM

Sign in

  1. Forgot your password?
What's Pre-Pub?

Eerdmans Israelite Studies Collection (5 vols.)

by Dever, William G., MacDonald, Nathan

Eerdmans 2001–2012

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.
Your Price
$68.40
8% OFF
Reg.: $74.10
Under Development
Eerdmans Israelite Studies Collection (5 vols.)
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

Get more books at a bigger discount when you order the Eerdmans Bible Reference Bundle!

Overview

Over the course of a 30-year career as a professor and researcher, eminent scholar William G. Dever has conducted many archaeological excavations in the Near East, resulting in a large body of award-winning fieldwork and a fascinating understanding of this period. The Eerdmans Israelite Studies Collection gathers four of Dever’s valuable texts on ancient Israelite society, history, and religion. Carefully researched and meticulously analyzed, his work presents a powerful case against revisionist claims attacking the historicity of ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible. Throughout these volumes, he shows how modern archaeology brilliantly illuminates both life in ancient Palestine and the sacred Scriptures as we have them today. He builds the clearest, most complete picture yet of the Israel that existed during the Iron Age of ancient Palestine (1200–600 BC).

In this collection, you’ll find Dever’s analysis of folk religion in ancient Israel, which gives special attention to the goddess Asherah; his exploration of the history of ancient Israelites, the lives of ordinary Israelites, and the archaeological evidence for their origins; and much more. You’ll also benefit from an additional volume from scholar Nathan MacDonald which examines the diet of ancient Israelites, further fleshing out your study.

The Logos edition of the Eerdmans Israelite Studies Collection is designed to enhance and accelerate your study. These fully indexed texts enable near-instant search results for words, people, places, and ideas, while Scripture references appear on mouseover in your preferred translation. Find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the early Israelite history, society, religion, and much more. Logos tablet and mobile apps let you take your study wherever you go. With the most efficient and comprehensive research tools all in one place, you can expand your study with just a few clicks.

Key Features

  • Examines the society, history, and religion of ancient Israelites
  • Provides compelling counter arguments to revisionist claims against the historicity of ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible
  • Contains William G. Dever’s unique exploration of the lives of ordinary Israelites
  • Includes Nathan MacDonald’s study of the diet of ancient Israelites

Individual Titles

Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel

  • Author: William G. Dever
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 360

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Following two widely acclaimed studies of ancient Israelite history and society, William Dever reconstructs the practice of religion in ancient Israel from the bottom up. Archaeological excavations reveal numerous local and family shrines where sacrifices and other rituals were carried out. Intrigued by this “folk religion” in all its variety and vitality, Dever writes about ordinary people in ancient Israel and their everyday religious lives. Did God Have a Wife? shines new light on the presence and influence of women’s cults in early Israel and their implications for our understanding of Israel’s official “book religion.” Dever pays particular attention to the goddess Asherah, reviled by the authors of the Hebrew Bible as a foreign deity but, in the view of many modern scholars, popularly envisioned in early Israel as the consort of biblical Yahweh. His work also gives new prominence to women as the custodians of Israel’s folk religion. This fascinating study critically reviews virtually all the archaeological literature of the past generation, while also bringing fresh evidence to the table.

In Did God Have a Wife? Bill Dever presents a multidimensional portrait of ancient Israelite religion with his characteristic eloquence and panache. Most significantly, through his detailed examination of archaeological materials, Dever reveals crucial facets of what he calls ‘folk religion,’ or the religion of one of ancient Israel’s most neglected communities, the everyday people.

Susan Ackerman, associate professor of religion, Dartmouth College

Dever has done it again. The dean of biblical archaeology presents a wide-ranging and lively treatment of folk religion in ancient Israel, including the possibility of a prominent role for the goddess Asherah. Dever’s synthesis of the archaeological evidence is masterful. This is a must-read for students of the Bible.

—Ronald Hendel, Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Did God Have a Wife? is the book that Bill Dever has been preparing to write for decades. In fact, he is probably the only person prepared and bold enough to attempt it. . . . Dever finds that the only way to uncover the rich diversity of the religious impulse in ancient Israel is for archaeology to work in conversation with texts and iconography. . . . Professionals will know much of the data but will nonetheless be impressed with Dever’s synthesis of evidence from diverse sources. Lay readers will appreciate Dever’s clear reconstruction and, at the same time, will be challenged by his conclusions. It is fitting that a book focusing on folk religion is written in a style that makes the information readily available to modern audiences.

—J. Edward Wright, director, Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

A lucid treatment of a most provocative aspect of the Bible, namely, the question of a goddess in ancient Israel who might have been thought of as Yahweh’s consort. Dever is one of the leading biblical archaeologists in the world, and he tackles one of the Bible’s burning issues in this book. Fresh, clear, accessible, and recommended to anyone interested in the religion of ancient Israel.

Mark S. Smith, Skirball Professor of Bible, New York University

Once again William Dever has written a page-turner for thoughtful individuals interested in the Bible. This time, however, he explores what most biblicists ignore—the folk religion of ancient Israel, the religion as lived and practiced. . . . Although written for the general public, this is one book that scholars cannot afford to miss. . . . Writing in a personal style sprinkled with anecdotes, Dever has produced a rare work—a book that may be read and appreciated by all who take the Bible, archaeology, and history seriously. Packed with information, crackling with brilliant observations.

Ziony Zevit, distinguished professor of biblical literature and Northwest Semitic Languages, American Jewish University

William G. Dever is professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has served as director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, as director of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, and as visiting professor at universities around the world. He has spent 30 years conducting archaeological excavations in the Near East, resulting in a large body of award-winning fieldwork.

The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel: Where Archaeology and the Bible Intersect

  • Author: William G. Dever
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 446

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

William Dever addresses a central question that guides historians of ancient Israel: What was life really like in those days?

He presents his answers in this volume, resulting in a book that is far from a run-of-the-mill “history of Israel.” Writing as an expert archaeologist who is also a secular humanist, Dever relies on archaeological data, over and above the Hebrew Bible, for primary source material. He focuses on the lives of ordinary people in the eighth century BC—not kings, priests, or prophets. Rather, he examines the lives of people who left behind rich troves of archaeological information, but who are practically invisible in typical histories of ancient Israel. Filled with photos, maps, charts, site plans, and specially commissioned drawings, Dever’s work brings a world long buried under dusty texts and stony landscapes vividly to life.

Dever writes with the acumen of an expert scholar and the verve of an accomplished storyteller. . . . His lucid prose transforms complex interpretive problems into an accessible and engaging discussion enhanced by many well-chosen photos and drawings.

Carol Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion, Duke University

Provides a most competent analysis of the pungently grounded, material world within which flesh-and-blood Israelites lived during the eighth century BCE. . . . When not using this book as an anthropological trip to the past, readers may explore it as a market for scintillating ideas in which they will find new food for thought and topics for conversation.

Ziony Zevit, distinguished professor of biblical literature and Northwest Semitic Languages, American Jewish University

Bill Dever has done it again—assembled cutting-edge archaeological data to paint a vibrant picture of the world of ancient Israel. . . . A wonderful resource for students of the Bible and of the biblical world.

Susan Ackerman, associate professor of religion, Dartmouth College

A wonderful read, spiced with vast archaeological knowledge and spirited polemics.

—Ronald Hendel, Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Dever’s detailed and thorough discussion, along with the fact that this book is one of very few works that discuss the most fundamental questions concerning Iron Age Israelite society, will make it essential reading for students and scholars.

—Avraham Faust, professor of archaeology, Bar-Ilan University

William G. Dever is professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has served as director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, as director of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, and as visiting professor at universities around the world. He has spent 30 years conducting archaeological excavations in the Near East, resulting in a large body of award-winning fieldwork.

What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It?: What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel

  • Author: William G. Dever
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 327

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

For centuries, the Hebrew Bible has been the fountainhead of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Today, however, the entire biblical tradition, including its historical veracity, is being challenged. Leading this challenge is a group of scholars described as the “minimalist” or “revisionist” school of biblical studies, which charges that the Hebrew Bible is largely pious fiction, that its writers and editors invented “ancient Israel” as a piece of late Jewish propaganda in the Hellenistic era. In this fascinating volume, noted Syro-Palestinian archaeologist William Dever attacks the minimalist position head-on, showing how modern archaeology brilliantly illuminates both life in ancient Palestine and the sacred Scriptures as we have them today. Assembling a wealth of archaeological evidence, Dever builds the clearest, most complete picture yet of the real Israel that existed during the Iron Age of ancient Palestine (1200–600 BC).

Dever is one of the very best archaeologists of the Near East, and everything he writes needs to be taken with the utmost seriousness. . . . Required reading.

—David Noel Freedman, former Endowed Chair in Hebrew Biblical Studies, University of California, San Diego

Dever provides a judicious analysis of archaeological data and shows how it squares with what much of the biblical text tells us. . . . Highly polemical (and for good reason), this book attempts to correct various recent assertions based more on feelings for the modern Israeli-Palestinian question than on any concern for honest history. . . . Dever’s accessible book offers a sound critical examination of Israel’s origins. An advisable purchase for all academic and most public libraries.

Library Journal

A helpful introduction to the world of Syro-Palestinian archaeology and its possible interaction with biblical studies.

Publishers Weekly

Meticulously detailed . . . very illuminating, well-informed and surprisingly balanced.

The Jerusalem Report

William G. Dever is professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has served as director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, as director of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, and as visiting professor at universities around the world. He has spent 30 years conducting archaeological excavations in the Near East, resulting in a large body of award-winning fieldwork.

Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?

  • Author: William G. Dever
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 280

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This book addresses one of the most timely and urgent topics in archaeology and biblical studies—the origins of early Israel. For centuries, the Western tradition has traced its beginnings back to ancient Israel, but recently some historians and archaeologists have questioned the reality of Israel as it is described in biblical literature. In Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From?, William Dever explores the continuing controversies regarding the true nature of ancient Israel and presents the archaeological evidence for assessing the accuracy of the well-known Bible stories. Dever draws on 30 years of archaeological fieldwork in the Near East, amassing a wide range of hard evidence for his own compelling view of the development of Israelite history. In his search for the actual circumstances of Israel’s emergence in Canaan, Dever reevaluates the Exodus-Conquest traditions in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, and 1 & 2 Samuel in the light of well-documented archaeological evidence from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. Written in an engaging, accessible style and featuring many photographs that help bring the archaeological record to life, this book provides an authoritative statement on the origins of ancient Israel and promises to reinvigorate discussion about the historicity of the biblical tradition.

This new book by William Dever is a fluent, well-written critical account of the various views on the origins of Israel and its appearance on the stage of history. Dever evaluates a wide range of previous research and suggests his own solution to the question of the origins of Israel. Excellent reading for both scholars and laypersons.

—Amihai Mazar, Eleazer Sukenik Chair in the Archaeology of Israel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

William Dever is a superb archaeologist with a deep knowledge of the issues and controversies concerning Israel’s origins. In this book he presents a compelling case for early Israel as a reformist frontier society, and along the way he demolishes many rival theories. Dever’s discussion is authoritative, polemical, and very readable. He is the exemplary heir of W. F. Albright, with the knockout punch of Mike Tyson.

—Ronald Hendel, Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, University of California, Berkeley

William Dever treats Israel’s origins as no one before him ever has. This unique, lively synthesis of the archaeological and textual data will shape our understanding of Israel’s emergence for years.

—Baruch Halpern, Covenant Foundation Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Georgia

For the general reader there is no better presentation of how the archaeology of Israel really works. It is not about finding an individual artifact like the lost ark but about a complex reconstruction of material culture. This is the real thing. It takes an exceptional archaeologist and writer to make biblical archaeology clear and to keep it interesting. William Dever is that person.

—Richard Elliott Friedman, Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Georgia

William G. Dever is professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has served as director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology in Jerusalem, as director of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, and as visiting professor at universities around the world. He has spent 30 years conducting archaeological excavations in the Near East, resulting in a large body of award-winning fieldwork.

What Did the Early Israelites Eat?: Diet in Biblical Times

  • Author: Nathan MacDonald
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 172

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

What food did the ancient Israelites eat, and how much of it did they consume? That’s a seemingly simple question, but it’s actually a complex topic. In this fascinating book, Nathan MacDonald carefully sifts through all the relevant evidence—biblical, archaeological, anthropological, environmental—to uncover what the people of biblical times really ate and how healthy (or unhealthy) it was. Engagingly written for general readers, What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat? is the fruit of extensive scholarly research. Including an archaeological timeline and three detailed maps, the book concludes by analyzing a number of contemporary books that advocate a return to “biblical” eating.

What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat? is a fascinating and eye-opening glimpse into the eating patterns and problems of the ancient Israelites. Judiciously using a variety of sources, MacDonald examines the culinary past, with results that challenge many scholarly and popular notions of the diet in biblical days. Complex scientific analyses are presented in a highly readable form, making this book an engaging and rewarding page-turner.

Carol Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion, Duke University

I heartily recommend it for three big reasons: a very readable book, careful in method and approach, and judicious in conclusion. There is nothing simplistic and grandiose about this book. There’s a ‘just the facts’ approach that is more than willing to admit when we can’t be sure. This could be a wonderful addition to any Old Testament course because it is interesting, well-written, and a model for how to do judicious work.

Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University

This book offers a veritable cornucopia of information to its readers. It is well researched, broadly synthetic, and distills a vast array of data competently and concisely for the non-specialist while maintaining the rigor and thoroughness characteristic of a professional. It is a pleasure to read, and a joy to recommend.

—Jeremy Hutton, assistant professor of Old Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary

In summary, MacDonald’s book is a joy to read. The information is up to date and very well explained, the arguments are nicely articulated, and the judgments are always sober. It is a useful book, handy for students, scholars, and anyone interested in life in ancient periods, including the lives of the Israelites.

—Raz Kletter, University of Helsinki

Of particular noteworthiness is MacDonald’s interest in balance and accuracy throughout this section. He takes nothing for granted and demonstrates great skill in avoiding both extremes of overstating and understating the evidence. That in itself is difficult enough to accomplish, but to do it while still remaining interesting is well nigh miraculous. It’s not my intention to sound overly enthusiastic about this book lest you, the present reader, think me to be exaggerating or hyperbolic. But it isn’t hyperbole to say that this is one of the most enjoyable and interesting books I’ve read in a good while. It is, furthermore, an important volume as it, hopefully, disabuses those inclined to accept the nonsense peddled by the ’biblical diet’ books of that inclination.

Jim West, adjunct professor, Quartz Hill School of Theology

The book would be an excellent catalyst for discussion of contemporary ethical concerns about food, such as its radically uneven availability, food safety and cost, and ecological problems of production and distribution.

—Kathleen O’Conner, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

Nathan MacDonald is university lecturer in Hebrew Bible at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St. John’s College.

Product Details

  • Title: Eerdmans Israelite Studies Collection
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Volumes: 5
  • Pages: 1,585