Page 202 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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Bible Reference Books
An excellent aid to the understanding of the Bible in matters
archeological-historical is
T h e In te rp r e te r ’s D ic tio n a r y o f the
B ib le ,
4 vols. (New York-Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1962), an
area that was under the charge of H.G. May. (In the area of
theology-exposition, the
D ic tio n a r y
is far less successful; in many
cases, it was specialists in the N ew Testament who wrote also
on the Old Testament part o f their subject, w ith most unfor-
tunate results.) Mosad B ialik published in 1962 vol. IV o f its
famed
E n c y c lo p ed ia M iq r a ’i t
(covering the letter
ka f
in
ka b ed
through the letter
m em
in
meltaha)-,
incidentally, someone will
be performing a very great service by making this biblical en-
cyclopedia available in English, after the articles are updated
and their theological aspects treated more fully and competently
than they have been.
G.E. Wright has edited a fine survey of
T h e B ib le a n d the
A n c ien t N e a r East: Essays in H o n o r o f W .F. A lb r ig h t
(Garden
City, Doubleday, 1961; now an Anchor paperback, 1965), w ith
chapters by J. Bright, G.E. Mendenhall, W.J. Moran, G.E.
Wright, H.M. Orlinsky, F.M. Cross, Jr., D .N . Freedman, E.F.
Campbell, Jr., Gus W. Van Beek, S.N. Kramer, T . Jacobsen,
T .O . Lambdin, J.A. Wilson, and A. Goetze.
Several serious books deal with Israel’s experiences in the light
of the world about them; among those that deserve mention are
S. Yeivin’s
S tu d ie s in the H is to r y o f Israe l an d i ts L a n d
(in He-
brew: Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem, Newman, 1960); J. Gray,
A rcha eo log y
an d th e O ld T e s tam e n t W o r ld
(Edinburgh, Nelson &Sons, 1962);
the same author’s
T h e C anaan ites
(London, Thames 8c Hudson,
1964) and
T h e Legacy o f Canaan: T h e R a s Sham ra T e x t s an d
th e ir R e le va n c e to the O ld T e s tam e n t
(Leiden, Brill, 2nd rev.
ed., 1965); and N.K. Gottwald,
A l l the K in g d om s o f the E a r th :
I s ra e li te P roph ecy a n d In te rn a t io n a l R e la t io n s in the A n c ien t
N e a r East
(New York, Harper & Row, 1964). R. de Vaux's
A n c ien t Israe l: I ts L ife an d In s t i tu t io n s
(New York, McGraw-
H ill, 1961; translated from the two-volume French work,
L es
In s t i tu t io n s d e VAncien T e s tam e n t ,
1958-60) is an essentially
descriptive treatment of aspects of the sociology of biblical Is-
rael; an historical-analytical study, in the manner that specialists
in sociology now employ, is an urgent desideratum.
In 1960 the American Council of Learned Societies published
F ive Essays on th e B ib le
(originally read at the Society’s 1960
Annual Meeting); of especial interest are “T h e Bible as Product
of the Ancient World” by E.R. Goodenough, “B iblical Criti-
cism and Its Effect on Modern C ivilization” by M.S. Enslin, and
“The Bible and Archaeology” by N . Glueck. In my essay “On