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Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture

Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture

3.8 238
by Zondervan

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Readers who desire a more intimate knowledge of the historical context of the Bible will appreciate the NIV Archaeological Study Bible. Full of informative articles and full-color photographs of places and objects from biblical times, this Bible examines the archaeological record surrounding God’s Word and brings the biblical world to


Readers who desire a more intimate knowledge of the historical context of the Bible will appreciate the NIV Archaeological Study Bible. Full of informative articles and full-color photographs of places and objects from biblical times, this Bible examines the archaeological record surrounding God’s Word and brings the biblical world to life. Your personal study will be enriched as you become more informed about the empires, places, and peoples of the ancient world.
Features include:
• Full-color interior throughout
• Bottom-of-page study notes exploring passages that speak on archaeological and cultural facts
• Articles (520) covering five main categories: Archaeological Sites, Cultural and Historical Notes, Ancient Peoples and Lands, the Reliability of the Bible, and Ancient Texts and Artifacts
• Approximately 500 4-color photographs interspersed throughout
• Detailed book introductions that provide basic, at-a-glance information
• Detailed charts on pertinent topics
• In-text color maps that assist you in placing the action

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
Bonded Leather, Black
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 10.13(h) x 2.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Archaeological Study Bible

An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture


ISBN: 0-310-93538-5

Chapter One

THE Old Testament



Genesis is, strictly speaking, an anonymous work. Historical tradition, however, as well as Biblical attestation, assigns authorship to Moses (see, e.g., Mk 12:26; Lk 24:27; Jn 1:45; Ro 10:5; 2Co 3:15). Moses author ship would not have required him to write the entire book. In fact, all of the Genesis events took place long before Moses was born, indicating that he must have used sources. We might view Moses as an editor/historian who, in addition to receiving God's direct and supernatural communication, drew together details of the family histories of Abraham and his descendants, as they existed in the Israelite community in Egypt, into a single text.

Scholars who question Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch (Ge-Dt) generally support one or another variant of the Documentary Hypothesis (see "The Documentary Hypothesis" on p. 15).

If Moses did indeed write/compile Genesis, he must have done so during the Israelites' exodus wandering period, probably between 1440 and 1400 B.C. (see "The Store Cities of Pithom and Rameses" on p. 86, "The Pharaoh of the Exodus" on p. 98, "The Date of the Exodus" on p. 106, "The Hyksos and the Old Testament" on p. 121 and "The Conquest of Canaan" on p. 310). Those scholars who suggest that the Pentateuch was written as a single work during the exile typically place the date of authorship at about 550 B.C.


Genesis records the stories of the creation, the fall into sin, the flood, the call of Abraham and the early history of the ancestors of Israel. The Genesis stories were probably circulated among the Israelites living in Egypt, reminding them of their familial and spiritual heritage and explaining their current situation. Genesis preserved individual stories (like those about Joseph) that could afford hope to God's enslaved people. Promises to Abraham about the future of his progeny (e.g., 15:1-7) also would have encouraged them. Later, Israelites directly involved in the exodus, as well as their succeeding generations, no doubt read Genesis in order to understand this piece of the great saga of heir national origin. The fulfillment of God's historical promises to the patriarchs served as a testimony to his continuing faithfulness.


Genesis records the birth and early history of humankind. Not only did God create the physical world, but he also formed man and woman in his own image and endowed them with the gift of free will. Over time changes took place, including humanity's fall into sin and the resultant great flood.

Tribes, cities and civilizations ebbed and flowed, rising and declining in a rhythm that has characterized human history ever since. Centuries passed, and at some point God chose to concentrate his particular attention on one individual from an ordinary, idol-worshiping family-who in his turn opted to listen and obey. From such unimpressive roots began the triumphant-if often temporarily tragic-saga of redemption history.


Note how quickly and irreversibly the human race turned its back on Eden and on perfect fellowship with God (chs. 2-3) and how God responded (chs. 4-8). Then, through the unlikely choice of a still-childless patriarch, God began to form the family from which the Israelite nation would spring (chs. 11-30; 49). Study the life of Joseph, from his years of slavery to his meteoric rise to power in a strange land to his revelation to his unsuspecting brothers (chs. 42-45). This book explains how and why the Israelites came to live in Egypt, setting the stage for what would happen to this special people in Exodus and beyond.


An individual in the ancient Near East could claim rights to a well on someone else's land (21:25-30).

The bride price paid by a husband's family was to be held in trust to provide for the wife if she were to find herself abandoned or widowed (31:14-16).

A man's seal, cord and staff were symbols of his individual and corporate identity-the ancient equivalent of an I.D. card or signature (38:17-18).

Both the Egyptians and the Babylonians compiled "dream books," containing sample dreams with keys to their interpretation (40:8).

The philosophy behind the Egyptian practice of embalming was a belief that the body was to be preserved as a repository for the soul after death (50:2-3).


Genesis, the book of beginnings, includes the following themes:

1. Creation. God created the world "very good" (1:31). There was wholeness and harmony between God and humanity, among humans and between people and the rest of the created order.

2. Sin. Sin entered the world through one man, Adam (3:1-19; Ro 5:12). Unbelief, human conflict, sickness and environmental degradation are its results.

3. The image of God. All human beings are created in the image of God; each person is God's likeness as a personal, rational, creative, moral being. Men and women were created equal.

4. God's global plan of redemption. Although God chose to work through one ethnic group in the Old Testament, his divine intention was that all nations would come to know him through Abraham's descendants (12:1-3). Abraham was chosen because of his faith, making him the father of all who come to God on the same basis.

The Beginning

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.

6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning-the second day.

9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day.

14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day.

20 And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." 23 And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day.

24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day.

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Adam and Eve

4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens-5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground-7 the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

18 The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

The Fall of Man

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"

10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,

"Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman,


Excerpted from Archaeological Study Bible Excerpted by permission.
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Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 238 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The ebook version of this great bible isn't very user friendly. In the regular version, the commentary and notes are written at the bottom of the page or in sidebars or on separate pages. In the ebook version, this is scrambled and hard to follow. You may read two lines of the bible, followed by three lines of commentary, followed by one line of the historical note or cross-reference. No where on the page is there a single, intact sentence to read. Scrolling through the document is even worse. The next three pages may opt to complete the historical notes. Commentary may follow. Then, several pages later, you pick up the actual bible again--wondering "what did I just read?"
RobbieLee More than 1 year ago
Unable to do lookups on particular Chapter and verse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
difficult to navigate as an ebook
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a must have for anyone who wants a full understanding of what they read. I was wonderfully amazed at the volume of information in this bible. Nearly every verse has footnotes at to the relevence of symbols used in the text, explanations as to the meaning of words and titles, references to other scripture when stories overlap, and so much more. It is quickly becoming an indespensible companion in my desire to better understand scripture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This publication marks a significant contribution to the study of the Bible. It brings to the reader a wealth of excellent information and is particularly accessible to persons who are delving into the study of the Scriptures in a serious way. It is unfortunate that the editors chose to use the New International Version (NIV) - its obvious theological biases have been well documented and noted since its publication in June 1978. Any careful reading of the Translators' Preface to the NIV bears out their stated intention and approach. It is also important for any reader to be aware that the editorial perspective assumed in this Study Bible, is a thoroughly and conscientously conservative one. The specifically guarded assumptions on how one approaches the biblical text, for example, the overt scepticism toward the value of form critical analyses and methods, especially in the Hebrew Scriptures or, the First Testament, guide the work throughout. The approach taken toward an appreciation for the cultic settings in the Psalms and the important legacy of Gunkel, is particularly defensive and disappointing. There is an obvious concern on the part of the editors to appeal throughout the work, arguing that many of the archeological finds of the past century provide ample historical evidenc, which not only supports but reinforces one of conservative scholarship's historically fundamental propositional tenets: the reliability and historical accuracy of the Bible. Full page essays on 'The Reliability of the Bible' and recurrent themes are interspersed liberally throughout. It is important for any reader to be aware that there are, however, other faithful, diligent scholars, both Jewish and Christian, who would caution against making too much of any argument, drawn from the vast array of archaeological data available to contemporary biblical scholarship, as 'evidence' supporting - or NOT supporting - the historical reliability or critical claims to the infallibility and authority of the Bible. Many who have been and are serious students of the sacred texts, already appreciate and devotedly value the Bible as the impeccable and indispensable witness to God's (Yahweh) revelation and, while valuing the work of the archaeologist, recognize that the argument from 'the evidence' can and does indeed cut both ways. Having said that, the Archaeological Study Bible (which is a cooperative venture sponsored by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA and Zondervan Publishing House) does represent the best in conservative biblical scholarship and will be a valuable resource to readers for years to come. As a graduate of GCTS '72. I commend the editorial staff on their work. And despite the fact that the seminary has made a distinct shift, and veered to the right over the past thirty-five years, I'll still give it 5 stars. It is a valuable tool for any serious student of the Bible.
Badger64 More than 1 year ago
The print version of this Bible is much prettier and has an easier to read page layout, without any doubt.The charts are more colourful than those in the nook book. But all the text of the hardback is in the nook book, so far as I can tell. I have been an avid Bible reader for over twenty years and I think have a pretty good layman's knowledge of Biblical scholarship issues. Nevertheless, the notes in this Bible (I've only read to the beginning of Exodus so far) have taught me a lot. The notes are never simplistic but are written in everyday English, not in scholarly jargon. Zondervan also publishes the excellent NIV Study Bible (available as a nook book, too) and you should check that out before you buy this. I don't think you'd need to buy both. Other ebook sellers also offer this Bible.
PaperDragon More than 1 year ago
This version is very good and not at all difficult to read. The cross referencing is by using a small cross, and additional study notes are accesses by tapping on the blue verse number if there is something available. There are archaeological notes and pictures through out the book sometimes in obtrusive places (could have been placed at the end of a chapter or in between sections). Even then, I think it still deserves 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Bible is a valuable addition to my resource materials in Biblical study, because it is packed not only with an abundance of archeological material and discoveries, and also with background information, drawings, and pictures which illuminate the reading and understanding of the text. However, for general usage, it is unfortunate that the version used for interpretation is the NIV rather than the NRSV. In every case where a question might be raised as to the veracity of the text, the authors consistently come down on the side of conservative analysis, allowing no margin for other possibilities which have been presented by credentialed scholars. In rejecting such alternate views, the authors resort to using words such as "misguided" and "simplistic" in their effort to steer the beliefs of their readers. That being said, however, this book still provides a wealth of exciting background information which enlightens and enhances a serious study of the Bible, and I can recommend it with enthusiasm.
Texas_ More than 1 year ago
I have owned other Zondervan materials (excellent bible-on-cd). I was looking for a good reference to assist me with materials when I teach my class at Church. It is only my opinion, but after reading some of the material in this book, I feel the authors have a "hidden" agenda with the material. It seems they go out of their way to present the Holy Word of God as "inclomplete", "with errors", and as they reference the book of Jonah "a work of fiction". On page 1912 of the book, the page begins with Galations 5, "Freedom in Christ", and then right beside these beautiful verses, the authors insert a "Magical Love Spell for a Woman to help her win the affection of another woman.." Whats up with this Mr. Zondervan?? Are they trying to make a politically correct bible? I will not keep this book, and will try to get my money back. I just hope this review will prevent someone else from making the same mistake I did.
TedMorgan More than 1 year ago
Zondervan publishes a large number of study Bibles. Frankly, I am looking for an edition that is not a study Bible because I do not automatically want to use the points-of-view used in these commentaries. Of the NIV Study Bibles I have reviewed, this one is one of two I most like. The editors are highly regarded evangelical scholars and educators. The essays and annotations are-well, conservative. In other words, the commentary overlooks some current debates about the archeology related to biblical texts. The translation is the New International Version, which seems the one used by most people I encounter in small church study and prayer groups. Biblical scholars from important evangelical denominations and institutions made the translation. For that reason, it is a Protestant translation without Apocrypha or extracanonical books. Some critics complain that the translation is too overtly evangelical. I think that is probably a fair evaluation and not necessarily a problem for many readers, including me, for some readings when I am working to understand evangelical friends. This is a good bridge commentary to facilitate small groups discussions or Sunday classes. The translation is clear. The translation of the Old Testament is particularly good.
AprilBowles More than 1 year ago
This study bible is like no other. It's like getting a sunday school lesson & sermon, in one reading session. It contains historical facts, that back up the facts that are already in the Bible. It contains several full color articles and maps, that make this study bible... a truly amazing read!
Commanderdaniel More than 1 year ago
I own or have in my possesion many bibles and enjoy reading and studying them. The NIV archelogical bible is one of my favorites....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love NIV and the maps, facts etc were an excellent supplement. I would recommend this bible!!
min1love More than 1 year ago
Love this bible. The history has helped a lot in my studies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love this bible. not only is it a great study bible, it provides great articles with historical background i would recommend it to anyone
gcfsa More than 1 year ago
i love this bible which has history and culture with great pictures. They done excellent job and take you back in time how people live and how the time has change so much. The bible has lot of evidence and proof. NIV restore God's Name(Yahweh). This bible also a great resouce. No other bibles have this kind. My collegians and I prove this bible for understanding the scriptures. I recommand for all relgion read this bible. Excellent job NIV!
Rocketeer More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding work. Over the years,I have continiously sought to correlate the formal biblical accounts with events, locations and persons with substantiated historical facts. This work does an outstanding job of that. Not only does it provide detailed information directly related to the bible, but also describes associated happenings and recovered artifacts supporting such data pertinent to associate and co-existant cultures. I employ this text to provide real time support to my bible study class every week.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Format of special text and charts does not work for nook.
vernon More than 1 year ago
the very best bible I have ever used.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The archaeology information in this Bible make it easier to understand the locations, customs and people of the day. I enjoy adding that information to my study of each book. The only thing that I find disappointing is not being able to see the maps and timelines.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this, all excited about this new version after buying hard copy for my son. It's horrible! The margins are such that you can't see the book, chapter references on the top ( or bottom) of the page therefore you can't search by book and you can only guess if you're at the correct verse by knowing you're bible well or using another bible at your side for reference. I gave this one star because I couldn't give zero stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago