Cities of the Biblical World: An Introduction to the Archaeology, Geography, and History of Biblical Sites

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This text is designed to introduce students of the Bible to the archaeology, geography, and history of many of the important sites of the Old and New Testament worlds. Many of these sites were centers for trade, religion, defense, culture, industry, and government. DeVries details the development of significant sites from villages and towns to cities, based on how the site could meet the essential needs of the people. The availability of water or arable land, proximity to trade routes, and easily defensible terrain were prime factors in determining a city's prominence. This study concentrates on the cities in Mesopotamia, Aram/Syria and Phoenicia, Anatolia, Egypt, and Palestine during the Old Testament period, and Palestine and the provinces of the Roman world during the New Testament period. Special attention is given to the geographical setting of the city, the history of its development, its relevance to the Bible, its distinguishing features, and any significant archaeological discoveries made at the site.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556351204
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 420

Meet the Author

LaMoine F. DeVries received his PhD from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Southwest Missouri State University . He has contributed numerous articles to books such as the Anchor Bible Dictionary, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, and Holman Bible Dictionary.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Cities of the Old Testament World
Ch. 1 Mesopotamia: Land between the Rivers 5
Ch. 2 Ashur: Fortified Citadel of Southern Assyria 8
Ch. 3 Babylon: City of Marduk 13
Ch. 4 Haran: City at the Crossroads in Upper Mesopotamia 22
Ch. 5 Mari: City of Zimri-Lim 26
Ch. 6 Nineveh: City of Ashurbanipal 31
Ch. 7 Nuzi: Community of Hurrian Customs and Traditions 35
Ch. 8 Ur: City of Ur-Nammu 38
Ch. 9 Aram/Syria & Phoenicia: Israel's Neighbors to the North 45
Ch. 10 Byblos: Phoenician Timber and Shipbuilding Center 48
Ch. 11 Carchemish: City of Decisive Battles 53
Ch. 12 Damascus: Caravan Center in the Oasis 59
Ch. 13 Ebla: Monumental City-State of North Syria during the Third Millennium BCE 67
Ch. 14 Sidon: Phoenician Seaport with Dual Harbors 73
Ch. 15 Tyre: Citadel in the Sea 78
Ch. 16 Ugarit: City of Baal and Center of Canaanite Religion 83
Ch. 17 Anatolia: Land Bridge between the Fertile Crescent and the West 93
Ch. 18 Hattusas: Citadel of Hittite Culture, Government, and Religion 99
Ch. 19 Egypt: Gift of the Nile 107
Ch. 20 Akhetaton: Capital of the Amarna Age 111
Ch. 21 Avaris: Capital during the Hyksos Period 117
Ch. 22 Memphis: Royal Necropolis of Ancient Egypt 120
Ch. 23 Pithom and Rameses: Store Cities and Border Fortresses in the Easter Delta 124
Ch. 24 Thebes: City of Temples, Palaces, and Tombs 126
Ch. 25 Palestine: Homeland of Israel 133
Ch. 26 Ai: Citadel of Terrace Farming during the Iron Age 138
Ch. 27 Ashkelon: Harbor City of the Canaanites and Philistines 144
Ch. 28 Beersheba: Traditional Southern Boundary of Ancient Israel 150
Ch. 29 Bethshan: City of the Crossroads 156
Ch. 30 Dan: Traditional Northern Boundary of Ancient Israel 163
Ch. 31 Ekron: Site of Major Olive Oil Complex in the Ancient Near East 169
Ch. 32 Gezer: Pharaoh's Gift to Solomon 176
Ch. 33 Hazor: Leading Canaanite City-State in the North 182
Ch. 34 Jericho: Citadel of the Neolithic Age 189
Ch. 35 Jerusalem: Citadel of Government and Religion in Ancient Israel 197
Ch. 36 Lachish: Strategic Center in the Shephelah 208
Ch. 37 Megiddo: City of Many Battles 215
Ch. 38 Samaria: Capital of the Northern Kingdom 224
Ch. 39 Shechem: City of Altars, Sacred Pillars, Trees, and Temples 231
Pt. II Cities of the New Testament World
Ch. 40 Palestine: Land Bridge between East and West 243
Ch. 41 Bethlehem: Site of Jesus' Birth 249
Ch. 42 Caesarea Maritima: Seaport Gateway to Herod's Kingdom 255
Ch. 43 Caesarea Philippi: Capital of Herod Philip 264
Ch. 44 Capernaum: Home Base of Jesus' Galilean Ministry 269
Ch. 45 Gerasa/Jerash: An Important Greco-Roman Center on the King's Highway 276
Ch. 46 Jericho: Winter Palace of Herod the Great 282
Ch. 47 Jerusalem: Herod's Showplace of Greco-Roman Building Techniques 288
Ch. 48 Masada: Fortified Retreat and Recreation Center of Herod the Great 299
Ch. 49 Qumran: Religious Commune of the Essenes 306
Ch. 50 Samaria-Sebaste: Herod's Chief Building Enterprise in Samaria 314
Ch. 51 Sepphoris: Hometown of Joachim and Anna, the Parents of Mary 318
Ch. 52 Tiberias: City Founded by Herod Antipas 325
Ch. 53 The Roman World: Setting for the Spread of the Early Church 333
Ch. 54 Alexandria: Home of the Allegorical Approach to Scripture 337
Ch. 55 Antioch: Where Christian Doctrine Was Defended and Debated 345
Ch. 56 Athens: City of Gods and Goddesses, Monumental Buildings, and Temples 351
Ch. 57 Corinth: Shipping Link between Aegean and Adriatic 359
Ch. 58 Damascus: A City of the Decapolis 369
Ch. 59 Ephesus: Leading Seaport of Asia Minor 372
Ch. 60 Rome: Chief City of the Empire 380
Chart of Historical Periods 387
Maps and Photo Credits 388
Index of Place Names 389
Index of Biblical and Ancient Sources 395
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2000

    A Wonderful Geography Piece!

    For those who love the ancient biblical world this is a great book. It is a reference work, and an archaelogical work. Such interesting information relating to the old cities and towns of ancient Hebrew times.

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