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- Insights from the history of the Middle East
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Posted January 8, 2012
Overall this was a good survey of the OT, but Merrill could have discussed opposing views some more. The two main areas that I think he could have discussed more are on creation and the date of the Exodus.
Merrill takes the creation week as literal 24-hour days, which is fine, but he could have at least discussed other views on creation more than he did. He briefly mentions them and then moves into what he believes without really discussing the other views that much. In case you're curious I read Genesis 1 as hymn praising God for his creative work in creation.
Merrill dates the Exodus to c.1446 B.C. and does devote considerable space to making this case and why it is necessary. Still it would have been nice to have seen the case for the c.1300 - 1200 B.C. date laid out clearly even if he doesn't agree with it.
I'm only taking off 1 star for these disagreements though because I'm not sure what Merrill's purpose was for this book. Discussing the various points of view on certain issues might not have been a priority for him and so I will not fault him too much for that.