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On the Reliability of the Old Testament

Author: K.A. Kitchen
Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co. • 2006 • 684 pages

For more than two hundred years, questions about the factuality of the Old Testament have led many critics to see it as little more than pious fiction. In this fascinating new book, noted ancient historian K.A. Kitchen takes strong issue with today’s “revisionist” critics and offers a firm foundation for the historicity of the biblical texts.

In a detailed, comprehensive, and entertaining manner, Kitchen draws on an unprecedented range of historical data from the ancient Near East — the Bible’s own world — using it to soundly reassess both the biblical record and the critics who condemn it. Working back from the latest periods (for which hard evidence is readily available) to the remotest times, Kitchen systematically critiques the many failures of favored arguments against the Bible and marshals the pertinent evidence from antiquity’s inscriptions and artifacts to demonstrate the basic honesty of the Old Testament writers. “On the Reliability of the Old Testament” is a must-read for anyone interested in the question of biblical truth.

“After decades of ‘minimalism,’ it is refreshing to have this first systematic refutation from the opposite position. It provides a step-by-step review of the evidence for biblical history in its Near Eastern context by a leading authority equally at home in Egyptology as in the archaeology, history, and literature of ancient Western Asia. K.A. Kitchen writes with conviction and verve, not sparing those who are ‘factually disadvantaged’ or who ‘do not do their Near Eastern homework.’ He takes readers back through time like an archaeologist digging a mound.” —William W. Hallo, Yale University

“A tour de force that questions many of the simplistically assumed hypotheses of Old Testament scholarship while at the same time contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the environment in which the Hebrew Bible was composed. Kitchen’s lifetime of study of the ancient context of the Old Testament makes this volume a must-read.” —K. Lawson Younger, Jr., Trinity International University

“Kitchen approaches his subject with the skill and experience of a bona fide expert and the frankness, honesty, and wit of a Scotsman. His book takes into account the very latest discoveries. There could be no better author for a book like this, an author who for over forty years has read, published, and taught most of the ancient texts he cites.” —Harry A. Hoffner, Jr., University of Chicago

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