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The World of Biblical Israel Lecture

The World of Biblical Israel

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Publisher's Summary

From Genesis to Job, the Hebrew scriptures contain some of the most influential stories in Western civilization. But what do these stories tell us about daily life in ancient Israel? And why do they still speak to us today?

In 24 captivating lectures, Professor Chapman introduces you to the stories of the Judeans in exile and grounds them in their historical context, giving you a grand vision of history as presented in the scriptures. She compares the history in the Bible to the archaeological record so that you come away with a complete picture of life in biblical Israel.

Discover the complete literary power of the scriptures by investigating many of the Bible's key historical moments, from the origins of the Israelites in the Torah to the Babylonian Captivity and the resettlement under the Persian Empire, which is the very heart of the Hebrew scriptures. Learn how the exilic period motivated the community to reexamine its relationship to its God, its land, its religious practices, and its legacy to the children who would become the new Israel.

But you'll tackle more than the sweep of history. From the family compounds to the battlefields and from the kitchens to the temples, Professor Chapman puts flesh on the bones of the biblical stories. Spiritually engaging and historically fascinating, this course is unlike any other, and it will give you a new appreciation both for ancient history and for the foundation of the three Abrahamic faiths.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2013 The Great Courses (P)2013 The Teaching Company, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (13 )
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  •  
    Jonathan Edinburgh, United Kingdom 11/10/2014
    Jonathan Edinburgh, United Kingdom 11/10/2014 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating and informative but a bit too serious"

    This was an extremely interesting lecture course from which I learned a huge amount. It describes the period of Jewish history covered in the Old Testament, including some remarkable insights into everyday life. As with all Great Courses series, there is a lot of detail about content on the Great Courses web site. The lecturer gives the impression of being extremely learned and her presentation is extremely clear with an astonishing absence of stumbles. I decided to rate it as 4 rather than 5 because the whole thing is a bit too serious. The best Great Courses lecturers inject a healthy amount of humour and their own personality -- this course had very little of either. As a result I found that I had to concentrate at times to follow the material in detail. But having said that I am very pleased that I listened to this course because it was so informative and so interesting.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Jason Cherniak
    Richmond Hill, ON, CA
    10/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great overview of ancient Jewish history"

    I had trouble finding a good overview of biblical Jewish history and this is it. Exactly what I was hoping for!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    27/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding course"
    What made the experience of listening to The World of Biblical Israel the most enjoyable?

    Professor Chapman offers an outstanding course on the World of Biblical Israel. It is thorough, insightful, and her presentations are enjoyable. As a Catholic deacon who has studied Scripture extensively, I would strongly recommend this course to anyone who wishes to understand the life and struggles of a people whose blessing paradoxically comes from wrestling with God.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • K. Jackson
    Anaheim Hills, CA
    15/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I wanted either more or less"

    This discussion starts off pulling a lot of bits from the Bible about day to day life in ancient Israel. If she had stopped with that, it would have been a good series, but she continued into areas such as the origins of the Hebrew God. That would certainly be a fascinating subject, but it was breezed over so quickly we were left with only her opinions and no supporting evidence.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • B Taub
    Ann Arbor, MI United States
    19/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow! The Torah Kinda Makes Sense Now!"

    I absolutely loved this course and felt like I finished it far more educated! I have always felt that the Bible combined historical truth with political opinion and deific mythology. This course does a great job of distilling the history from the mythology. For beginners trying to figure out the Bible, it also puts things along a nice timeline.

    I've read bits and pieces from the Bible and they never really made sense to me. For example, if Jews are not to have idols, and David was a great king, why does the Bible describe him as having household idols? In another example, what did it really mean that the Assyrians displaced the 10 tribes of Israel and left just the tribe of Judah?

    Well, Dr. Chapman takes the text and puts it into a historical context - suddenly, the material makes sense! You walk away with a real sense of who the ancient Israelites were and what they really believed.

    Dr. Chapman's overall thesis is that, while some material was older than the Babylonian exile, the Bible is largely a result of that exile and, even the older material, was edited in light of the experience of exile. She delves into a lot of concepts to support her thesis.

    For those who commented that this course comes from a secular perspective that denies the existence and supremacy of Gd, I'd have to agree with their opinion. Of course, I'm not sure what a history course would look like if it were built around Gd - isn't that pretty much the Bible in it's raw form?

    Anyway, for a wannabe, amateur, Biblical historian, this course just ties everything together and I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mollydog
    08/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful information, terrible sound quality"
    Any additional comments?

    Wonderful information, great reference, fantastic professor and lectures. The one and only issue with this book was the extremely low quality of sound editing. The series and contents of this course were outstanding, but the sound quality made the lectures hard to understand.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Nathan North
    San Jose, CA, US
    18/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well worth the time!"
    Would you listen to The World of Biblical Israel again? Why?

    Yes, there was so much information that I'm sure I missed some of the items taught.


    Any additional comments?

    The Professor brings ancient Israel to life in a practical sensibility.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Phillip
    Dallas, GA, United States
    03/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Title of Course does not match expectations"

    I have listened to about 25 great courses and enjoyed most of them. Professor Chapman apparently knows her material well, but most of the time she is speaking in a monotone, suggestive of having given this talk many times. Once in awhile, she would become more animated, but most of the time, it was hard for me to listen.

    More importantly, the story was also unclear. The primary focus was on the exilic period when Judah and Israel had been conquest by Babylon and Assyria respectively. However, it was not history as much as an exposition of how the Deuteronomists edited the history to give meaning to that period of Israel's exile. That is fine, but that more narrow focus was not indicated by the title of this course. There were also a few places where I questioned some of the "facts" being offered. Not a course I would recommend. Sorry! I enjoy the great courses, but sometimes they miss the mark, and I do not place the fault on the speaker.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Connie
    United States
    29/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book everyone should read"
    Where does The World of Biblical Israel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 25


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Well you have to go with Abraham


    What does Professor Cynthia R. Chapman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    How to pronounce people's names and places


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no, it's too long


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book to everyone,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr Leland L Bingaman
    Raytown, MO, US
    19/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OK but not what I hoped for"

    I was hoping for a lot more insight to normal daily life in the region prior to the first century. There is detail of this kind on and off but the focus seems to be about the writing and the writers of the Hebrew Bible and whether or not a person should believe any of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alex Cantrell
    WA
    15/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hit piece?"

    This rant is more of a hit piece done against the authority of the Bible! I wanted to hear more facts about culture and history and less about opinion on authenticity of the Bible and Biblical narrative. I would not have this lady teach a Sunday school class.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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