Item description for Persia and the Bible by Edwin M. Yamauchi & Donald Wiseman...
Overview An analysis of the peoples, rulers, and cities of Persia and the role they played in OT history. Boasts numerous illustrations, including over 100 photographs.
Publishers Description An analysis of the peoples, rulers, and cities of Persia and the role they played in Old Testament history. Packed with illustrations and more than 100 photographs.
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Studio: Baker Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.85" Width: 5.91" Height: 1.43" Weight: 2.07 lbs.
Release Date Feb 12, 1997
Publisher Baker Academic
ISBN 0801021081 ISBN13 9780801021084
Availability 0 units.
More About Edwin M. Yamauchi & Donald Wiseman
Edwin M. Yamauchi (Ph.D., Brandeis University) is professor of history emeritus at Miami University, Ohio. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Persia and the Bible, Greece and Babylon, The Archaeology of New Testament Cities in Asia Minor, Harper's World of the New Testament, and Africa and Africans in Antiquity. A co-edited work, Peoples of the Old Testament World, won a Biblical Archaeological Society Award.
Edwin M. Yamauchi currently resides in the state of Ohio.
Reviews - What do customers think about Persia and the Bible?
Reference shelf - must have Mar 8, 2007
This is an excellant book for Old Testament background that involves the Persian empire, its leaders and geographic locations. Also Persian involvement with the Medes, Babylonians, and Greeks. Includes Subject Index, Places Index, Scripture Verse Index. Very helpful.
Scholarly Histarcheologic Treatise & Lively Biblical Account Jan 23, 2005
"Yamauchi attempts to explain Persian history and culture in the context of biblical accounts, enlarging upon this connection in brief discussions of numerous topics." Paula Nielson, Loyola Marymount Univ.,CA
Persia in the TaNaKh: Of all of the empires that affected the people of Israel, the Persians performed a rather unique act by permitting the return of the people of the kingdom of Judah to Israel, 70 years after their exile by the Babylonians. At its peak, the Persian empire reached from the India Ocean to Greece, and from the Caspian Sea to Aswan south of Egypt. The Persians are believed to have originated in Media, today's western Iran and southern Azerbaijan, settling on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. From a Biblical perspective, the Persians were a link in the chain of human empires that molded Bible History - the Ancient Egyptians from which the Exodus occurred, the Assyrians who conquered the "Lost Ten Tribes," the Babylonians who conquered the southern Kingdom of Judah , the Persians who permitted the return to Jerusalem,
Ancient Persians: The Persians are Aryans, who spoke one of Indo-European languages. Two lines developed from an early leader, in the time of the decline of the Assyrian Empire - one line continued in Persia. Cyrus II, united the nation, and conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylonia. His son, Cambyses, took Egypt, which was later ruled by Darius. Persepolis (where Shah M. R. Bahlevy gave a great banquet, to world dignitary thirty years ago), was an ancient city of Persia that served as a ceremonial capital for Darius and his successors.
Book Plan: Professor Yamauchi's approach in writings on archaeology and the Bible furnishes us with a carefully documented study, exposing out clearly the controversial points where OT scholars differ in interpretation. Dr. Yamauchi maintained a well balanced presentation of the evidence, for which he is accredited by experts to "has rightly earned an international reputation." The author introduction to the Persian people who made up the old cosmopolitan federation and the rulers, Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes, who played a dominant role in the history of those days.
Criteria of excellence: Yamauchi is so thorough in his study, applying few criteria has proven the point. After a thorough and orderly exposition that he logically pursued on the Medes Cyrus, all the way to Susa, he covered the geography of Ecbatana, Pasargadae, and Persepolis. Zoroastrianism, the Magi, and Mithraicism are very informative. Even subjects that cause lots of doubt like the Jewish temple, and military settlement in Aswan, is very well treated.
Expert Evaluation: "Dr. Yamauchi has followed the methods outlined in his The Stones and the Scriptures  and is fully aware of the limitation of the evidence at places in a history that has close links also with his Greece and Babylon . Archaeology provides vital, if sometimes scanty, clues that enable the reader and teacher to understand the background of the relevant biblical passages with their distinctive theological viewpoint. This book will enable us all to relate the appropriate and abiding message of the Bible to our own world with its similar problems. ...No authoritative and dependable survey of the whole subject has been written especially for students of the Bible in recent years, so Dr. Yamauchi's book is to be welcomed. (D. WISEMAN, Emeritus Professor of Assyriology, U. of London)
"In scholarship relating to ancient Iran one must derive to control all the sources as well as secondary literature, since in the field of ancient Iran the paucity of written sources is so great... Because of the lack of sources in this area speculation is rife, and if two specialists on ancient Iran agree it is a rare occurrence. (R. N. Frye, "Remarks on Kingship in Ancient Iran,")
A Thorough Study: Very Scholarly Feb 27, 2003
Edwin Yamaucht is true to his usual excellence in delivering to the lay reader an intelligent and thoroughly researched treatise of a highly academic topic. Those who would disapprove of this book seem to be incensed that it is not written with the slant or emphasis that they desire. The book's success lies in the fact that it is not another tendentious portrayal of some assumed relationship between Zoroastrianism and Judaism. Such a relationship will likely never be scientifically proven, and therefore does not deserve a place among critical scholastic works. Nor does Dr. Yamaucht's book seek to advance this or that theory on biblical authorship or some other such spurious conjecture.
The primary aim of the work is to describe the nation of Persia of the biblical era, focusing almost exclusively on the Archaemenid kings of the late biblical period with which the vast majority of Persia-focused biblical literature concerns itself. The method of description is basically historical, with most of the chapters of the book devoted to one particular Archaemenid king, or a particular Persian city described mainly as it existed in the Archaemenid period. There are final chapters on Zoroastrianism, the Magi, and Mithraism that are intended to give a basic introduction to these subjects that are often of interest to the biblical enthusiasts. Though these final chapters are extensive and thorough, anyone desiring more on these subjects would be best advised to buy books devoted exclusively to them.
As a historian, Dr. Yamaucht makes extensive use of biblical and Greek sources, though he refers consistently to the occasional Syriac source as well. Dr. Yamaucht's choice of sources is certainly the result of their higher quality as historical references. One of the most impressive qualities of his treatement is a near complete lack of bias concerning the bible. If one pays close attention, one might be able to discern a secular perspective, but Dr. Yamaucht treats the bible as the excellent source of history that it is, and the book should be entirely inoffensive to religious or secular readers, excepting perhaps those minimalist readers who dare not challenge their fabulous impression of the bible as a grand deception.
My hat is off to Edwin Yamaucht for his achievement. His writing is intelligent, yet clear and concise, and he has truly succeeded in informing the lay reader about what the sources have to say about the Persian empire that they have read about in the bible.
Doesn't live up to the title Jul 18, 2002
I got this book in hopes of learning more about the influence that ancient Persian culture (e.g., Zoroastrianism) may have had on postexilic Judaism -- unfortunately, I was quickly disappointed.
While the author does a decent job of covering ancient Persian history, a surprisingly small portion of the book is actually devoted to discussing what religious/philosophical views may have passed from Persian culture into Judaism, and therefore the Bible. I was especially surprised at how sparse the (-single-) chapter on Zoroastrianism was!
Since this book does not thoroughly address the subject that most people would be getting it for, based on its title, I wouldn't recommend spending money on it. It's a shame too. This is a very important topic and there is a real deficiency of serious books on the subject... I can only hope that someone will soon produce a book that does it justice.
A Handsome, but Disappointing Volume Oct 31, 2001
"Persia and the Bible" could more accurately be retitled, "Ancient Persia: Its Development and Relations With Its Neighbors," since it spends a lot of space on Egypt and Greece, and more particularly on the writings of Herodotus. You may find out more than you ever wanted to know about the battles between Persians and Greeks!
As far as the Bible is concerned, the authors seem primarily interested in the historicity of Ezra-Nehemiah, Esther, and Daniel. There is also a minimalist analysis of Zoroastrianism, which concentrates on scholarly disputes about when Zoroaster lived and the lateness of the texts we now have. All in all, the approach on this argument reminds me very much of the line taken on the Bible by recent minimalists/revisionists! A chapter on the Magi closes the book out, focusing on Matthew's Infancy narrative.
I was really hoping for more information on Persian cultural and literary traditions and how they interacted with the traditions of the exiled Judeans, but larger questions are not really dealt with.
All this being said, however, the book contains information you won't find elsewhere, the many photographs are fascinating, and the book as book is of excellent quality.