Tuesday, October 21, 2014

REVIEW: iWitness Biblical Archaeology by Apologia Educational Ministries

I had the opportunity to review iWitness Biblical Archaeology by Apologia Educational Ministries with my teenager.

 

WHAT IS IT?:

 

Apologia offers a series of iWitness books to give kids ages 11 and up and adults alike the opportunity to explore the bible and it’s place in history a bit further.  They take very scholarly information and present it in such a way that you can understand the meaning and context and draw your own conclusions in a meaningful way.

iWitness Biblical Archaeology offers readers the opportunity to explore how God has revealed the bible not only in the book itself, but also in archaeology.  There is amazing evidence of the factual existence of the events of the bible in our world today.  This wonderful book shows you the documents and artifacts that reveal that truth to us in the here and now.

Other books in this series include the New Testament iWitness, which offers a discussion of the authors and source of the New Testament, whether or not we have the entire text or if there were books left out, and how it has been handed down over time, and the Old Testament iWitness, which compares the Old Testament with the Hebrew bible, discusses who wrote these ancient books, and tells how they were collected.  These fascinating books are available for just $14 each.  There are also two earlier published books in the series called Resurrection iWitness and Jesus iWitness, available for $20 each.

 

OUR EXPERIENCE:

When I saw these three new iWitness books on the review list, the iWitness Biblical Archaeology immediately caught my attention.  My 15-year old son, Hayden, and I have always been interested in how archaeological discoveries made over time have only served to reinforce the truthful history presented in the bible.  We’re big fans of watching documentaries on this type of subject matter, so we thought this book would be of great interest to us so we’d have a chance to examine the documents and artifacts for ourselves.  We were not disappointed!

This book covers a variety of topics to include:

  • The Flood
  • Searching for Noah’s Ark
  • Egyptian Chronology/Exodus Pt. 1
  • Exodus Pt. 2/Sinai?
  • David, YHWH, and Israel Inscriptions
  • Sennacherib’s Siege and Hezekiah’s Tunnel
  • Old Testament History
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Oldest Copies of the Bible
  • Hadrian and Constantine
  • Jesus’ Judges
  • Jesus’ World
  • New Testament History
  • The Burial Shroud of Jesus?

Each topic shows you images of artifacts and documents that have been found and then gives you some background information about the topic and differing viewpoints on the findings by various scholars.  This allows you to consider all the information, look at the evidence for yourself, and draw your own conclusions about their significance to history and the way they are presented in the bible.

For instance, on the topic of The Flood, the text tells you of various versions of the event as told by different sources.  It discusses the myth in many ancient cultures of the flood story and the fact that many scholars think the Genesis account is a compilation of these cultural myths.  But then it mentions that the bible’s more straight-forward, simpler account is perhaps what the cultural myths were instead based upon.  It shows you an image of the Gilgamesh Epic, tells you where it was found and where it is stored, and then it explains Babylonian story told on the tablets found in a palace library in Nineveh and its similarities and differences with the Genesis story of the flood.  Then it shows you an image of the Atrahasis Epic, tells you where it was found and where it is stored, and tells its flood story as preserved by the Mesopotamians.  Then it shows you an image of the Weld-Blundell Prism, where it was found and where it is stored, and it talks about the lists of Sumerian kings found on it and how the length of their reigns before and after the flood support the differing life spans demonstrated in the bible in the time of Noah. 

We really enjoyed the interactive nature of the book in that it presented you with multiple artifacts that were relevant to a single bible event and let you put it all together in your mind.  We also liked how the author presented us with all the facts and evidence, summarized various opinions of each topic, and then let us decide for ourselves what we thought about it.

Both the content of this book and its presentation were appealing to both me and my teenager.  I could definitely see us owning the other books in the series in the future.  It was truly fascinating information, and it only served to strengthen the foundations of our faith.

Take a look at what other Crew members had to say about this and other iWitness series books by clicking the banner below.