Mesopotamia and the Bible. (Briefly Noted).
Mesopotamia and the Bible. Edited by Mark W. Chavalas and K. Lawson Younger Jr. (Baker, $29.99). The fourteen essays in this book deal with the light shed on the Bible by the archaeological discoveries, primarily textual, of the last two centuries. "Mesopotamia" is understood broadly and includes portions of Syria that had cultural similarities to the Mesopotamians in antiquity. The articles are provided with voluminous bibliographies, and they draw measured conclusions about the ways in which Ancient Near Eastern studies have and have not benefited biblical scholars. Ugarit, for example, has shed invaluable light on Yahweh by its record of the Canaanite god El, but ideas of death and the afterlife at Ugarit are now seen as offering little help for understanding the Old Teastament's views on these matters. The thirteen authors record scholars who have made major breakthroughs as well as those afflicted with parallelomania.