Unveiling the Kings of Israel is a hefty book published by Master Books and authored by David Downs. I was somewhat disappointed for a number of reasons. The book is a long retelling of Biblical events beginning with Abraham, Noah, Saul, David and spanning to Daniel, the Israeli exile, and finally ends with Christ. Interspersed, are details of Biblical Archaeological find in Israel, Iran, Egypt etc. I believed this book would focus more on archaeology than it did. There are indeed many interesting finds that are shared, but sometimes a person is forced to read several pages on the biblical account before reading anything about archaeology. This might be just a preference of mine, others might find the retelling of the accounts helpful. It might depend too on the reader and whether or not he or she is familiar with the Bible.
Because the above reason is more personal preference, I didn't lower the stars primarily for that reason.The reason I gave this book three stars, is because I saw several things that I think need to be revised in future editions. Number one: On page 45 David Downs says "The Bible is not only without error, it is also inspiring." I think that the word "inspired" is the only appropriate word here. Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul is inspiring. God's Word is inspired. Number two: On page 154 there is a caption that refers to Christ saying "Jesus rose to meet his fate." This sent red flag warnings immediately . Fate? That is not a word that speaks of God. A God that has a "fate" is no God at all. These are two example of things I saw; I picked up on others that I did not list here.
David Downs also wrote an earlier book entitled Unwrapping the Pharaohs. My 13 year old brother received Unwrapping the Pharaohs as a gift a while back which he immensely enjoyed. Unveiling the Kings of Israel did have many enjoyable parts to it, and I know much of it we will find useful and informative. There was new information on biblical archaeology finds in Israel, Iran etc. Some of these I was familiar with (such as the Dead Sea scrolls), but more often than not, it was new information. Also included were graphs and charts that many students would find helpful and interesting.
Overall, if you intend to give this book to a student, I would strongly encourage you to address the above concerns, but the book could be useful as a reference tool and/or educational reading.
*Thanks to Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group for providing a free copy to me in exchange for my honest review.
My thoughts: This is not a major archeological treatise on the land of Israel nor is it a book revealing the character of the Israeli kings. It does not appear to be intended for the scholarly community interested in detailed archeological digs or retrieved treasures. It seems to be a beautiful presentation of quality paper and pictures showing locales and archeological finds that survive to this day in the area where the Israelites began and where they journeyed and lived. It follows chronologically the Israelites as their leaders interacted with the peoples and land during their own sojourn.
The book opens with an introduction to the challenge facing the authority of the Bible and its historical reliability. As the book progresses through the Biblical accounts of the flood, the Exodus, the kings it is revealed by the author, David Downs, that archeological finds are supporting rather than discounting Biblical accounts as being historically accurate.
The book is a good introductory tool for youth into how mankind prefers to discount as a fable the Biblical account but that upon study it can be seen that man has left a record in the sands of time and in the stones left still standing of his archeological achievements that do indeed support what God has inspired as the Biblical account. Inscriptions retell stories that support Biblical accounts.
I envision families utilizing this lovely book as a devotional tool where they learn how God recorded His people's journey through history and also how they can "see" where it took place, "see" how they interacted with civilizations and nations whom they encountered.
I envision children and teens passing the time by traveling with the Israelites, the Egyptians, the Canaanites, the Assyrians by "seeing" these revealing stones and revealing inscriptions. This book will be a tool of learning for both child, teen, adult as they remove it from the book shelf or coffee table and simple turn its pages and grasp a bit of knowledge here and there. Or perhaps it will facilitate a report for a student in high school. Regardless, there is a lot in this book to fascinate, teach, and substantiate.
Read a fascinating online review by: Ancient Digger Archaeology: Unveiling the Kings of Israel Review
I find myself desiring to further investigate with the book: Unwrapping the Pharaohs by John Ashton, David Down.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Unveiling the Kings of Israel by the publisher New Leaf Publishing Group/MasterBooks to facilitate my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to render a positive review.
This book was very intriguing. I found it hard to put down, and I am not a person who enjoys reading history books. I generally find the information on history dry, boring and contradicting my Biblical beliefs. However, the information in this book is so helpful in helping to connect the missing dots so to speak to the Biblical time line. How with the correct time line, every event in the Bible lines up perfectly. I must admit I learned things I didn't even know, and things I had never thought of before. I feel like I know each of the kings in the Bible on a more real level, before they were just ancient people of the Bible. It looks at history from a Biblical point of view. This would be a great book to add a study of the kings of the Bible. This book is not your typical boring history style book. I look forward to having my son use this book in the future to learn more about the kings of the Bible and how to back up the Biblical time line. However I feel that this book is mainly for High School and College Students, Adults. This book should also not be used as a stand alone book, but as book for more information or a way to intrigue students to delve deeper into the facts present in this book.
This book starts you out with Mankinds Ancestors and walks you through Biblical history to the King of Kings. There are also 4 sets of Appendixes and 3 pages of Endnotes (which give you even more references (which were used for this book)).
Unveiling the Kings of Israel by David Down is a resource that takes you through the Old Testament and some of the New revealing the Bible's historical accuracy according to archaeological finds. Downs reveals that because of the inaccurate dating of traditional archeology sometimes people think that the events in the Bible are fictitious. Downs shows that once the dating has been revised according to the Bible all of the evidence is there to support it. With beautiful, colorful photographs gracing every page this book is an excellent supplement to go along with a home school study on Ancient Israel.
I found the book interesting and informing. The writing style was easy to understand- the accounts of the biblical stories fresh. As I said above, the photographs were beautiful and made the whole experience more enjoyable. I love biblical archeology so I was glued to this book from beginning to end!
I was, however, disappointed by the lack of evidence that was laid out. Don't get me wrong- there was some evidence there, but I was expecting there to be more. I realize that this is not an apologetics textbook but more of a historical culture book. Therefore, this book was excellent for whetting the appetite for further research but definitely not stand alone in it's proof of Biblical records.
Even though I would never give this book to an unbeliever in hopes of proving the Bible's historical accuracy, I look forward to using it in any future studies that I may do with my brothers and sisters.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from New Leaf Publishing.
Here's an enjoyable book for the whole family. It's "Unveiling The Kings Of Israel" by David Down and published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group. A sharp looking hardback volume, this book, lavishly illustrated, grabbed my eye as I took it out of the package. It lived up to my first impressions. You sense a passion for Bible sites, Bible history, Bible chronology, and finally, Bible truth. The subtitle, "Revealing The Bible's Archaeological History" gives you a clue about what you are in for.
The title is slightly misleading as the scope is greater than the period involving the Kings of Israel. You will in fact pick up with Noah and go through the time of Christ with all the key historical phases of the Bible in between. I read a criticism of this book saying the telling of the Bible narrative is a waste. The truth is that the book was obviously never designed to be a comprehensive coverage of the archaeology of the Bible, but a tantalizing overview of how the study of archaeology only reinforces beautifully what Bible believers believe. As a pastor, I thoroughly enjoyed it The retelling of well known stories at once points out archaeological facts we may not know, or need reminded of, while making it a useful book to pass along to our children. The pictures of sites in Iraq and Iran, which may be hard for us to get to even if we have been privileged to go to Israel, were spectacular!
My only criticism is that the author refers to "a reduced chronology" which I believe in, but others reading the book would not know what that means. Perhaps future editions could carry a chart comparing standard historical time periods contrasted with one that fits perfectly the Biblical data.
Before I could even finish the book my 10 year old son Caleb walked up to my book-covered desk, saw this volume, and said, "Daddy, where did you get this book? It's awesome." He sat down and looked through the whole book. I'm glad to have this book and I want all my children to go through it probably in high school years. Plus, I will enjoy taking a look again. I fully recommend this book to 2 groups I am gladly part of--pastors and home school families.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.