The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero

Joel S. Baden. HarperOne, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-218831-1
With a Jewish sensibility and a critical scholar’s eye, Yale Divinity School Professor Baden sifts out the myth and political spin from the biblical evidence that shows that King David was a subjugating usurper who unseated the popular and able King Saul. After explaining the traditions underlying David’s idealized character (e.g., the attribution of Psalms to David’s hand, the tendency of later works to tidy his record), Baden opens up the text to the lay reader. He presents the plausible historical events leading to David’s claiming of the throne, the nature of his reign, and, somewhat speculatively, the significance of Solomon’s succession. That the biblical account of David’s rise to power is a political apology—an answer to the contemporary charges against him, which included implication in murders and regicide—is not news to those familiar with critical Bible scholarship. Baden’s offering, however, is notable as part of a recent trend, even in traditional circles, to view critical scholarship as essential to general Jewish religious self-understanding, rather than as an academic or potentially subversive exercise. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-218833-5
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.