The Historical David

The Historical David

The Real Life of An Invented Hero

Book - 2013
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Baker & Taylor
Challenging popular beliefs about the legend of King David, the founder of the nation of Israel, this thought-provoking volume delves deep beneath the biblical stories to reveal a man who was not a glorious leader, but a man who clawed his way to the top and struggled to stay there. 25,000 first printing.


Joel Baden, a leading expert on the Old Testament, offers a controversial look at the history of King David, the founder of the nation of Israel whose bloodline leads to Jesus, challenging prevailing popular beliefs about his legend in The Historical David.

Baden makes clear that the biblical account of David is an attempt to shape the events of his life politically and theologically. Going beyond the biblical bias, he explores the events that lie behind the David story, events that are grounded in the context of the ancient Near East and continue to inform modern Israel.

The Historical David exposes an ambitious, ruthless, flesh-and-blood man who achieved power by any means necessary, including murder, theft, bribery, sex, deceit, and treason. As Baden makes clear, the historical David stands in opposition not only to the virtuous and heroic legends, but to our very own self-definition as David’s national and religious descendants.

Provocative and enlightening, The Historical David provides the lost truth about David and poses a challenge to us: how do we come to terms with the reality of a celebrated hero who was, in fact, similar to the ambitious power-players of his day?

& Taylor

Delves deep beneath the biblical stories to challenge popular beliefs about the biblical David, revealing a man who was not a glorious leader, but a man who clawed his way to the top and struggled to stay there.

Publisher: San Francisco, Calif. : HarperOne, c2013
ISBN: 9780062188311
Branch Call Number: 222.4092 BAD
Characteristics: 310 p. :,maps ;,24 cm.


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crankylibrarian Jan 27, 2014

Although adroitly argued, I had trouble with Baden's confident assertions about what we now "know" about a quasi mythical figure. His primary line of reasoning seems to be, "If the Bible argues strenuously that this happened, we KNOW the opposite actually happened!"I find Bart Ehrman's approach to Biblical historical criticism more convincing. Still, this is a worthwhile read, especially in comparison with Jonathan Kirsch's <i>King David</i>, which looks at David more as a literary character than a historical one.

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