The Historical David

The Historical David : The Real Life of an Invented Hero

3.74 (103 ratings by Goodreads)
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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?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 134 x 200 x 24mm | 240g
  • HarperOne
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062188372
  • 9780062188373
  • 592,941

Review quote

"Lively....This is a provocative book that raises questions about the nature of biblical narrative and also about the historical continuity of the Davidic line."--John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale University
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Back cover copy

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2013

How the Bible Covered Up the True Story of Israel's Beloved King

For all the glory we attribute to David's legend, the historical reality is both fascinating and disturbing. Through deep textual analysis, Baden brings the historical David vibrantly to life and ultimately reveals that the flesh-and-blood man was far more complex and interesting than the mythical king.
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Rating details

103 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 28% (29)
4 31% (32)
3 31% (32)
2 7% (7)
1 3% (3)
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