Tuesday, May 14, 2013

David & Bathsheba: Foreword

DAVID & BATHSHEBA will be available for purchase June 1st!!! 
We've received a box of the first copies hot off the press - they are beautiful. 
As a little teaser, I thought I'd share the foreword with you....

Roberta Kells Dorr began to research the Old Testament story of David and Bathsheba back in 1959 when she, her husband, and five children took a medical missionary assignment in the Gaza Strip.  She continued her research during the next seventeen years and a transfer to the hospital of Jibla, in Yemen.  During this time she was able to visit archaeological digs and geographical sites, study the culture, learn the language and gain new insights into the lives of men and women in ancient Israel.  Out of this study grew the audacious idea of telling the David and Bathsheba story in novel form and from the basic point of view of Bathsheba herself.
Twenty-one years later, the result is David and Bathsheba, a book that is faithful to the biblical account, although the portraits of David, Bathsheba, Uriah and others that emerge may contain some surprises for the critical biblical scholar.  I view this book not so much as a historical novel, however, as a biographical account of those times based upon the biblical record and going beyond it inferentially.
The Old Testament story in its own right is one of the most outstanding pieces of historical literature preserved from the ancient world.  The economy of writing, the bold delineation of character, the continuing focus upon what is happening in the struggle over David's throne within his household and among his advisors, carry the reader along and require little comment.  Even so, Roberta Dorr has added background and contours to the story that have enabled readers to enter more fully into the turbulent times, and without moralizing, or making the stories "edifying," has lent to them additional human and moral weight.
The author has lived up to the challenge of the literature.  She has let the story carry its quiet testimony to the God of Israel, who finds His way in the struggle of men and women for life and health, who guides the processes of history but largely through the agency of His creatures and who throughout insists upon both justice and mercy.
Walter Harrelson
Professor of Old Testament
Former Dean of the Divinity School
Vanderbilt University

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