The Biblical Archaeology Society 2013 Publication Awards Winners

The 2013 Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Awards recognize the best books published in 2011 and 2012. The biennial BAS Publication Awards for books about archaeology and the Bible have been presented since 1985. This year’s prestigious awards have been made possible by a grant from Frederick L. Simmons, Esq. of Glendale, California. Winning authors receive an honorary certificate and an award of $500.00 for each category. BAS congratulates the recipients of the 2013 Publication Awards and extends heartfelt thanks to the panel of judges.

Best Scholarly Book on Archaeology [ a tie ]

Ashkelon 3: The Seventh Century B.C.
by Lawrence E. Stager, Daniel M. Master and J. David Schloen
(Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2011)

Tell es-Safi/Gath I: The 1996–2005 Seasons, Vols. 1 and 2
edited by Aren M. Maeir (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2012)

Archaeological excavations in Bible lands continue to transform our understanding of the material and spiritual worlds of this region’s past. New discoveries appear daily on the internet, in traditional print media and in the pages of BAR. However, the scholarly publication of final excavation reports, presenting the data and detailed analyses of these results, is the real legacy of archaeological excavations and the source of all interpretations, both present and future. The exceptional final excavation reports of two major, large-scale sites, Ashkelon (the seventh century B.C.) and Tell es-Safi/Gath (the 1996–2005 seasons), are the dual winners of this year’s BAS scholarly book award. Both will serve as the “gold standard” for future publications of final excavation results and as primary reference works for generations to come.


MICHAEL COOGAN Harvard Divinity School
ANN KILLEBREW The Pennsylvania State University
THOMAS E. LEVY University of California, San Diego

Best Book Relating to the Hebrew Bible

Isaiah 40–66: Translation and Commentary
by Shalom Paul (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012)

Shalom Paul’s commentary on Isaiah 40–66 sets a new standard in the field of Biblical studies. The work is rich in philological detail, the historical setting and the ancient Near Eastern context—and yet never loses sight of the theological message inherent in the exquisite poetry of the ancient prophet. So while each page is peppered with Hebrew and other technical material, the lay reader, too, may benefit from the author’s superb treatment of the prophet’s message. One significant contribution—rare in studies of Second Isaiah—is the attention to medieval Jewish exegesis (parshanut ). This volume is certain to be consulted for decades to come.


KENT RICHARDS Emeritus Executive Director of the Society of Biblical Literature
GARY A. RENDSBURG Rutgers University
CHOON LEONG SEOW Princeton Theological Seminary

Best Popular Book on Archaeology

Stories from Ancient Canaan
by Michael D. Coogan and Mark S. Smith (Louisville, KY:
Westminster John Knox Press, 2012)

Poets, singers, undergraduates, history buffs and connoisseurs of drinking parties with ancient Semitic deities will love Stories from Ancient Canaan. Michael Coogan and Mark Smith, experts in Ugraritic language, have provided revised translations and a more engaging writing style in this second edition, easy-to-read introduction to one of the fundamental extra-Biblical sources for understanding how the religion of ancient Israel emerged. The editors have produced a fun read considering the original texts from Ugarit, now called Ras Shamra in northern Syria, were written more than 3,000 years ago. They have also added some new poems such as “El’s Drinking Party,” which makes undergraduate tail-gate parties look tame. These qualities have earned this handy volume the BAS Best Popular Book award.


ANN KILLEBREW The Pennsylvania State University
THOMAS E. LEVY University of California, San Diego

Best Book Relating to the New Testament

Apocalypticism in the Bible and Its World
by Frederick J. Murphy (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2012)

Apocalypticism in the Bible and Its World provides the field of Biblical research a comprehensive study of Jewish apocalyptic thought from its inception in the Books of Enoch through the vast literature of Early Judaism, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, into its expressions in Jesus’ teachings, Pauline theology and the early Christian movement. At the same time, author Frederick J. Murphy makes his work accessible to critical Biblical study beginners by the clarity of his presentation of the developmental stages of apocalypticism, its vestiges in current belief and practice, and by the side bars, boxes, charts, illustrations and very useful bibliographies found in each chapter.


VICTOR FURNISH Emeritus Professor, Southern Methodist University
JAMES SANDERS Emeritus Professor, Claremont School of Theology

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