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Professor's book designed for those with 'genuine curiosity' about ancient Israel

A BU prof's new book on the ancient Holy Land is designed for readers with no background in the subject.

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A BU prof's new book on the ancient Holy Land is designed for readers with no background in the subject.

Dr. KL Noll, chair of the religious studies department at Brandon University.

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Dr. KL Noll, chair of the religious studies department at Brandon University. (SUBMITTED)

A professor at Brandon University has written a book exploring the social, political, and religious changes in Palestine from the ‘stone age’ to the Persian and Roman eras.

The book was written by KL Noll, chair of the religious studies department at BU. He says that "Canaan and Israel in Antiquity" is designed for readers who have not previously studied the ancient Near East.

"This book will appeal to anyone interested in the ancient world or religious history," he said. "Usually these types of books are written by academics for an academic audience, or they are written to prove or disprove the Bible. My book is for people with no background and genuine curiosity." 

This is the second, and fully revised, edition of the book. The first edition was published in 2001 and has been assigned for university courses in Canada, the United States, England, and the Netherlands. The new edition reflects the latest archaeological findings, adds new material on the religiously diverse environment of ancient Israel, and incorporates new maps, photographs, and translations of ancient inscriptions.

"Most textbooks on this topic assume that the students already know the key terms, the geography, and the historic background," Noll said, "but often the students do not, and as a result they are frustrated. I wanted to create a textbook for students who are interested in ancient Palestine but have not yet examined it from an academic point of view."

Noll has taught at Brandon University since 2005, offering courses in theoretical study of religion, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Biblical languages. In addition to ‘"Canaan and Israel in Antiquity," he has written "Faces of David" as well as 20 journal articles and book chapters dealing with ancient religion, ancient Judaism, and earliest Christianity.

Noll earned a Ph.D. from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and has taught for several Christian seminaries in the United States. He also taught history at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, then religious studies at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Kentucky.

The 434-page book is available at the BU bookstore and through online booksellers.

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