How King David predicted modern Judaism
Modern Jews are precisely the community King David envisioned, says scholar Joel Baden.
October 12th, 2013
09:05 AM ET

How King David predicted modern Judaism

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - Most American Jews consider Judaism to be mainly a matter of culture and ancestry, according to a recent poll. An even higher percentage describe themselves as emotionally attached to Israel. For this we have one person to thank: King David.

The Israel we know today is a nation that David created virtually out of thin air. Before David, there were two territories, Israel to the north, and Judah to the south.

By sheer force of personality—and, to be fair, substantial military strength—David combined these two lands under a single crown (his). Not only had this never happened before; no one had ever thought of it before.

Although the Bible makes it sound as if everyone loved David, and were desperate to follow him, this wasn’t really the case. David took power by force.

The people of Israel and Judah became part of David’s kingdom because he conquered them—they had no choice in the matter. Their only option was to abandon the land that they had held for centuries. And in a tight real estate market—every family believed that they had eternal rights to their property—moving was pretty much out of the question.

We tend to think of Israel in biblical terms: the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the land of the 12 tribes. These concepts were created in the wake of David’s reign.

Everywhere that the Bible speaks of Judah and Israel together—the stories of the patriarchs, the Exodus, the conquest—we encounter the ramifications of David’s actions.

The borders of the modern state of Israel today are, roughly, David’s borders, or at least those attributed to him by the biblical authors. (For the record: the West Bank was part of David’s kingdom; the Gaza Strip was not.)

And at the center of Israel, both ancient and modern, is the holy city of Jerusalem. This, too, is David’s doing. Before David, Jerusalem was a long-standing independent city-state, belonging to a long-lost people called the Jebusites.

MORE ON CNN: Why everyone fights over Jerusalem

Recognizing that its central location would be perfect for the capital of his newly united state—the ancient equivalent of Washington—David conquered it and wiped out its former inhabitants.

Because David is credited with founding the Temple in Jerusalem—although Solomon built the actual structure, David chose the site, set up an altar, and laid the conceptual groundwork—it’s natural enough to assume that there was some religious motivation at work.

But, in fact, David’s aim in inaugurating a site of worship in his capital was more economical than spiritual. Temples were sites of commerce—Jesus knew this—and having a culturally significant relic, in the form of the Ark of the Covenant, was sure to draw the people in.

Every lamb sacrificed in Jerusalem meant profit for the sanctuary, and for the king who controlled it. Every pilgrim meant a night’s stay in a local bed and breakfast (all fully taxable, of course).

David used belief as a lure to draw in the masses. But he didn’t care much what his people believed. The creation of the unified kingdom of Israel wasn’t based on shared religion.

The inhabitants of the north had very different practices from those in the south. And none of them was following Jewish law—the laws hadn’t been written yet, and wouldn’t be for centuries.

What united the people of David’s kingdom was, quite simply, that they lived there. It was a political state, not a religious one.

Israel then, like today, was primarily a political entity, and only secondarily a religious one. Those who considered themselves attached to Israel believed and practiced a whole range of things, or not; just like those who are attached to Israel today.

A Pew poll released earlier this month demonstrates the continuing pull of David’s Israel. Millions of American Jews financially support the modern state of Israel, either through donations or through tourism.

MORE ON CNN: Study: American Jews losing their religion

We feel the pull of the land, the sanctity of the ancient streets of Jerusalem. We fly El Al, we stay at the hotels, we eat at the restaurants, we pay to enter various sites.

That is: We’re still doing just what David wanted us to do. We are precisely the Jews who David envisioned—believing whatever we want, just so long as we spend our money in Israel.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Middle East

soundoff (869 Responses)
  1. Fernando

    I find it hard to believe that CNN would publish this...David's reign happened around 500 years AFTER Exodus. Yes, the customs and traditions of Israel (the northern part) and Judah were, perhaps, very different, however, to say that "Jewish law wouldn't be written for centuries" is absolutely ludicrous. Here is a link to a website that has a timeline of biblical events (http://biblehub.com/timeline/). All dates are approximate, however, when Exodus (and the writing of Jewish law in the form of the 10 Commandments) is believed to have occurred around 1446 B.C. and David's reign is believed to occur around 1003 B.C., there is clearly a large amount of time before David's reign, during which Jewish law had, in fact, existed.

    October 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • elliott carlin

      You'd think even the casual observer would see this then question the other news stories CNN prints...but most do not.

      October 12, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
      • Keith

        What the hell are blaming CNN for? who cares which version of this fiction is the truth. Arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin is more relevant than this HOGWASH.
        If stupid people have nothing better to do than have these arguments then why should CNN give a damn

        October 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • G to the T

      ....but Exodus didn't happen, so your theory is wrong right there.

      October 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  2. Eytan Grinnell

    One of the most offensive, ignorant articles I've ever read about anything.

    October 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  3. AngryJew

    So this means that the early Hebrews stole their neighbor's land, just like today's Israelis.

    October 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • elliott carlin

      Isn't that really the story of history? Its now nations are created and sustained.
      You may just want to 'get over it'.

      October 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • Observer

      It's quite similar to how the "good Christians" cheated and stole the land from our native Americans and forced many of them to leave their homes.

      October 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
      • elliott carlin

        and you don't think the Indians took it from someone else?
        That is the story of history.
        You need to be more observant

        October 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
        • Observer

          elliott carlin,

          If you were more observant, you"d realize that my statement was correct. Besides not being observant, is reading comprehension a problem for you?

          October 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      That's exactly correct. The reason they picked Yahweh, (the Babylonian god of war / the armies), from the Babylonian pantheon, was because they wanted help in their expansionary land efforts. Why else do you think they wrote the Babble to say, (give themselves) "all you see" as their *promised land*.

      October 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • G to the T

      Perhaps to some extent, but certainly not to the degree portrayed in the bible. What we are finding is evidence of early nomadic herders in southern Canaan settling down into semi-permanent villages. What we aren't finding is any evidence that an outside population showed up and supplanted the locals. The Hebrews were an offshot of the Canaanites. Books of OT were part of effort to give 12 sub groups a common history and did mostly likely get written around the time the author indicates.

      October 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  4. Bob

    This guy took every historical work into account except THE BIBLE.

    October 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • elliott carlin

      At least he didn't show is bias, lol

      October 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • G to the T

      Why would a guy that can read HEBREW study the Bible for jewish history?

      October 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  5. elliott carlin

    Although the author exhibits little knowledge of Jewish history or the Old Testament, I do believe CNN is making progress: Seems like before-hand they used to have article after article questioning if David even existed. Now it seems they've accepted this fact. Bravo CNN–perhaps in another 200 years you'll come to accept the exclusivity of Salvation taught in the New Testament.

    October 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • stjamesmontreal

      PhD from Harvard in Hebrew Bible. Yale University professor of Old Testament. And you claim the author doesn't know about "Jewish history or the Old Testament"? Come on. You don't like what he says, but you can't claim he doesn't know much.

      October 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
      • G to the T

        Agreed – the arrogance and anti-intellectualism of so many of these posters is amazing.

        October 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  6. paullyscheeky

    seriously? is this guy for reals? here's a couple of items to counter this ignoramus:

    1. the nation of israel was divided AFTER david's son solomon died.

    2. david was born AFTER the exodus not before.

    October 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Matt

      The Torah including the 10 commandments were written by Moses. The Jews had the law during Davids reign.

      October 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • Julia Gershon

        Really, only fundamentalists believe this is true. The Torah was actually composed over a period of several centuries, ending about 333 BCE.

        October 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
        • Levi

          You mean everybody besides the reconstructionists? That belief is one of the tenants of Judaism

          October 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
        • G to the T

          Levi – doesn't make it true though does it?

          October 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  7. Universe

    Verses regarding Mary in Quran (Islamic Scripture)

    “Mention in the scripture Mary. She isolated herself from her family, into an eastern location.” [19:16]

    “While a barrier separated her from them, we sent to her our Spirit. He went to her in the form of a human being.”

    She said, "I seek refuge in the Most Gracious, that you may be righteous."

    He said, "I am the messenger of your Lord, to grant you a pure son."

    She said, "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me; I have never been unchaste."

    He said, "Thus said your Lord, `It is easy for Me. We will render him a sign for the people, and mercy from us. This is a predestined matter.' "

    When she bore him, she isolated herself to a faraway place.

    The birth process came to her by the trunk of a palm tree. She said, "(I am so ashamed;) I wish I were dead before this happened, and completely forgotten."

    (The infant) called her from beneath her, saying, "Do not grieve. Your Lord has provided you with a stream.

    "If you shake the trunk of this palm tree, it will drop ripe dates for you.*

    "Eat and drink, and be happy. When you see anyone, say, `I have made a vow of silence, [to the Most Gracious]*; I am not talking today to anyone.' "

    She came to her family, carrying him. They said, "O Mary, you have committed something that is totally unexpected.

    "O descendant of Aaron, your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother unchaste."

    She pointed to him. They said, "How can we talk with an infant in the crib?"

    (The infant spoke and) said, "I am a servant of God. He has given me the scripture, and has appointed me a prophet.

    "He made me blessed wherever I go, and enjoined me to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat) for as long as I live.

    "I am to honor my mother; He did not make me a disobedient rebel.

    "And peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I get resurrected."

    “That was Jesus, the son of Mary, and this is the truth of this matter, about which they continue to doubt.”

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.”

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    October 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Gerald R.

    "We tend to think of Israel in biblical terms: the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the land of the 12 tribes. These concepts were created in the wake of David’s reign." With these 2 sentences the author has "hit the nail on the head". As usual, societies and religions make up history in order to justify their actions and beliefs.

    October 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • Jrose

      Thank you for being truthful the bible came from the Egyptian book of the Dead and other sacred religious book. it is a way to live your life nothing else .Everything else a creation of Man

      October 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
  9. this is from a Yale professor??????

    the Jews were all united under one leader named Moses, and then Joshua, and they were led by a single king named Saul, where does this guy come up with his garbage?????

    October 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • Gerald R.

      Truth comes from pulling one's head out of the Bible. That's where the author "gets this stuff from".

      October 12, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        Pulling ones head out of the Bible is all well and good, but where is he getting his alternate narrative. Last I checked there was not much extra-biblical info about David.

        October 12, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
        • elliott carlin

          He pulled the alternative narrative from the air in his head, therefore it is true. Just accept it as Gerald R. has and you'll be considered enlightened.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • jdub

      Not again! With all of the respectable seminaries Evangelical, Protestant, and Catholic CNN gets another bonehead who knows neither Bible nor history to write. The average churchgoer knows better than this. I choose CNN for its relatively unbiased approach to news, but once again we have lies presented as truth and CNN doesn't know any better. Check sources!

      October 12, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
      • G to the T

        There's no good way to say this but – the "average" christian in the pews is an ignorant rube who knows nothing about actual histortical evidence and/or textual criticism as it pertains to bible. Most are happy to just believe what's been explained to them and take it on faith, like everything else.

        October 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Matt

      This author says, "And none of them was following Jewish law—the laws hadn’t been written yet, and wouldn’t be for centuries." David lived well after Moses. The Jews had the books of Moses, the Torah including the 10 commandments. David was chosen by Samuel the prophet (God spoke to Samuel to choose David) Belief and religious practice were part of their life. To claim that the primary reason for building the Temple was to bring in money and not worship is incredulous.

      October 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Julia Gershon

      The tribes were really no more united in that early period than the United States were united in 1863.

      October 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
      • Levi

        Where do you spew this nonsense? have you ever read the Nevi'im or Ketuvim or did you hear that from nonsensical reform rabbi who got his/her Smicha after learning to read Hebrew?

        October 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
  10. children of Israel

    How did those Jewish folks cope after having their own sons and daughters being sold to other nations? (Deuteronomy 28:32) When did Pharaoh say the word Jewish or even condemn Christians? Christ built his church upon a rock, so the Muslims worshipped the sun rock facing towards the east (Ezekiel 8:16-17)

    October 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  11. Mark

    I guess this theory is plausible, if you want to disregard the Biblical testimony, including over 100 Psalms David wrote! How about letting history tell us about itself rather than always second-guessing it.

    October 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • G to the T

      How about not blindly believing what others have said about a book and it's history and actually looking at the available evidence and seeing where that leads?

      October 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 12, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Observer

      The Bible says God KILLED every child and fetus and ALL HUMAN BEINGS.

      No atheist ever came REMOTELY close to doing anything that heartless.

      October 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
      • John

        No atheist ever did anything so heartless? Are you serious? Ever hear of Mao, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Khrushchev and Pol Pott?? Get your facts straight. Atheists have committed more atrocities on humankind than Christianity (or religion in general for that matter). heislight.blogspot.com

        October 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • Observer


          "No atheist ever did anything so heartless? Are you serious?"

          Did any atheist ever kill ALL HUMAN BEINGS?

          Get YOUR FACTS straight.

          October 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
        • G to the T

          Wow are you really saying "Stalin did it so why is it wrong when God did it?" 1 – Stalin doesn't represent atheists in any way shape or form. 2 – Maybe we hold god to a higher standard than say a MASS MURDERER!

          October 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • elliott carlin

        It's always a slippery slope when trying to discuss sense with an atheist. You'll have C. Dick Dawkins stating mild pedophilia really isn't dangerous; then Lawrence Krauss discussing the morality of incest. Then you have the Grand Poobah herself, Margaret Sanger–also an atheist-who started Planned Parenthood. So please Observer, do a bit more observing before typing.

        October 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
        • Observer

          elliott carlin,

          If you were more observant, you'd see that my statement about what the Bible said was correct.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • elliott carlin

        and if you were more observant you'd see I was replying to the "remotely' part of your statement.
        Good heavens.

        October 12, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • Observer

          elliott carlin,

          If you were observant about history, you'd know that NO ATHEIST ever came close to killing ALL HUMAN BEINGS.

          "Good heavens."

          October 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
      • Levi

        Where do it say that?

        October 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
        • Observer

          (Gen. 7:21) “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and ALL HUMAN BEINGS”

          October 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Jrose

      I agree a believe system is health for all but it is not real

      October 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  13. loudestenemy

    First, show some evidence that David existed. Israel Finkelstein of the Archaeological society at Tel Aviv sure can't find any. Then figure out how Judiasm didn't just steer itself to his "predictions."

    October 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      The bible is an accurate record of history of the Israelites and the surrounding nations. Do you doubt your world history books? Probably not. Since God is involved, you're skeptical...

      October 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • Observer

        (II Chron. 36:9) “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king” [KJV]
        (II Kings 24:8) “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king” [KJV]

        October 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
        • elliott carlin

          Oftentimes Kings had the same name-you may as well say George Bush was President 41 and George Bush was President 43-is that incorrect as well?

          October 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
        • Observer

          – II Chronicles 22:2 “Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem.” [KJV]
          II Kings 8:26 “Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem.” [KJV]

          October 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
        • ChrisA

          Since Chronicles focuses on Judah, Chronicles gives the age (forty-two) at which Ahaziah began to reign from the time that he was the king of Judah. However, Kings, which focuses on both Israel and Judah, gives the age (twenty-two) at which Ahaziah began to reign from the time that he was the co-regent of Israel. Since Chronicles does not focus on Israel, its account neglects the twenty years of Ahaziah’s co-regency in Israel.

          Texas Newspaper says,
          "George W. Bush was 49 years old when he began to govern; and he governed 8 years in Washington."

          Washington Newspaper says,
          "George W. Bush was 54 years old when he began to govern; and he governed 8 years in Washington."

          These two accounts do not contradict. The Texas Newspaper focuses on Texas politics, so it tells the age of George W. Bush at the time when he began to govern Texas as the state governor. The Washington Newspaper, on the other hand, focuses on federal politics so it tells the age of George W. Bush at the time when he began to govern the United States as the president. The accounts may be unclear without the qualifying phrases, "as governor" or "as president," but unclear parallel statements are not the same as contradicting parallel statements.

          Credit: http://www.kjvtoday.com/home/forty-and-two-years-old-or-twenty-two-years-old-in-2-chronicles-222

          So called "contradictions" in the Bible are easily settled by reading IN CONTEXT.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
        • Observer


          Try again with Jehoiachin.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
        • Observer


          Your excuse was a waste of time because "reign" means to rule as king or queen.

          George W. Bush NEVER reigned and so was a poor example anyway.

          The EXCUSES that apologists for the Bible come up with are really amusing.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Yes, since that book makes claims based in the supernatural it is right to be skeptical, at least of those claims. I don't think historians have discarded the bible. Corroborated information from it is useful.

        October 12, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Funny that the Smithsonian doesn't consider The Babble to be a historical docu.ment. If it's not good enough for the Smithsonian, it's not good enough for me!

        October 12, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • elliott carlin

          You sound like an Obamacare supporter.
          Hook, line and sinker

          October 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • Julia Gershon

          The Hebrew Bible does contain a lot of historical evidence that is supported by archaeology and other external sources. But much of it is political spin. Including much of the David narrative, which managed to convince millions of people that the Messiah would be descended from David's family. David had a public-relations machine that would be the envy of any modern political party.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        It's the "accurate history" of nothing.
        The creation account is crap. Noah is bs, the Exodus never happened. Moses was a myth. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have been proven myth by archaeology.
        Maybe try to get an education.

        October 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
      • loudestenemy

        I'm skeptical because I am a historian and I know how the bible was compiled over the years. If anything, the bible is a literary masterpiece of ancient literature, but it is absolutely NOT a history book. There isn't one history book that uses the bible as a source. That should tell you something.

        October 13, 2013 at 2:07 am |
        • G to the T

          Best post so far. From one historian to another – keep up the good fight!

          October 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  14. AvdBerg

    All those that call themselves Christians are not necessarily followers of Jesus Christ, but rather, they are followers of an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24), and they are not all Israel, which are of the Israel of God (Romans 9:6; Gal. 6:16).

    For a better understanding of the above article and the history of 'Christianity' and 'Judaism', we invite you to read the articles 'Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?' and 'The Decline and Fall of a Divided Nation (Matthew 12:25)' listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9, and what mankind must do to be reunited with the true and living God.

    October 12, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      STILL trolling here ?
      Business must be REAL bad.

      October 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • snowboarder

      that is one looney website.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  15. dfg

    this article is garbage. the author is ignorant of how religion is the basis of the people and land.

    October 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Boojum

      Your brain is garbage and your flabby body is the sack it's in.
      Religion isn't a basis for anything real or no one would be required to believe in something without proof. Idiot.

      October 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • elliott carlin

        Boojum speakum krokum

        October 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  16. children of Israel

    You are suppose to follow Christ judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (James 1:1) (Matthew 19:28) *Psalm 60:7 Judah is my lawgiver; *Deuteronomy 31:19 Now therefore write ye this song for you and teach it the children of Israel: *Revelation 14:3 and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. *Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way,.. *Judges 5:17 and why did Dan remain in ships? (Deuteronomy 28:68)

    October 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Your book isn't able to dictate what people are supposed to do or not do.

      October 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
  17. AvdBerg

    All those that call themselves Christians are not necessarily followers of Jesus Christ, and they are not all Israel, which are of the Israel of God (Romans 9:6; Gal. 6:16).

    For a better understanding of the above article and the history of 'Christianity' and 'Judaism', we invite you to read the articles 'Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?' and 'The Decline and Fall of a Divided Nation (Matthew 12:25)' listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9, and what mankind must do to be reunited with the true and living God.

    October 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • G to the T

      Just send $9.95 in a self-addressed, stamped envelope...

      October 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  18. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    That modern Jerusalem is an obsession of people afflicted with the Abrahamic religions is something most everyone knows. Being near such a strange focus must be interesting for non-theists of Israel. Personally, I hope that some day no city is called holy. Do non-theists of Israel feel the same?

    October 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  19. Reviews:

    Reviews for "The Historical David "

    An invigoratingly grown-up reading of the Bible, taking it seriously but not literally.... David emerges no longer as the author of the Psalms or the slayer of Goliath, yet Baden’s scholarly analysis leaves the usurper-King as one of the most crucial shapers of world history.”
    — Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford, author of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years
    “Reading between and behind the lines of the biblical text and its silences, Baden gives an engaging reconstruction of who the true David may have been. This is a brilliant synthesis, with some unexpected and even daring twists of interpretation. A tour de force!”
    — Michael Coogan, Harvard Divinity School lecturer, Director of Publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum and editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible

    October 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Reviews:

      Baden] succeeds positively, powerfully, and persuasively in locating Israel’s once and future king as an actual historical figure. The multiple layers of fact and fiction, history and theology are cleanly and clearly distinguished but without either modern apologetics or contemporary polemics.”
      — John Dominic Crossan, author of The Historical Jesus

      October 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Reviews:

      “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

      October 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Psalms

      King David is one of the greatest!

      October 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Boojum

      Is that you, Joel? Why not come out and take your medicine like an adult? Worthless reviews written by worthless idiots with worthless titles and degrees. Bah.
      You may as well have a bunch of glowing testimonies written by hundreds of Teabaggers. No one listens to liars except gullible idiots.

      October 12, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
      • G to the T

        Wow... just wow... good luck with that!

        October 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  20. Abe

    What a pungent opinion! Did CNN look through this garbage or is this how bad they are hurting for articles! What a flimsy post by this Yale anti-semite.

    October 12, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • @OD

      Don't be so vain, people like you make bad name for all of us. Awsome article , great alternative way to look at things and most likely much closer to the truth.

      October 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • stjamesmontreal

      Please explain more how the only Jewish professor at Yale Divinity School is such an anti-semite...

      October 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.