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King David: The Real Life of the Man Who…

King David: The Real Life of the Man Who Ruled Israel

by Jonathan Kirsch

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One more exciting shortened, beautified version of King David in our Bible teachings. He was quite the fellow with quite the story. I find the idea of religion and mostly the Bible fascinating, and enjoy it when I hear the real story. I emphasis Story because that is what I feel the Bible is. ( )
  JeannetteK | Oct 18, 2012 |
Kirsch sets up to provide a counter-point to the idea we have of David as an innocent shepherd lad, up against Goliath with a slingshot. The real David was a bloody tribal leader. Or was he? It also turns out that there is no real evidence, outside of the bible, that David existed at all. None of the other contemporary writings in the region mention him.
This book is good for a layperson who wants to know more about how the bible was written and overwritten. The different books in the bible give different accounts of David and his life. There are, I think, three different accounts of how David met Saul. Kirsch’s book gives a pretty simplified version of biblical scholarship, but for me, that’s perfect because I don’t have the patience for a lot more.
I ended up deciding that there was a real David, and that Leonard Cohen is the one who got him right in his song, Hallelujah. Not so much because of the secret chord that pleased the lord, though that seems to be true, but because it ends with a “cold and broken hallelujah.” ( )
  banjo123 | Jul 5, 2012 |
David's life amd legacy.
  HanoarHatzioni | Jun 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345435052, Paperback)

The difficulty of bringing into perspective figures that are larger than life is well known to Jonathan Kirsch, the author of a life of Moses and of the provocative biblical study The Harlot by the Side of the Road. In this well-researched narrative he attempts the same for King David, arguably the most important figure in the entire Jewish Bible. By searching for the real King David, Kirsch does not claim to bring new information to this study. He is more journalist than biblical scholar, and clearly acknowledges when he is speculating (as, for example, in his reconstruction of the scene when David first glimpses the beautiful Bathsheba). Rather, he wants to remind his readers that David is not myth but flesh and blood and is, astonishingly, presented this way in the biblical texts themselves. He is real, human, both heroic and flawed.

Following much of modern scholarship in calling the Bible "a patchwork of ancient texts that were composed and compiled by countless authors and editors," this study is clearly not going to appeal to most fundamentalist readers. Neither is it intended for scholars. It should, however, satisfy many readers who wish to explore more deeply the fascinating and pivotal life of a very real man, a charismatic leader who, as one historian puts it, "played exquisitely, fought heroically, and loved titanically." --Doug Thorpe

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

David, King of the Jews, a charismatic leader, exalted as "a man after God's own heart," was capable of deep cunning and bloodthirsty violence. Kirsch reveals this commanding individual in all his glory and fallibility. Weaving together biblical texts with centuries of interpretation and commentary, as well as the discoveries of modern biblical archaeology and scholarship, Kirsch brings King David to life.… (more)

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