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The Great Courses Presents


The Great Courses has joined with National Geographic to present The History and Archaeology of the Bible, which takes you on a multidimensional journey through the Bible from Genesis to the Crucifixion, seen through the lens of the latest historical and archaeological findings, and accompanied by vivid video footage of many of the sites where the stories of the Bible unfolded.

Taught by Jean-Pierre Isbouts, a National Geographic contributor, eminent biblical historian, and award-winning filmmaker, these 24 richly detailed lessons include 47 video sequences created especially for this course, bringing alive key narratives of the Bible and their historical settings, and taking you to ancient places throughout the Holy Land, using stunning aerial photography shot exclusively for this course.

A Journey Through Ancient Civilizations

Covering seminal books of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) such as Genesis, Exodus, Prophets, Kings, and Samuel, as well as core events of the New Testament, the course follows the arc of ancient civilization, reflecting on the majestic empires of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Throughout, Professor Isbouts enriches the lessons with 3D models, hundreds of vibrant images, and many of the greatest works of Western art.

Experience the Bible as Never Before

Professor Isbouts’s great flair as a storyteller and his phenomenal depth of knowledge of the subject matter make the lessons consistently enthralling and enlightening. Accompanied by Professor Isbouts’s historical commentary and video footage of the story’s setting, you’ll hear the astonishing story of Joseph’s captivity in Egypt and his rise from the rank of slave to vizier to the pharaoh. You’ll make intriguing linguistic connections, such as the fact that the Greek term eu-angelion, giving us the English evangelism, translates as “good news.” And, you’ll learn amazing facts. The event in Exodus of the rain of “manna” (bread) from heaven correlates with a secretion of small insects in the Sinai, which drops to the ground and can be gathered and made into wafers.

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