Jan 17th '16


"Yes, it costs twenty dollars, but this is the goods. Not just a brilliant commentary on Ecclesiastes with many clever arguments for new readings ... but also endlessly suggestive in the way it applies the biblical content to pressing modern-day issues. Plus you get the world's best commentary on Song of Songs thrown in" (




The first edition was the winner of the Biblical Archaeology Society “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” in 2005. The judges said that it made “an important contribution to the debate about the use of the Bible in writing a history of Israel … It is both scholarly and accessible to the general reader. Its interdisciplinary approach, utilizing archaeological sources, ancient texts and the Bible itself, makes the book compelling.”  The completely updated second edition has been significantly expanded, and contains an Appendix responding to the first edition's critics.  Reviews at

The contemporary world has been shaped by two important and potent myths. Karl Jaspers’ construct of the “axial age” envisions the common past (800–200 BC), the time when Western society was born and world religions spontaneously and independently appeared out of a seemingly shared value set. Conversely, the myth of the “dark green golden age” as narrated by David Suzuki and others asserts that the axial age, and the otherworldliness that accompanied the emergence of organized religion, ripped society from a previously deep communion with nature. Both myths contend that to maintain balance we must return to the idealized past. In Convenient Myths, Iain Provan illuminates the influence of these two deeply entrenched and questionable myths, warns of their potential dangers, and forebodingly maps the implications of a world founded on such myths.



From the back cover: "Iain Provan’s study is set to become an essential text on this great book. With enormous scholarly range, yet communicative skill, he offers an anatomy of biblical interpretation as well as an acute analysis of Genesis itself as both narrative and theology. The result is a remarkable book, which should find a space on all serious students’ shelves."