Scala/Art Resource,NY

King David is the subject of a new biography by Bible scholar Steven McKenzie, who concludes that David did exist—but that he was not the noble man remembered in the Bible, in popular history and in Michelangelo’s famous sculpture (shown here). Rather, McKenzie claims, David was a usurper, traitor, adulterer, serial murderer and a lousy father, too. But is McKenzie’s one-dimensional tyrant more realistic than the complex man portrayed in the Bible?