Ancient Israel's History: An Introduction to Issues and by Bill T. Arnold, Richard S. Hess

By Bill T. Arnold, Richard S. Hess

The background of Israel is a much-debated subject in outdated testomony reports. On one aspect are minimalists who locate little of ancient worth within the Hebrew Bible. at the different facet are those that imagine the biblical textual content is an actual historic checklist. Many critical scholars of the Bible locate themselves among those positions and would get advantages from a cautious exploration of concerns in Israelite history.

This sizeable historical past of Israel textbook values the Bible's historic contribution with no overlooking serious matters and demanding situations. that includes the most recent scholarship, the publication introduces scholars to the present country of study on concerns correct to the research of historical Israel. The editors and participants, all best biblical students and historians, speak about old facts in a readable demeanour, utilizing either canonical and chronological lenses to discover Israelite history.

Illustrative goods, resembling maps and pictures, visually help the book's content material. Tables and sidebars also are included.

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Is R Mari T ig r T ig r EL E Z Z a a s ro g os r g phr pP a hra R tes . P O O T T A A M M R tes i na n M M a I I A Ur Ur A re t r t M M o o u u n n ta ta in in s s PE PE R R SI SI N A A N G U G U LF LF 01-0001-00 - World- World of Genesis of Genesis BakerBaker Bible Atlas Bible Atlas consensus has been reached on these issues, and a thoroughInternational review of the International Mapping Mapping FINAL2 FINAL2 - 01/07/2009 - 01/07/2009 research is beyond the scope of the present task. indd 45 8/21/14 3:54 PM 30 ↜The Genesis Narratives priestly and nonpriestly traditions (sometimes referred to as P and non-P materials), although no general consensus has been achieved as to their extent or relative dates.

10 In my view, either type of literary tradition is capable of preserving reliable historical information, and so I eschew skepticism as a legitimate position vis-à-vis the textual evidence. However, I also believe that literary features of these materials occasionally alert us to genres and literary types that are not intended to be taken as historiography in any modern sense of that term. Such complexity requires a nuanced methodology that takes each episode of the narratives individually in the process of assessing them for historical value.

First and foremost among those problems is that the opening chapters describe characters and events in a world dramatically different from our own: a world with talking serpents, with life before cities, before agriculture, before music or metallurgy; a world in which humans were unified with one language; and more. We cannot begin to locate these characters and events in a particular time or place, which is, of course, one of the tasks of any study of history. These chapters are, in fact, presented from a perspective before history, if we assume that history is properly understood as a time when humans began to write accounts of the past (a definition that itself is difficult to refine).

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