Israel's Past in Present Research: Essays on Ancient Israelite Historiography

Israel's Past in Present Research: Essays on Ancient Israelite Historiography

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The debate over history, history-writing, and the scientific study of history is reaching an apex in the late twentieth century and shows no signs of abating in the near future. The literature on the topic is prodigious. The time is thus ripe for an anthology of essays of the sort that Professor Long has collected, essays that trace the history of the issues that have fed into the debate. The classic and contemporary essays presented here provide an overview and introduction to the topic, bringing together the most essential of these in a handy compilation. The book is organized in six sections:

(1) The State of Old Testament Historiography

(2) Ancient Near Eastern Historiography

(3) Ancient Israelite Historiography

(4) Method in the Study of Ancient Israelite Historiography

(5) The Historical Impulse in the Old Testament

(6) The Future of Israel’s Past

Long’s goal is to provide a context for Israelite history-writing within the milieu of the ancient Near East, expose the methodologies and assumptions of various approaches and perspectives on historiography, and provide access to essays that examine the contribution of the Hebrew Scriptures themselves to the origins of history-writing. The final essay, by Long, points the way to future research and topics that will move the discussion forward into the next millennium.

Professor V. Philips Long teaches Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781575060286
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication date: 06/30/1999
Series: Sources for Biblical and Theological Study Series , #7
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 350
Product dimensions: (w) x (h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents

Series Preface

Editor’s Preface


Part 1: Israel’s Past in Present Research

Introduction 2

(i) The Path to the Present

The History of the Study of Israelite and Judaean History: From the Renaissance to the Present - John H. Hayes 7

(ii) The Present Lack of Consensus

The New Biblical Historiography - Mark Zvi Brettler

The Paradigm Is Changing: Hopes—and Fears - Rolf Rendtorff

Part 2: The Historical Impulse among Israel’s Neighbors


Biblical History in Its Near Eastern Setting: The Contextual Approach - William W. Hallo

Biblical and Prebiblical Historiography - H. Cazelles

Israelite and Aramean History in the Light of Inscriptions - A. R. Millard

Part 3: Israel’s History Writing: Its Multiplex Character


(i) Antiquarian

The ‘Historical Character’ of the Old Testament in Recent Biblical Theology - John J. Collins

Joshua’s Campaign of Canaan and Near Eastern Historiography - John Van Seters

What Do We Know about Ancient Israel? - R. N. Whybray

‘Ancient Israel’ and History: A Response to Norman Whybray - Philip R. Davies

Truth and Reality in the Historical Understanding of the Old Testament - Gerhard Maier

(ii) Aspectual

History as Confession of Faith—History as Object of Scholarly Research: On One of the Basic Problems of the History of Israel - J. Alberto Soggin

The Old Testament’s Understanding of History in Relation to That of the Enlightenment - Claus Westermann

(iii) Artistic

History and Fiction: What Is History? - V. Philips Long

Narrative Art in Joshua-Judges-Samuel-Kings - L. Alonso Schokel

Part 4: Writing Israel’s History: The Methodological Challenge


(i) General Discussions of Method

Doing History in Biblical Studies - Diana Edelman

The Underpinnings - K. Lawson Younger, Jr

The Devaluation of the Old Testament as a Historical Source: Notes on a Problem in the History of Ideas - Siegfried Herrmann

Reading the Bible Historically: The Historian’s Approach - J. Maxwell Miller

Contingency, Continuity and Integrity in Historical Understanding: An Old Testament Perspective - Ferdinand Deist

(ii) Social Science and the Battle over the Bible

Is It Still Possible to Write a History of Ancient Israel? - Niels Peter Lemche

Erasing History: The Minimalist Assault on Ancient Israel - Baruch Halpern

(iii) Literary Study and Historical Reconstruction

Historical Criticism and Literary Interpretation: Is There Any Common Ground? - John Barton

Modern Literary-Critical Methods and the Historicity of the Old Testament - Herbert H. Klement

Part 5: The Historical Impulse in the Hebrew Canon: A Sampling


(i) The Law

The Hebrew Patriarchs and History - Roland de Vaux

Historical and Christian Faith - Thomas L. Thompson

The Patriarchs in Scripture and History - John Goldingay

(ii) The Prophets (Former)

Early Israel in Canaan: A Survey of Recent Evidence and Interpretations - Richard S. Hess

Faces of Exile in Old Testament Historiography - J. G. McConville

(iii) The Prophets (Latter)

The Understanding of History in the Old Testament Prophets - Hans Walter Wolff

‘The Early Traditions of Israel in the Prophecy of Hosea’—A Review - Heinz-Dieter Neef

(iv) The Writings

History and Historiography: The Royal Reforms - Gary N. Knoppers

Part 6: The Future of Israel’s Past

The Future of Israel’s Past: Personal Reflections - V. Philips Long


Index of Authorities

Index of Scripture

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