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Text in ContextEssays by Members of the Society for Old Testament
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A. D. H. Mayes

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0198263910.001.0001

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The History of Israel: Foundations of Israel

The History of Israel: Foundations of Israel

(p.376) 14 The History of Israel: Foundations of Israel
Text in Context

K. W. Whitelam (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This is the fourth of six chapters on the Old Testament and its authors, and addresses the history and foundations of Israel (the next chapter looks at the later history of Israel). It starts by noting the huge change that has taken place in the study of Israelite history so that while at the beginning of the 1990s it was possible to complain of a situation of complacency and sterility, at the end of the 1990s this situation has changed out of all recognition, even though the parameters of the discussion have changed little: the nature and historicity of the Hebrew Bible in comparison with the relevance of archaeological data remain at the fulcrum of the debate. The periods of Israel's emergence and of the Judaean and Israelite monarchies are seen as the foundational periods of Israelite history (rather than the periods of the patriarchs or exodus), and it is around these that the battle lines have been drawn in the historical search for ancient Israel. The different sections of the chapter discuss: the textual and material foundations of Israelite history—the history of the gaps; the emergence of ancient Israel; the Israelite monarchy; and text in context.

Keywords:   ancient Israel, archaeological data, emergence of ancient Israel, foundations of Israel, Hebrew Bible, history of Israel, Israel, Israelite history, Israelite monarchies, Old Testament, text in context

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