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Israel in EgyptThe Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition$
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James K. Hoffmeier

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130881

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130881.001.0001

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Israelites in Egypt

Israelites in Egypt

(p.107) 5 Israelites in Egypt
Israel in Egypt

James K. Hoffmeier

Oxford University Press

Thomas Thompson has recently rejected the traditional source-critical analysis of Genesis and Exodus because it is no longer sufficient to maintain such a radical interpretation of narrative. Rather, he considers this body of literature to be a “traditional complex-chain narrative” that is an ancient narrative genre, a specific type of oral or literary unit. The traditional complex-chain narrative is a type of literature in its own right: one of the ways in which ancient Israel told long stories. For Thompson, the Exodus narrative is one such “chain-narrative.” Sir Alan Gardiner, the renowned twentieth-century Egyptologist and critic of the historical value of the Old Testament, concedes that Israel was in Egypt under one form or another no historian could possibly doubt; a legend of such tenacity representing the early fortunes of a peoples under so unfavourable an aspect could not have arisen save as a reflexion, however much distorted, of real occurrences.

Keywords:   Thomas Thompson, Genesis, Exodus, complex-chain narrative, Alan Gardiner, Old Testament, Israel, Egypt

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