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How to Read the BibleHistory, Prophecy, Literature—Why Modern Readers Need to Know the Difference, and What It Means for Faith Today$
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Steven L. McKenzie

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161496

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161496.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2019

Not Exactly as it Happened

Not Exactly as it Happened

Historiography in the Bible

(p.23) Chapter One Not Exactly as it Happened
How to Read the Bible

Steven L. McKenzie

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that history writing in the Bible was less concerned with what actually happened in the past and was more of a creative activity, different from what modern readers typically assume. This does not mean that the Bible does not describe in places what actually took place in the past, but it does mean that was not the main objective of the ancient Israelite history writers. The first part looks at the nature of ancient history writing as recent biblical scholars have defined it and illustrates the nature of ancient history writing with examples from the book of Genesis. The second part of the chapter discusses how history in the Bible was written by exploring the work of various history writers preserved in the Bible.

Keywords:   ancient history, Bible, book of Genesis, history writing, ancient Israel

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