By Lester L. Grabbe
A few histories of Israel were written during the last few many years but the elemental methodological questions aren't consistently addressed: how can we write any such background and the way do we understand whatever concerning the heritage of Israel? In old Israel Lester L. Grabbe units out to summarize what we all know via a survey of resources and the way we all know it by way of a dialogue of technique and by means of comparing the facts. Grabbes objective isn't really to supply a heritage as such yet quite to collecttogether and research the fabrics valuable for writing the sort of historical past. His procedure as a result permits the reader the liberty, and equips them with the fundamental methodological instruments, to take advantage of the precious and wide-ranging proof provided during this quantity to attract their very own conclusions. the main easy query concerning the background of old Israel, how will we understand what we all know, ends up in the elemental questions of the examine: What are the resources for the background of Israel and the way can we evaluation them? How will we lead them to communicate to us in the course of the fog of centuries? Grabbe specializes in unique resources, together with inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology. He examines the issues fascinated about ancient method and bargains with the key matters surrounding using the biblical textual content while writing a background of this era. historical Israel makes an unique contribution to the sector but in addition offers an enlightening evaluate and critique of present scholarly debate. it could actually for that reason function a instruction manual or reference-point for these in need of a catalog of unique resources, scholarship, and secondary experiences. Its common constitution and Grabbes readability of favor make this ebook eminently obtainable not just to scholars of religious study and historical heritage but additionally to the lay reader.
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Additional info for Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? (T&t Clark)
His conclusions present a picture emphasizing the development of Israel from internal populations and also from the Sea Peoples or tribes forced to migrate in their wake, and expresses some scepticism toward the significance of nomadic incursions. Then in 1979 appeared Norman Gottwald's long-awaited study that provided the academic underpinning for Mendenhall's programmatic article almost two decades earlier, and it caused immediate stir and debate. The conquest model was defended by Yigael Yadin in an article published only a couple of years before his death, but this was its swan song (Yadin 1982; cf.
Most importantly, for disputed sites the material culture has not been able to decide the question of who lived there (Finkelstein 1997: 220-1). We can end this preliminary discussion by asking three questions: • Was 'Israel' an ethnic group? The answer is that both the people themselves and outsiders saw a group identity that we would call ethnic. The fact that a diversity of groups may have contributed to their makeup (cf. 4) - indeed, most probably did - does not negate ethnic identity (pace Lemche 1998b: 20-1).
In the 1980s new developments and discussion shift to a much more international arena (much of the debate through the 1970s had been carried on in North America). N. P. Lemche (1985) published a sociological study of Israelite origins that included a major critique of Gottwald, but while differing from Gottwald on many points, including the concept of an internal revolt, Lemche's final picture was of an internal development of the indigenous population. Several new histories of Israel appeared in the mid-1980s.
Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? (T&t Clark) by Lester L. Grabbe