By Lester L. Grabbe
A few histories of Israel were written during the last few many years but the elemental methodological questions usually are not consistently addressed: how can we write this sort of historical past and the way will we recognize whatever in regards to the historical past of Israel? In historical 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 method and by means of comparing the proof. Grabbes goal isn't really to supply a background as such yet relatively to collecttogether and learn the fabrics invaluable for writing one of these background. His strategy consequently permits the reader the liberty, and equips them with the fundamental methodological instruments, to exploit the dear and wide-ranging facts offered during this quantity to attract their very own conclusions. the main easy query concerning the background of old Israel, how will we recognize what we all know, ends up in the basic questions of the learn: What are the resources for the background of Israel and the way can we overview them? How will we lead them to converse 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 interested by ancient method and offers with the most important concerns surrounding using the biblical textual content while writing a background of this era. historical Israel makes an unique contribution to the sphere but additionally offers an enlightening assessment and critique of present scholarly debate. it could for that reason function a guide or reference-point for these in need of a catalog of unique resources, scholarship, and secondary experiences. Its basic constitution and Grabbes readability of favor make this ebook eminently available not just to scholars of religious study and historical heritage but in addition to the lay reader.
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Extra info for Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? (T&t Clark)
Among historians there is at present no uniform answer to the question of the value - or not - of postmodernism in historical study. What we see is a reluctance among practising historians to give up the idea that there is some connection between what they write and past reality, though the cogency of some of the main features of recent theoretical movements is recognized (covertly if not overtly). Iggers summarizes it this way: There is therefore a difference between a theory that denies any claim to reality in historical accounts and a historiography that is fully conscious of the complexity of historical knowledge but still assumes that real people had real thoughts and feelings that led to real actions that, within limits, can be known and reconstructed.
Some months later another work on the same subject with similar conclusions, despite a quite different approach, was published by John Van Seters (1975). The death knell to an American consensus was sounded; it was the beginning of a rapid end for the historical patriarchs. The year 1975 also provided what proved to be a diversion in the debate - perhaps more accurately described as a sideshow - with the discovery of the Ebla tablets. Exaggerated claims were made that soon had to be retracted, with much embarrassment (Freedman 1978).
Albright scholars long took this as the seal of Jehoiachin's steward, which resulted in the misdating of the strata where they were originally found and those strata elsewhere thought to be parallel. In Garfinkel's words this caused 'sixty years of confusion' in Palestinian archaeology. Although this interpretation is still widespread, especially in more general works, it has now been completely reassessed by specialists (Ussishkin 1976; 1977; Garfinkel 1990). Even if some aspects of the seals and their owners have still not been clarified, they have now been dated to the period before 701 BCE.
Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? (T&t Clark) by Lester L. Grabbe