"The Old Testament" tells the story of a particular nation, ancient Israel, from its origins to its collapse in the face of foreign invaders. But what sort of story is this? How does it fit in with the findings of archaeological explorations of ancient Syro-Palestine? "Historical Israel: Biblical Israel" picks up the two aspects of the story told in the books from Joshua to two Kings, that of an actual historical society and that of a literary presentation of a nation, told from a religious perspective. By exploring the contents of these books the student is led into the use of basic tools for biblical study, such as historical criticism, narrative criticism and ideological criticism, in order to engage in a structured manner with the task of reading and interpreting biblical texts in a twentieth-century world.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction; Historical Issues; 2 Joshua and the conquest of Canaan; 3 Judges and the society of ancient Israel; 3 1 and 2 Samuel: social and political leadership; 4 1 and 2 Kings and biblical archaeology; History as Story; 6 Narrative art and the Deuteronomistic Histories; 7 Tragedy and history; 8 Reading stories, finding women; History as Theology; 9 A Constitution for Israel; 10 The character of God; 11 The personhood of Israel; 12 Conclusion.
Mary E, Mills is Senior Lecturer in biblical studies at Newman College. She is the author of Human Agents of Cosmic Power, The Puzzle of the Gospels with P. Vardy, and Images of God in the Old Testament.