History, Archaeology and The Bible Forty Years After Historicity : Changing Perspectives 6 book cover
1st Edition

History, Archaeology and The Bible Forty Years After Historicity
Changing Perspectives 6

ISBN 9780367873103
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
246 Pages

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Book Description

In History, Archaeology and the Bible Forty Years after "Historicity", Hjelm and Thompson argue that a ‘crisis’ broke in the 1970s, when several new studies of biblical history and archaeology were published, questioning the historical-critical method of biblical scholarship. The crisis formed the discourse of the Copenhagen school’s challenge of standing positions, which—together with new achievements in archaeological research—demand that the regional history of ancient Israel, Judaea and Palestine be reconsidered in all its detail. This volume examines the major changes that have taken place within the field of Old Testament studies since the ground breaking works of Thomas Thompson and John van Seters in 1974 and 1975 (both republished in 2014). The book is divided in three sections: changing perspectives in biblical studies, history and cult, and ideology and history, presenting new articles from some of the field’s best scholars with comprehensive discussion of historical, archaeological, anthropological, cultural and literary approaches to the Hebrew Bible and Palestine’s history. The essays question: "How does biblical history relate to the archaeological history of Israel and Palestine?" and "Can we view the history of the region independently of a biblical perspective?" by looking at the problem from alternative angles and questioning long-held interpretations.

Unafraid to break new ground, History, Archaeology and the Bible Forty Years after "Historicity" is a vital resource to students in the field of Biblical and East Mediterranean Studies, and anyone with an interest in the archaeology, history and religious development in Palestine and the ancient Near East.

Table of Contents


List of figures

List of contributors

List of abbreviations



Ingrid Hjelm and Thomas L. Thompson


Changing Perspectives in Biblical Studies

1 Old and New in Scandinavian Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible

Douglas A. Knight

2 Myth and History: reflections on the relationship between biblical history and history of Israel

Reinhard Kratz

3 Out of the wilderness? Some suggestions for the future of Pentateuchal research Thomas M. Bolin

4 The Contemporary Debate over Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts

Martin Ehrensvärd


Archaeology, History and Cult

5 From Jerusalem with Love

Margreet L. Steiner

6 Gender Marking, Overlapping and the Identity of the Bes-Like figures at Kuntillet ’Ajrud

Brian B. Schmidt

7 Lost and Found? A non-Jewish Israel from the Merneptah Stele to the Byzantine period

Ingrid Hjelm

8 Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the Jews: a reassessment

Lukasz Niesiolowski- Spanò





Ideology and history

9 From the Search for Ancient Israel to the History of Ancient Palestine

Emanuel Pfoh

10 Ethnicity and a Regional History of Palestine

Thomas L. Thompson

11 "The Destruction that can be studied": Israeli archaeology and the deserted villages

Raz Kletter and Gideon Sulimani

12 The Bible in the Service of Zionism: "We do not believe in God, but he nonetheless promised us Palestine"

Ilan Pappe

13 Arab Scholars’ Contribution

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Ingrid Hjelm is Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen and Director of the Palestine History and Heritage Project. She is the author of The Samaritans and Early Judaism (2000) and Jerusalem’s Rise to Sovereignty (2004) in addition to a considerable number of articles within the field of Samaritan studies, the history of ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible. Her latest book, co-edited with Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme is Myths of Exile (2015).

Thomas L. Thompson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Copenhagen and author of some 130 articles and ca. 20 books, including The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives (1974), The Early History of the Israelite People (1992), The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past (1999) and Biblical Narrative and Palestine’s History (2013), currently working as Project Developer on the Palestine History and Heritage Project.


Thought-provoking and sometimes controversial, these essays review the pathway that brought biblical scholarship to its present location. Some of the essays suggest alternative future pathways, others advance new theories about familiar data, and a few offer profound personal reflections on the implications of the Copenhagen School’s approach to biblical research. Agree or disagree with each author as you choose, but it will be impossible to remain indifferent to the important issues each has chosen to discuss.

- K. L. Noll, Brandon University, Canada