"Rethinking Biblical Scholarship" brings together seminal essays to provide readers with an assessment of the archaeological and exegetical research which has transformed the discipline of biblical studies over the last two decades. The essays focus on history and historiography, exploring how scholarly constructs and ideologies mould historical, literary and cultural data and shape scholarly discourse. Most of the essays illustrate the development of what has been called a "minimalist" methodology. Among the many central topics examined are the formation of the Jewish scriptural canon and how the concepts of "prophecy" and "apocalypse" illuminate the emergence of Judaism in the late Persian and Hellenistic periods.
Introduction, Niels Peter Lemche; PART I: METHOD; 1. Do Old Testament Studies Need a Dictionary?; 2. Whose History? Whose Israel? Whose Bible? Biblical Histories, Ancient and Modern; 3. What Is 'Minimalism', and Why Do So Many People Dislike It?; 4. 'House of David' Built on Sand: The Sins of the Biblical Maximizers; PART II: HISTORY; 5. The Origin of Biblical Israel; 6. God of Cyrus, God of Israel: Some Religio-Historical Reflections on Isaiah 40-55; 7. Scenes from the Early History of Judaism; 8. Josiah and the Law Book; 9. Judaeans in Egypt: Hebrew and Greek Stories; PART III: PROPHECY AND APOCALYPTIC; 10. Amos, Man and Book; 11. Pen of Iron, Point of Diamond' (Jer 17:1): Prophecy as Writing; 12. Reading Daniel Sociologically; 13. And Enoch Was Not, for Genesis Took Him; 14. 'Divination', 'Apocalyptic' and Sectarianism in Early Judaism; PART IV: CANON; 15. What Is a Bible?; 16. The Jewish Scriptural Canon in Cultural Perspective