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The Origin of the History of Israel
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The Origin of the History of Israel


Sheffield Academic Press 2002

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The Origin of the History of Israel demonstrates that Primary History, the historical work contained in the first nine books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis–2 Kings), was written as one unitary work, in deliberate emulation of the Greek-language Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus (completed c. 440 BCE). The diversity of its books and sections is largely a literary device. The work was most likely written in the period 440–420 BCE, in the period of reform usually associated with the name of Nehemiah.

Though this thesis does not directly affect questions of historicity, understanding the literary nature of primary history promises to open new vistas for research into the history of Israel, the Hebrew Bible in general and the history of the Hebrew language.

In the Logos edition of The Origin of the History of Israel, you get easy access to Scripture texts and to a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Hovering over Scripture references links you instantly to the verse you’re looking for, and with Passage Guides, Word Studies, and a wealth of other tools from Logos, you can delve into God’s Word like never before!

Key Features

  • Compares the flow of the narrative of the Histories and of Primary History
  • Discusses of the consequences for the literary study of Primary History

Praise for the Print Edition

Wesselius’ suggestion is the most exciting development within Old Testament studies since the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis itself.

—Patrick Madigan, The Heythrop Journal

Product Details

  • Title: The Origin of the History of Israel
  • Author: Jan-Wim Wesselius
  • Series: Study of the Old Testament Supplement (JSOTSupp)
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 224

About Jan-Wim Wesselius

Jan-Wim Wesselius is a senior lecturer and head of the department of semitic studies at the Theological University of Kampen in The Netherlands.