The history of Israel is a much-debated topic in Old Testament studies. On one side are minimalists who find little of historical value in the Hebrew Bible. On the other side are those who assume the biblical text is a precise historical record. Many serious students of the Bible find themselves between these two positions and would benefit from a careful exploration of issues in Israelite history.
This substantive history of Israel textbook values the Bible’s historical contribution without overlooking critical issues and challenges. Featuring the latest scholarship, the book introduces students to the current state of research on issues relevant to the study of ancient Israel. The editors and contributors, all top biblical scholars and historians, discuss historical evidence in a readable manner, using both canonical and chronological lenses to explore Israelite history.
Illustrative items, such as maps and images, visually support the book’s content. Tables and sidebars are also included.
Those who take the Bible seriously have been subjected to continual attack as skeptics make their accusations concerning the historical unreliability of the Old Testament. The search for scholarly responses has often been futile, but that is no longer the case. The information in this book, provided by an exemplary team of scholars, will arm readers with ways to answer skeptics. Equipped with these insightful investigations of the biblical text and the ancient world, readers can now offer an informed defense of the historical credibility of the Old Testament. This tool should become well worn as readers glean the vital information it provides.
—John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College
A superb collection orienting readers to historical data and debates relevant to ancient Israel—judiciously weighed, accessibly presented.
—Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College; professor, Faculty of Theology, McMaster University
An excellent new resource for those interested in taking seriously all the evidence, both biblical and extrabiblical, bearing on the history of ancient Israel and in thinking carefully about how to weigh that evidence and integrate it into a coherent account.
—Iain Provan, Marshall Sheppard Professor of Biblical Studies, Regent College
Bill T. Arnold is Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is the author or editor of twelve books, including Encountering the Book of Genesis, Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, and a commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel.
Richard S. Hess is Earl S. Kalland Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado, and editor of the Denver Journal. He is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including Israelite Religions, Song of Songs in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, and the commentary on Joshua in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries series.