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? Joshua to Kings picks up the aspects of Israel’s story as told in the books from Joshua to 2 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 biblical texts 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.
This book makes current scholarship accessible to a wider audience, and provides an excellent introduction to the study of the Old Testament in general by its reader-friendly approach. I hope it will be very widely read and used.
—John Braton, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford