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Ancient Israel’s history is frequently debated by Old Testament scholars. On one side, minimalists find little of historical value in the Hebrew Bible. On the other side, those holding a traditional view assume the biblical text is a precise historical record. But many serious Bible students find themselves somewhere in the middle, and would benefit from a careful exploration of issues in Israelite history.

Bill T. Arnold and Richard S. Hess’ history values the Bible’s historical contribution without overlooking critical challenges. Drawing on recent 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.

Author Bios

Bill Arnold

Dr. Bill T. Arnold is the Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and director of Hebrew Studies. He joined Asbury Theological Seminary’s faculty in 1995 with more than 10 years of teaching experience. Dr. Arnold received a B.A. at Asbury College, 1977; a M.Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary, 1980; and a Ph.D. at Hebrew Union College, 1985. While at Asbury Seminary, Dr. Arnold has served as vice president of academic affairs, director of postgraduate studies, chair of the area of Biblical Studies and director of Hebrew Studies. Prior to teaching at Asbury Seminary, Dr. Arnold taught at Ashland Theological Seminary, Wesley Biblical Theological Seminary and Jewish Institute of Religion. Dr. Arnold is an elder in the United Methodist Church and is the former pastor of two churches. He is a teacher at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Ky. In 2003–2004, Dr. Arnold was named alumnus-in-residence at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has published many books, including his most recent, Genesis (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Dr. Arnold and his wife, Susan, have three sons.

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Richard S. Hess

Dr. Richard Hess is professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Denver Seminary. He is the editor of the Denver Journal, Denver Seminary’s online theological review, and the Bulletin for Biblical Research. He is also the founder and editor of the Bulletin’s Supplement Series and is a member of a dozen scholarly societies. Dr. Hess has done postdoctoral research at universities in Chicago, Jerusalem, Cambridge, Sheffield, and Münster, and has held National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright, and Tyndale House (Cambridge) postdoctoral fellowships and grants. Dr. Hess has worked on the New International Version, the New American Bible, the Holman Standard Christian Bible, the English Standard Version, and OurNewBible translations of the Old Testament. Dr. Hess has authored eight books and edited 13 others. In addition to several hundred book reviews and dictionary articles, Dr. Hess has published more than 100 scholarly articles in journals such as Biblica, Biblical Archaeologist, Bulletin for Biblical Research, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and Themelios.

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