Understanding the History of Ancient Israel

Understanding the History of Ancient Israel

H. G. M. Williamson

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9780197264010

Publisher: British Academy


In recent years, the study of the history of Ancient Israel has become very heated. On the one hand there are those who continue to use the Bible as a primary source, modified and illustrated by the findings of archaeology, and on the other there are some who believe that primacy should be given to archaeology and that the Biblical account is then seen to be for the most part completely unreliable in historical terms. This book makes a contribution to this debate by inquiring into the appropriate methods for combining different sorts of evidence – from archaeology, epigraphy, iconography, and the Bible. It also seeks to learn from related historical disciplines such as classical antiquity and early Islamic history, where similar problems are faced. Chapters focus on the ninth century BCE (the period of the Omri dynasty) as a test case, but the proposals are of far wider application. The book brings together in mutually respectful dialogue the representatives of positions that are otherwise in danger of talking across one another.

Table of Contents

Part I Orientation

Part II Comparative Perspectives

Part III Sources and Methods

Part IV Synthesis

End Matter