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Understanding the History of Ancient Israel$
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H. G. M. Williamson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264010

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264010.001.0001

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Some Recent Issues in the Study of the History of Israel

Some Recent Issues in the Study of the History of Israel

(p.57) 5 Some Recent Issues in the Study of the History of Israel
Understanding the History of Ancient Israel


British Academy

A lot of people write on the history of ancient Israel, from biblical scholars to archaeologists and social scientists. However, most such writers are not historians and often do not understand what a proper historical investigation should look like. This has been the bane of the history of Israel: that most of those who write on history are ultimately not interested in history as such. This chapter examines some issues relating to scholarly debate that are not always understood because they relate to approaches and attitudes, yet which are often more important in the direction taken by debate than the actual issues of data and specific scholarly method. These issues include minimalism vs. maximalism, whether the United Monarchy ever existed, ad hominem arguments by conservative evangelicals, and the forgery of antiquities.

Keywords:   United Monarchy, ancient Israel, history, minimalism, maximalism, ad hominem arguments, forgery, antiquities

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