web space | website hosting | Business Web Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting

J.Maxwell Miller: Israelite History in the book D.A.Knight -G.M.Tucker (ed.):

The Hebrew Bible and its modern interpreters (pp.1-30)

I. Sources of Information

The Biblcial Texts :

Not much improvement since 1945.

Noth's work: criticisms : source, tradition, form.

Other Ancient Documents:

1967 Adad-nirari III (inscribed stela)

Artifacts

Exacavations show many not related to the Bible.

Collared-rim jars are Early Iron Age Plalestinian culture in general, not specifically for Israelites.

King Solomon's fortification systems in Megiddio (1 Ki 9:15).

His buildings are smaller than that of Omri.

Tell ed-Duwier reveals Semmacherib's invasion in 701 BC.

II. Debated Issues

A. The Point of Departure for Israelite History (Patriarch's historicity)

1) M Noth : 5 traditions combined in Late Bronze Age with "all-

Israel" concept developed. amphicyonic league

(Exodus, Canaan, Promise, Wilderness, Sinai)

Objections: a) Don't take archaeological data sufficiently.

b) criteria of identifying traditions.

2)W F Albright: "Amorite hypothesis"

Patriarchs/ Amorites/ MB I( ca 2100-1900 BCE)

Objections: a) R. de Vaux: Patriarchs = MB II A

b) B. Mazar : Patriarchs = Early Iron Age

Other positions:

a) Social & legal parallels: Patriarchs = Late Bronze Age

b) Form & traditions analysis: Patriarchs = Pious fiction

c) Ebla archives : Patriarchs = EB III(2800-2400 BCE)

B. Israelite Occupation of the Land of Canaan

1) A. Alt (1925) : gradual and gernerally peaceful movements of

individual tribes and clans from the desert; caused serious conflict

in Saul's time.

Noth , M. Weippert (1967) follows him.

2) Albright : Israelite conquest.

3) G.E.Mendenhall: "internal revolt" hypothesis. in Late Bronze Age.

followed by N.K.Gottwald

Mendenhall shifts emphasis, and stress heterogeneous character

of Israel's ancestry.

Criticism: (1) Not supposedly well-coordinated revolt possible.

(2) Covenant theology is a late-comer, not a catalyst

of the revolt.

C. The Roots of the Israelite Monarchy

1) H. Ewald (1864) : "amphictyonic" leagues of ancient Greece.

Noth (1930) : follows him.

2) A.Alt(1930,1951): charismatic ideal Vs royal ideologies.

objection: too general and/or elusive.

3) Other suggestion: a) a certain bond of kinship. eg Saul, Deborah.

b) local military chieftains. eg Abimelech.

D. Chronological Data & Prophetical Narratives in Kings & Chronicles

Problem: Diff manuscripts provide diff sets of figures, with

internal inconsistencies.

1) E.R Thiele(1944): Masoretic.

coregencies + calendar shifts + method of reckoning.

Objection: explained hypothetically in terms of unreported variables.

2) Albright (1945): essential reliability.

scribal errors or secondary change in transmission.

J. Begrich used similar method.

3) Other suggestion: a) LXX >> MT (coherent of Omride period)

b) W.R.Wifall : 2 major redactional revisions.

Problem: Prophetic narrative: historical ? proper historical context ?

eg Omrides period is a powerful nation Vs Bible's weak figure.

1) A.Kuenen & Kittel: some Elisha narratives belonged to Jehu dynasty.

2) A. Jepsen (1942) : whole Elisha narratives & 2 wars in 1Ki 20 --> Jehu.

Where Prophetic narrative properly belong ?

J.Maxwell Miller: Israelite History in the book D.A.Knight -G.M.Tucker (ed.):

The Hebrew Bible and its modern interpreters (pp.1-30)

I. Sources of Information

The Biblcial Texts :

Not much improvement since 1945.

Noth's work: criticisms : source, tradition, form.

Other Ancient Documents:

1967 Adad-nirari III (inscribed stela)

Artifacts

Exacavations show many not related to the Bible.

Collared-rim jars are Early Iron Age Plalestinian culture in

general, not specifically for Israelites.

King Solomon's fortification systems in Megiddio (1 Ki 9:15).

His buildings are smaller than that of Omri.

Tell ed-Duwier reveals Semmacherib's invasion in 701 BC.

II. Debated Issues

A. The Point of Departure for Israelite History (Patriarch's historicity)

1) M Noth : 5 traditions combined in Late Bronze Age with "all-

Israel" concept developed. amphicyonic league

(Exodus, Canaan, Promise, Wilderness, Sinai)

Objections: a) Don't take archaeological data sufficiently.

b) criteria of identifying traditions.

2)W F Albright: "Amorite hypothesis"

Patriarchs/ Amorites/ MB I( ca 2100-1900 BCE)

Objections: a) R. de Vaux: Patriarchs = MB II A

b) B. Mazar : Patriarchs = Early Iron Age

Other positions:

a) Social & legal parallels: Patriarchs = Late Bronze Age

b) Form & traditions analysis: Patriarchs = Pious fiction

c) Ebla archives : Patriarchs = EB III(2800-2400 BCE)

B. Israelite Occupation of the Land of Canaan

1) A. Alt (1925) : gradual and gernerally peaceful movements of

individual tribes and clans from the desert; caused serious conflict

in Saul's time.

Noth , M. Weippert (1967) follows him.

2) Albright : Israelite conquest.

3) G.E.Mendenhall: "internal revolt" hypothesis. in Late Bronze Age.

followed by N.K.Gottwald

Mendenhall shifts emphasis, and stress heterogeneous character

of Israel's ancestry.

Criticism: (1) Not supposedly well-coordinated revolt possible.

(2) Covenant theology is a late-comer, not a catalyst

of the revolt.

C. The Roots of the Israelite Monarchy

1) H. Ewald (1864) : "amphictyonic" leagues of ancient Greece.

Noth (1930) : follows him.

2) A.Alt(1930,1951): charismatic ideal Vs royal ideologies.

objection: too general and/or elusive.

3) Other suggestion: a) a certain bond of kinship. eg Saul, Deborah.

b) local military chieftains. eg Abimelech.

D. Chronological Data & Prophetical Narratives in Kings & Chronicles

Problem: Diff manuscripts provide diff sets of figures, with

internal inconsistencies.

1) E.R Thiele(1944): Masoretic.

coregencies + calendar shifts + method of reckoning.

Objection: explained hypothetically in terms of unreported variables.

2) Albright (1945): essential reliability.

scribal errors or secondary change in transmission.

J. Begrich used similar method.

3) Other suggestion: a) LXX >> MT (coherent of Omride period)

b) W.R.Wifall : 2 major redactional revisions.

Problem: Prophetic narrative: historical ? proper historical context ?

eg Omrides period is a powerful nation Vs Bible's weak figure.

1) A.Kuenen & Kittel: some Elisha narratives belonged to Jehu dynasty.

2) A. Jepsen (1942) : whole Elisha narratives & 2 wars in 1Ki 20 --> Jehu.

Where Prophetic narrative properly belong ?

E. The Dates of Ezra & Nehemiah (Who comes first ?)

1) Traditional view: Ezra (458 BC) > Nehemiah (445 BC)

Evidences: a) Ezra 7:8 & Neh 1:1-3; 2:1

b) A letter discovered in Elephantine papyri.(407 BC)

Johanan <---- Eliashib (with Nehemiah)

Objections:

a) Nehemiah (= Eliashib Neh 3:1) > Ezra (= Jehohanan Ezra10:6)

Eliashib is the father of Jehohanan !!

Jonathan ===> Johanan (in Neh 12:22-23) Elephantine letters refers to.

b) van Hoonacker : Neh ( Artaxerxes I) and Ezra (Artaxerxes II 398 BCE )

Bright : Ezra (Artaxerxes I 37yrs [not 7 yrs] ie. 428 BC )

objection: They have NO interaction; and no textual evidence.

After 60's shifts to traditional view eg.

c) U. Kellermann : Nehemiah >> Ezra, both in Artaxerxes I's reign.

d) F.M. Cross : papponymy (naming son after hsi grand-father) p.18

III. Trends in the Discussion

"Altians" and " Albrightians"

Current Trends

E. The Dates of Ezra & Nehemiah (Who comes first ?)

III. Trends in the Discussion

"Altians" and " Albrightians"

"Alt-Noth school": Noth's Geschichte Israels (1950)

critical analysis of Bible as proper starting point for reconstructing

Israel's history.

weakness: Critical procedures involves high degree of sujectivity.

theology: Distinction between actual events and faith response(Bible)

Bible's authority rests on faith claims, validity of these

claims doesn't depend on actual history.

"Albright school": Bright's A History of Israel (1959)

Insists correlations between Bible and Archaeology.

weakness: correlation involves speculation.

theology: Biblical theology movement. The Bible agrees with history, but

not necessary the detailed history.

Other's approach: eg O.Eissfeldt

Spectrum of position:

Critical -------> Alt -------> Bright ------->Bible as accurate (Wood)

rely on rely on Bible

nonbiblical

source

Current Trends

A. The decline of the two approachs from mid-1960s onwards.

Challenges arised, eg Orlinsky against Noth's amphictyony hypothesis.

B. Challenges on their methodology:

Noth's traditio-historical analysis.

Albright's archaeological evidence.

C. Three tendencies:

1. Salvage the old approaches and position

eg. Freedman (uses Ebla tablets); Bimson opts for mid-15th C.

2. Sociological approach

eg. G.E.Mendenhall, N.K.Gottwald ("peasants' revolt" hypothesis)

3. Defer historical questions, pursuing more specialized interests

eg. W.Dever, J.Seger, J.Sauer (Biblical Archaeology) technical matters