Chapter

What Kind of Society was Israel?

P. R. Ackroyd and G. N. Stanton

in Introducing the Old Testament

Published in print March 1990 | ISBN: 9780192132543
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192132543.003.0007

Series: Oxford Bible Series

What Kind of Society was Israel?

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This chapter is concerned with the social context of the Old Testament. The books of the Old Testament are by and large considered the products of the upper sections of society in ancient Israel. This is so because literacy was the preserve of a relatively small group and the establishment and development of historical traditions was the work of intellectual elite. Whenever servants or slaves are referred to it is always assumed that the readers would be those who might themselves possess them. This chapter also takes up the question of the uniqueness of Israelites and their exalted position in the eyes of God. Referring to Max Weber's Ancient Judaism it is suggested that the Old Testament has provided one of the matrices from which serious sociology study developed.

Keywords: Old Testament; social context; historical traditions; Max Weber; Ancient Judaism; Israel

Chapter.  9524 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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