Chapter

Israelites in Egypt

James K. Hoffmeier

in Israel in Egypt

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130881
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130881.003.0005
Israelites in Egypt

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Thomas Thompson has recently rejected the traditional source-critical analysis of Genesis and Exodus because it is no longer sufficient to maintain such a radical interpretation of narrative. Rather, he considers this body of literature to be a “traditional complex-chain narrative” that is an ancient narrative genre, a specific type of oral or literary unit. The traditional complex-chain narrative is a type of literature in its own right: one of the ways in which ancient Israel told long stories. For Thompson, the Exodus narrative is one such “chain-narrative.” Sir Alan Gardiner, the renowned twentieth-century Egyptologist and critic of the historical value of the Old Testament, concedes that Israel was in Egypt under one form or another no historian could possibly doubt; a legend of such tenacity representing the early fortunes of a peoples under so unfavourable an aspect could not have arisen save as a reflexion, however much distorted, of real occurrences.

Keywords: Thomas Thompson; Genesis; Exodus; complex-chain narrative; Alan Gardiner; Old Testament; Israel; Egypt

Chapter.  15325 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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