The history of Israel has become a highly contentious issue. Through much of the 20th century, most histories were written by removing God from the Bible and combining what was left with archaeological finds interpreted in line with the Bible. Beginning in the 1980s, several factors caused a radical shift. Archaeology was suggesting more and more strongly that the main biblical accounts of the conquest in the book of Joshua were fundamentally problematic. Many methods from the social sciences were introduced to biblical studies. Questions from ancient and general historiography were brought to bear on the Bible, and issues of whether the Bible was story or history, and questions from Hayden White and the narrative turn—namely the extent to which the historical texts as narrative texts fundamentally obscure our ability to use them as historical sources—were introduced. Some scholars insist the Bible can never be used as a source for the history it purports to narrate, and others suggest, to various degrees, that it remains an important historical source.
Article. 14935 words.
Subjects: Biblical Studies
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