Setting the Scene: a Response to John Rogerson


in Understanding the History of Ancient Israel

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264010
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734946 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Setting the Scene: a Response to John Rogerson

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John Rogerson's review of works on the history of ancient Israel from Humphrey Prideaux to Martin Noth is a fine illustration of Ecclesiastes' observation (1.9): ‘What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun’. The current debates on the history of Israel are often presented as part of some paradigm shift or, at the very least, a new and savage phase in the study of Israelite history. The publication of recent works such as A Biblical History of Israel by Provan et al. and Kenneth Kitchen's On the Reliability of the Old Testament take us back to the starting point of Rogerson's paper and the work of Prideaux before the development of biblical studies as a critical discipline in the nineteenth century. Norman Cantor's observations on the invention of the Middle Ages by twentieth-century scholarship are just as applicable to biblical scholarship and its pursuit of ancient Israel.

Keywords: John Rogerson; ancient Israel; history; Kenneth Kitchen; Old Testament; biblical studies; Norman Cantor; Humphrey Prideaux; Martin Noth; Middle Ages

Chapter.  3919 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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