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Bibil Identifier bibil:202273
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Ethnicity and the Hebrew Bible: Problems and Prospects
Author Miller, James C.
Journal Currents in Biblical Research (Volume: 6, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2008
Year (Reference) 2008
Year (Second publication) 2008
Language English
Pages 170-213 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This article examines recent studies of ethnicity in the Hebrew Bible. A subsequent article will analyze similar studies of the New Testament writings. After a brief overview of selected trends in the study of ethnic identity, I organize my analysis according to broad historical periods in the biblical narrative: pre-monarchic, monarchic, and exilic/postexilic eras with monographs receiving the bulk of attention. I conclude that three persistent problems hinder progress in these investigations. First, the inability of scholars to agree upon dates for biblical texts, our best source for ascertaining ethnicity, limits our capacity to locate them within specific socio-historical contexts and thereby reconstruct Israel's ethnic identity at a given time and place. Second, the evidence that can be dated most accurately, archaeological remains, provides inadequate data for drawing conclusions about ethnic self-perceptions. Finally, vague definitions of ethnicity result in imprecise characterizations of Israel's identity. Such methodological and theoretical difficulties are not unique to this young sub-discipline of Hebrew Bible studies, nor should they detract from the fact that analysis of ethnic dynamics in the Hebrew Bible is a promising development in the overall study of ancient Israelite identity.
DOI 10.1177/1476993X07083627
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Ethnicity
Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the Old Testament
Genres Research History
Last modification 2017-10-27