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Bibil Identifier bibil:203422
Publication Type Journal article
Title (German, Long) Über die Bibel als Geschichtsdokument und Geschichte in der Bibel
Author Shavit, Yaacov
Journal Trumah. Zeitschrift der Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg (Volume: 18)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2008
Year (Second publication) 2008
Language German
Pages 213-227 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Beginning with a short introduction on the motivations behind the modern quest for extra biblical proofs that the biblical historical record (mainly in the Books of Kings) is accurate and reliable, the article argues that it is misleading to regard the Bible—even in its historical books—as ‘history’ in any modern sense. However, the core of the historical narrative in Kings can be verified, and the books are not story, but history, even though they do not provide, nor were they meant to provide, a full, detailed and accurate picture of the history of Israel and Judea, and even though its authors and editors re-worked their various sources and earlier versions—both written and oral—according to their theological-historical conceptions and their literary strategies. Thus, the right approach to the book’s historical trustworthiness is the “middle-road approach,” i.e., to treat each and every ‘historical unit’ separately.
The main argument of this article is that Kings are the product of a small group of scribes and were not written in order to gain the status of the “formal history” of the people of Israel during the First Temple period—and that they could not have gained this status during that period. Rather, the books may have been only one historical version of many other existing versions. However, the writers, even when they re-told past events, based on previous sources, in many cases had to make creative decisions about what to preserve and what to omit from the different previous versions and layers of the ‘story’, and did not produce a ‘coherent’ final version, mainly because of their reluctance to delete some of the older materials, but rather to retain them.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Books of the Old Testament : Former Prophets : Kings
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : History
Last modification 2017-10-27