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What Are They Saying About the Formation of Israel? Paperback – November 1, 1998


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What Are They Saying About the Formation of Israel? + In the Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming the Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance
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Product Details

  • Series: What Are They Saying About
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809138387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809138388
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,570,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A concise and useful summary of the current debate about the 'Settlement' or the origins of Israel. -- Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Highly recommended for student and teacher as well. -- The Bible Today

The annotated bibliography guarantees the book's usefulness to biblical students and to theologians wanting the latest thinking on the subject. -- The Australasian Catholic Record

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Virgil Brown VINE VOICE on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I really *like* this book. In 92 short (5x8) pages, McDermott introduces one to the key sources, the key scholars who are writing about the formation of ancient Israel, and the key arguments written by these scholars.
One meets the Amarna letters, the Shashu, the Merneptah Stela, and the Ugaritic texts. One also meets Herzov, Halpern, Ahlstrom, Redford, and others. McDermott puts forward the key arguments of these scholars. For example both Redford and Halpern argue that Israel came into Canaan from outside. Then McDermott points out the shortcomings of these arguments.
What are they saying about the formation of Israel? This is it in a nutshell.
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Format: Paperback
This book lets you know about the biases of many scholars who wish to revise the biblical account or reconcile it with modern methods of doing archaeology and "biblical studies." However the scholars are far from being 'decided' about the issue. In fact this author admits that although the evidence suggests a mixed background rather than a single model, the question of Israel's origins is still open and awaits new discoveries about the ancient world. The author attempts to move beyond the 3 competing theories on Israelite beginnings (1) conquest, (2) peaceful infiltration, and (3) social revolution by surveying the textual as well as the archaeological evidence and finds the latter insufficient to draw any definitive conclusions. This is likely to remain the status quo for quite a while... unless some one comes up with a full-proof method to reinvent the past better than the best textual records handed down.
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