Book Notice: Philip Davies, Rethinking Biblical Scholarship

Philip Davies, Rethinking Biblical Scholarship: Changing Perspectives 4 (Acumen, 30 April 2014).

Here’s the summary:

Rethinking Biblical Scholarship brings together seminal essays on the archaeological and exegetical research that has transformed the discipline of biblical studies over the past two decades. Most of the essays illustrate the development of the ‘minimalist’ school of methodology.

Rethinking Biblical Scholarship focuses on history and historiography, exploring how scholarly constructs and ideologies mould historical, literary and cultural data and shape scholarly discourse. Among the many topics examined are the formation of the Jewish scriptural canon and how the concepts of ‘prophecy’ and ‘apocalypse’ illuminate the emergence of Judaism in the late Persian and Hellenistic periods.

Contents
Introduction, Niels Peter Lemche
PART I: METHOD
1. Do Old Testament Studies Need a Dictionary?
2. Whose History? Whose Israel? Whose Bible? Biblical Histories, Ancient and Modern
3. What Is ‘Minimalism’, and Why Do So Many People Dislike It?
4. ‘House of David’ Built on Sand: The Sins of the Biblical Maximizers
PART II: HISTORY
5. The Origin of Biblical Israel
6. God of Cyrus, God of Israel: Some Religio-Historical Reflections on Isaiah 40-55
7. Scenes from the Early History of Judaism
8. Josiah and the Law Book
9. Judaeans in Egypt: Hebrew and Greek Stories
PART III: PROPHECY AND APOCALYPTIC
10. Amos, Man and Book
11. ‘Pen of Iron, Point of Diamond’ (Jer 17:1): Prophecy as Writing
12. Reading Daniel Sociologically
13. And Enoch Was Not, for Genesis Took Him
14. ‘Divination’, ‘Apocalyptic’ and Sectarianism in Early Judaism
PART IV: CANON
15. What Is a Bible?
16. The Jewish Scriptural Canon in Cultural Perspective

The Author
Philip R. Davies is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is author, most recently, of On the Origins of Judaism and The Origins of Biblical Israel, and co-author of The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Opening the Books of Moses.

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