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In Search of 'Ancient Israel'


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Table of Contents

Preface to Third Edition Preface to Second Edition Acknowledgements Abbreviations Reflective Introduction Ch. 1 Preliminaries Ch. 2 Searching for 'Ancient Israel' Ch. 3 Defining the Biblical Israel Ch. 4 A Search for Historical Israel Ch. 5 The Social Context of the Biblical Israel Ch. 6 Who Wrote the Biblical Literature, and Where? Ch. 7 How was the Biblical Literature Written, and Why? Ch. 8 From Literature to Scripture Ch. 9 The Emergence of Israel Bibliography of Works Cited Index of References Index of Authors

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This groundbreaking work created major waves when it was first published in 1992. The debate it provoked has continued, making Davies' work the starting point for a discussion about the reality of ancient 'Israel'.

About the Author

Philip R. Davies is Emeritus Professor at the University of Sheffield, UK. His publications with T&T Clark include The Origins of Biblical Israel (2007) and The Old Testament World (2005).


Philip Davies has been a key force in resetting the agenda and method for modern historians and biblical scholars. His many studies on the Persian and Hellenistic periods have helped scholars to envision these late centuries as the time when the biblical text was most likely composed. But his monograph In Search of "Ancient Israel" belongs to those tours de force that cut through the complexities of a discipline to make a point that has been at once obvious to many, yet enunciated by few - in this case: "biblical Israel," "historical Israel," and the scholarly construct of "ancient Israel" are distinct entities and should not be facilely confused with each other. * Douglas A, Knight, Vanderbilt University, USA *
This new edition of In Search of "Ancient Israel" is more than welcome, because the questions that Philip Davies raises in this groundbreaking essay are still highly topical. He brilliantly challenges what has been for a long time a scholarly consensus about the origins of "biblical Israel" and its sacred texts. Whether one agrees always or not with Davies' provocative thesis this book is a must read for every student and scholar of Hebrew Bible. * Thomas Roemer, Professor of Hebrew Bible, College de France and University of Lausanne, Switzerland *
This book by Philip Davies is a classic because it articulated a compelling idea that is larger than and outlives any specific explanation. When we speak of ancient Israel, we must separate its biblical renditions from whatever Israel was in history. For those of us who persist in this search, it is still worth attending to Davies' acerbic challenge, which should make the reader think - and smile. * Daniel Fleming, New York University, USA *

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