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In this much-anticipated textbook, 3 revered biblical students have written a background of old Israel that takes the biblical textual content heavily as an old record. whereas additionally contemplating nonbiblical resources and taking note of what disciplines like archaeology, anthropology, and sociology recommend in regards to the prior, the authors achieve this in the context and paradigm of the outdated testomony canon, that is held because the fundamental record for reconstructing Israel's historical past. partly One, the authors set the quantity in context and evaluation prior and present scholarly debate approximately studying Israel's background, negating arguments opposed to utilizing the Bible because the imperative resource. partly , they search to retell the background itself with an eye fixed to all of the elements explored partially One.

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Between Miller and Hayes and Whitelam, however, no great gulf is fixed in terms of governing assumptions and method. All that Whitelam does is push Miller and Hayes to be more consistent in following through to their conclusion their governing assumptions and method. If the latter argue that the nature of the biblical literature is such in the case of Genesis-Judges as to forbid the historian, completely or virtually, from writing history based on this literature, they cannot argue that the case is different in Samuel, or indeed in Kings.

To do so is inconsistent; that later historians should have pressed the point, demanding to know why the David stories should be treated differently from the Abraham stories, is unsurprising. Responding that one has a "presupposition" in the case of David that the traditions are based on actual historical persons and events is simply insufficient-unless one wishes to be accused of arbitrariness and inconsistent method. What we find in Miller and Hayes, then, is that the authors happen to use biblical texts in various ways in constructing their history oflsrael.

These forces are followed in order by economic and social developments involving the masses of the people, the culture of the common people, and last the political phenomena. Such an approach, in practice if not entirely in intention, has tended to neglect the importance of the individual, as well as radically diminishing the importance of the political, in the past. The history of historiography since the Enlightenment, at least as we have told it to this point (and we have more to say in chapter 2), can thus be seen as the story of a discipline progressively seeking to escape from a dependence upon tradition, 24 History, Historiography, and the Bible under pressure as a result of the perceived success of the natural sciences to justify itself as a proper academic discipline by becoming more "scientific" (whether interpreted in a Rankean-empirical or a positivist-empirical way).

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