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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Ancient and Modern Scriptural Historiography / L'Historiographie Biblique, Ancienne et Moderne
Römer, Thomas and George J. Brooke, editors

Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2007 pp. xxxvii + 371. $126.00

Series Information
Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 207


Description: This collection of nineteen essays is the fruit of ongoing collaboration in Biblical Studies between the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne, Manchester and Sheffield. The essays are arranged under three headings (General Studies; Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism; and New Testament, Early Christianity and their Contexts) but share many overlapping interests. In particular, the studies show intriguingly that the concerns of ancient historians are both similar to and different from those of modern historians. Several contributions also demonstrate that the historical value of ancient texts can only become apparent if they are set alongside suitable co-texts, whether from Mesopotamia, from Greek and Roman writings, or from other sources. In addition it is clear in some of the contributions that the interplay between authors and readers is no less significant in history writing than in the production of other genres. Overall the set of essays shows forcefully that history writing, in antiquity as today, is principally about the meaning of the past for the present, only secondarily about the past for its own sake.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, Literature

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Review by Ernst Axel Knauf
Published 2/9/2009
Citation: Ernst Axel Knauf, review of George J. Brooke and Thomas Römer, eds., Ancient and Modern Scriptural Historiography / L'Historiographie Biblique, Ancienne et Moderne, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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