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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Changing Perspectives I: Studies in the History, Literature and Religion of Biblical Israel
Van Seters, John

London: Equinox, 2011 pp. xii + 425. $90.00

Series Information
Copenhagen International Seminar


Description: This volume contains a collection of articles written over a 40 year period, from 1964 onwards. They are revisionist in character and address major issues in the understanding of Israelite and Judean history, the literary-critical analysis of the Pentateuch and historical books, and the nature of biblical religion. The historical studies were among the first to raise serious questions with the prevailing understanding of the patriarchal age, the accounts of the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan, and the temple of Solomon. The literary studies of the Pentateuch challenged both the classical Documentary Hypothesis, especially the early dating of J, and the more recent modifications that support the notion of an extensive Deuteronomistic redaction of the Pentateuch. Articles on biblical historiography focus on a late dating of the Court History of David, the nature of the Deuteronomistic history, and the role of creative imitation in the composition of biblical narrative. The final section on Israelite religion and culture views biblical notions about patriarchal religion, myths of human origin, and the legendary origins of Passover, within a broad comparative context. These articles have had a significant impact in the field of biblical studies.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel

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Review by Diana Edelman
Published 5/28/2012
Citation: Diana Edelman, review of John Van Seters, Changing Perspectives I: Studies in the History, Literature and Religion of Biblical Israel, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).


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