Tuesday 1 November 2005

Historicity and the Old Testament

Jim West and Joe Cathey (among others) have recently been debating the question of the historicity of the Old Testament sources. No doubt some of the Old Testament bloggers will already have noted this article in the latest issue of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament—but it’s worth mentioning again here (although I’m not a “minimalist” myself):

David Henige, “In Good Company: Problematic Sources and Biblical Historicity,” JSOT 30:1 (2005), 29-47.

The paper sharply criticises an interpretive attitude of basic provisional trust in the biblical sources, and argues instead that “the notion that historical sources are innocent until proved guilty and therefore need not ... be tested is thoroughly naïve, inasmuch as historical sources have perjured themselves time and time again” (p. 31).

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