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Introduction. The History of the History: The Theory of the Deuteronomistic History and the Problem of the Book of Kings

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Chapter Summary

The story of the theory of the Deuteronomistic History (DH) is itself a telling review. It begins with Martin Noth, who established the theory of the DH in the field in the first half of a monograph published in 1943. That monograph, with its inimitably German title, Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien, has since become a classic in the study of the Hebrew Bible because it forever changed the way that scholars regard the "historical books" of the Bible. The observations of Alfred Jepsen and Gerhard von Rad precipitated an erosion of Noth's understanding of the authorship, date, and purpose of the DH. In the past three decades a variety of alternative reconstructions involving redactional levels have been put forward. Again, these alternative theories are founded on research within the book of Kings where it is felt that the material is simply too uneven to accept its assignment to a single write.

Keywords: Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien; Alfred Jepsen; book of Kings; Deuteronomistic History (DH); Gerhard von Rad; Hebrew Bible; Martin Noth; redactional theories



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