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Writing Israel's History at the end of the Twentieth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the critical history of Israel at the end of the twentieth century. John Bright's history was still in its first edition and was considered a respectable interpretation of Israel's history. At that time there were two views of the Israelite occupation of the land, the W.F. Albright interpretation and the Alt-Noth interpretation of a peaceful infiltration. 1975 saw what proved to be a diversion in the debate, perhaps more accurately described as a sideshow, with the discovery of the Ebla tablets. In 1988 Robert Coote and Keith Whitelam had done a sociological study which encompassed not only the settlement as such but took in the development of the Israelite monarchy. There has been only one major discovery in the past quarter of a century, the Ebla tablets, and they turned out not to be of much benefit to Old Testament (OT) studies directly.

Keywords: Ebla tablets; Israel's history; Israelite monarchy; John Bright; Old Testament (OT) studies; Robert Coote; twentieth century; W.F. Albright



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