In Search of 'Ancient Israel': A Study in Biblical Origins

Author(s): Philip R. Davies (University of Sheffield, UK)


The appearance of In Search of 'Ancient Israel' generated a still-raging controversy about the historical reality of what biblical scholars call 'Ancient Israel'. But its argument not only takes in the problematic relationship between Iron Age Palestinian archaeology and the biblical 'Israel' but also outlines the processes that created the literature of the Hebrew bible-the ideological matrix, the scribal milieu, and the cultural adoption of a national literary archive as religious scripture as part of the process of creating 'Judaisms'. As such, in this volume Philip R. Davies challenges the whole spectrum of scholarly consensus about the origins of 'Israel' and its scriptures, in a manner that is both learned and accessible. For this new edition Davies has provided a new extended introduction, in which he considers how the debate has raged since the book was first published, and in which he repositions this classic work within the present scholarly context.


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This groundbreaking work created major waves when it was first published in 1992. The debate it provoked has continued, making Davies' work the starting point for a discussion about the reality of ancient 'Israel'.

Philip R. Davies is Emeritus Professor at the University of Sheffield, UK. His publications with T&T Clark include The Origins of Biblical Israel (2007) and The Old Testament World (2005).

Preface to Third Edition Preface to Second Edition Acknowledgements Abbreviations Reflective Introduction Ch. 1 Preliminaries Ch. 2 Searching for 'Ancient Israel' Ch. 3 Defining the Biblical Israel Ch. 4 A Search for Historical Israel Ch. 5 The Social Context of the Biblical Israel Ch. 6 Who Wrote the Biblical Literature, and Where? Ch. 7 How was the Biblical Literature Written, and Why? Ch. 8 From Literature to Scripture Ch. 9 The Emergence of Israel Bibliography of Works Cited Index of References Index of Authors

General Fields

  • : 9780567662972
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • : November 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Philip R. Davies (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • : Paperback
  • : 192