The appearance in 1992 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', it 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'. While challenging the whole spectrum of scholarly consensus about the origins of 'Israel' and its scriptures, In Search of Ancient Israel is written more in the style of a textbook for students than a monograph for scholars because, its author believes, it offers an agenda for the next generation of biblical scholars.
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