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Israel's History and the History of Israel (Bible World (London, England)) [Hardcover]

Mario Liverani

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Book Description

1 July 2007 Bible World (London, England)
In 'Israel's History and the History of Israel' one of the world's foremost experts on antiquity addresses the birth of Israel and its historic reality. Many stories have been told of the founding of ancient Israel, all rely on the biblical story in its narrative scheme, despite its historic unreliability. Drawing on the literary and archaeological record, this book completely rewrites the history of Israel. The study traces the textual material to the times of its creation, reconstructs the evolution of political and religious ideologies, and firmly inserts the history of Israel into its ancient-oriental context.

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"Liverani charts a sinuous and expert path through the minefield that has come to mark the discussion over how to reconstruct ancient Israelite history. No one will come away from reading him without being challenged, indeed exhilarated by the depth of his insights and the breadth of his vision." – Peter Machinist, Harvard University

"Liverani's intentions in offering an account of the biblical transformation of Israel's past 'from trivial event to significant re-elaboration' are to be commended. His book is an appropriate and exciting alternative to the biblical narrative." – Times Literary Supplement

"The work is stimulating, original in all its parts, and contains many original insights that will no doubt fertilize all future discussions about the Bible as a source for the history of ancient Israel." –Review of Biblical Literature

About the Author

Mario Liverani is Professor of History of the Ancient Near East at the University of Rome "La Sapienza".

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Scholarship and Very Interesting 18 May 2014
By Matthew G. Zatkalik - Published on
The author (p. 367) recognizes that Israel's history has two parts (hence the title) which he identifies as "... 'normal history' and 'invented history'... . Further, these two "should be read as supporting each other."
Normal history includes past and present archeological sites related to biblical information. Invented history consists of recognizing the "later re-elaboration" and how this is "rooted in the preceding events ... The historian's legitimate and proper ambition is to connect these two parts, giving life to a historical trajectory that makes overall sense."
Dr. Liverani - and his translator - provides a wealth of information, illustrations and scholarly work that deserves being read by those looking to further their education. Dr. Liverani's book is not an introduction, not a book by book look at Israel's history. The reader will be rewarded for their investment in thinking through this book's information and thesis.
4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much to be gleaned from a moderate viewpoint 7 April 2007
By Commentary Surveyor - Published on
Though historically skeptical and reads the historical texts of the Bible to uncover ideological bias, the combination of Liverani's expertise in ANE background combined with setting Israel in the context of the larger world (esp. the sixth century BC) sets this history apart, and much insight can be gathered here.
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