Newsletter   Secure Checkout   View Cart (0 items)  
Search:    Welcome Guest! Save up to 30-40% on most items with our awesome everyday discounts!

Prelude to Israel's Past: Background and Beginnings of Israelite History and Identity [Hardcover]

By Niels Peter Lemche (Author) & E. F. Maniscalco (Translator)
Our Price $ 17.47  
Retail Value $ 24.95  
You Save $ 7.49  (30%)  
Item Number 119645  
Buy New $17.47
Out Of Stock!
Discontinued - Out Of Print
The manufacturer has discontinued this product and no longer offers it for sale. We are unable to obtain more stock.
Currently unavailable...

Item description for Prelude to Israel's Past: Background and Beginnings of Israelite History and Identity by Niels Peter Lemche & E. F. Maniscalco...

How useful is the Old Testament for reconstructing the history of early Israel? How accurate is the Bible's portrait of the ancient Near East over three thousand years ago? Such questions have recently dominated academic discussion and have spilled over even into the popular arena. Prelude to Israel's Past may add fuel to the fire of this often heated debate. Lemche, a scholar at the center of this debate, carefully explores the crucial questions that concern the biblical portrayal of Israel's early history. Does that portrait conform to the historical description of Bronze Age Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Mesopotamia that modern-day historians and archaeologists have uncovered? Did the biblical authors record the experiences of Israel's ancestors, or did these authors express their own experiences through historical fiction? Lemche's lucid answers to these and many other questions suggest that the biblical writers, like modern-day filmmakers, wrote tales that spoke to their audiences' tastes, intelligence, and (especially) needs. Consequently, the primary task of the modern student of the Bible is not to look to the patriarchs, or Moses, or Mount Sinai for historical reconstructions but to understand the theological context and purpose of these narratives. Only if we read the Old Testament in its literary and theological contexts can the Bible continue to speak to us today. The merit of this solid and stimulating work is that it gives the fullest account available in English of Lemche's assessment of the pentateuchal traditions in relation to what we otherwise know of Bronze Age Syria and Palestine in their sociopolitical, literary, and religious dimensions. He concludes that while the Pentateuch carries cultural and literary traces that would accord broadly with the world in which it is set, these features are too fragmentary and contextless to give us recoverable history. In his view, the Pentateuch's narrative intention was to provide a foundation story for the monotheistic Jewish community of a much later age. Instead of providing us information on Israel's actual beginnings, it is an exceedingly valuable window into the postexilic thought world and communal concerns of those who composed it. Happily, Lemche's argument is free of the scornful polemics that have unfortunately characterized much of the scholarly debate on these issues in recent years, allowing the reader to consider his claims on their own terms.

Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at!

Item Specifications...

Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.19" Height: 0.97"
Weight:   1.12 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 1998
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
ISBN  1565633431  
ISBN13  9781565633438  

Availability  0 units.

More About Niels Peter Lemche & E. F. Maniscalco

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Niels Peter Lemche is Professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen. His most recent works include The Old Testament Between Theology and History, The A-Z of Ancient Israel and The Israelites in History and Tradition.

Niels Peter Lemche has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Are You The Artisan or Author behind this product?
Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Jewish > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > Israel
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > Old Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Bibles > Other
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament
11Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > Biblical History & Culture

Similar Products

Reviews - What do customers think about Prelude to Israel's Past: Background and Beginnings of Israelite History and Identity?

Objective scholarly analysis of a Biblical world  Jan 26, 2003
A clean, refreshing and unbaised look at the Biblical world and its relation to genuine history. Establishing that there is no possible credible relationship between the Bilical world and genuine ancient world the author approaches the logical and only remaining question of what then is the Bible and provides a well discussed thesis on the Biblical texts. Matters are analysed in a thourough, clear and concise way which is accessible to any reader. The book can be recommended on at least the basis that the author sets out neither trying to prove or disprove the historicity of the Bible but arrives at his outcomes on the basis of pure objective scholarship. A most valuable introduction and example to budding historians of how to approach the study ancient documents in an objective way.
Outstanding introduction to the biblical world  Aug 11, 2002
This is a thorough introduction to the historical, social, literary, and especially historiographical issues of reading the Bible as a collection of ancient texts. The main emphasis is on the early biblical period, but many of the book's insights are applicable for the whole of the biblical period and the discussion often extends into later parts of the Bible. It is precisely what is needed by those who want to understand the nature of the Bible and its subjects in their ancient Near Eastern contexts. The writer is well informed on the relevant information and bibliography (it is easy to follow Lemche's views to their roots in reputable contemporary scholarship, and on every topic he offers an expertly selected list of suggested supplementary readings), yet most readers will find his style not only accessible but interesting. The biblical world is different from our world, and the Bible was not produced the way we might expect looking back from our own cultural and historical context. Reading the Bible is a cross-cultural experience, and most readers need a reliable guide to its foreign culture. The author has indeed played a role in the dispute over the so-called minimalists in biblical history. This work however is scarcely susceptible to the charges usually levied. The historiographical issues the author addresses are ones that all historians of the ancient world, as well as general readers interested in that world, must come to terms with, and he addresses them with a welcome fairmindedness, circumspection, courtesy, and pointedness. A highly recommended resource.
Beating up a straw man argument  Aug 22, 2001
The interesting parts of this work dealing with questions of whether archeology presents evidence of an Exodus, has been dealt with before by better scholars, Finkelstein in particular. No scholars believe these stories to be historic nor is anyone arguing about them. What the authors have done is create a fictitious argument and then come forward with 'answers.'

The rest of the arguments about when stories in the bible were written down, why, and by whom are presented with little supporting data and ignoring the mountain of evidence that contradicts the authors thesis. I suggest if you are interested in this topic reading "what did the bible writers know" by william dever (awful title, but good book).

Lemche is one of the leading proponents of 'biblical revisionism' an effort argue that the bible and ancient Israel are literary figments. They make this argument in the face of reams of independent data to the contrary. I leave it to the reader to figure out the reason why.


Write your own review about Prelude to Israel's Past: Background and Beginnings of Israelite History and Identity

Ask A Question or Provide Feedback regarding Prelude to Israel's Past: Background and Beginnings of Israelite History and Identity

Item Feedback and Product Questions
For immediate assistance call 888.395.0572 during the hours of 10am thru 8pm EST Monday thru Friday and a customer care representative will be happy to help you!

Help us continuously improve our service by reporting your feedback or questions below:

I have a question regarding this product
The information above is incorrect or conflicting
The page has misspellings or incorrect grammar
The page did not load correctly in my browser or created an error.

Email Address:
Anti Spam Question. To combat spammers we require that you answer a simple question.
What color is the sky?
Leave This Blank :
Do Not Change This Text :

Add This Product Widget To Your Website

Looking to add this information to your own website? Then use our Product Widget to allow you to display product information in a frame that is 120 pixels wide by 240 pixels high.

    Copy and paste the following HTML into your website and enjoy!

Order toll-free weekdays 10am thru 10pm EST by phone: 1-888-395-0572 (Lines are closed on holidays & weekends.)
Customer Service | My Account | Track My Orders | Return Policy | Request Free Catalog | Email Newsletter

Gift Certificates
RSS Feeds
About Us
Contact Us
Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy