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Good Kings and Bad Kings: The Kingdom of Judah in the Seventh Century BCE (The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies) Paperback – August 29, 2005

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Each of the articles presented here is well written, scholarly, and thought provoking" John Engle, RBL 04/2006,
(John Engle Rbl)

"This volume is of keen interest not only for commentators on the book of Deuteronomy but also for those working on a literary history of the Pentateuch or a history of the Yahweh religion...Grabbe presents a very helpful volume that delivers a kind of candid shot of the debate on the history of seventh century B.C.E.... This volume contributes a good deal to this methodology." Eckhart Otto RBL 04/2006
(Eckart Otto Rbl)

"Each scholar, across the spectrum of currrent thought about Israel's history ... does a superb job of rendering explicit the assumptions and methodological procedures with which he approaches the welter of material which must be considered when writing about this time in Judah's history ... the entire volume is strong" Expository Times


"The collection of essays provides a good overview of positions in the current debate on the usefulness (or lack thereof) of biblical and archaeological sources for the reconstruction of the history of seventh-century Judah." 32.5 (2008)
(J.L.W. Schaper Journal for The Study of the Old Testament)

"Each of the articles presented here is well written, scholarly, and thought provoking" John Engle, RBL 04/2006,
(Sanford Lakoff Rbl)

"This volume is of keen interest not only for commentators on the book of Deuteronomy but also for those working on a literary history of the Pentateuch or a history of the Yahweh religion...Grabbe presents a very helpful volume that delivers a kind of candid shot of the debate on the history of seventh century B.C.E.... This volume contributes a good deal to this methodology." Eckhart Otto RBL 04/2006
(Sanford Lakoff Rbl)

"The collection of essays provides a good overview of positions in the current debate on the usefulness (or lack thereof) of biblical and archaeological sources for the reconstruction of the history of seventh-century Judah." 32.5 (2008)
(Sanford Lakoff Journal for The Study of the Old Testament)

About the Author

Lester L. Grabbe is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Hull.He is founder and convenor of the European Seminar in Historical Methodology.A recent book is Ancient Israel:What Do We Know and How Do We Know it?
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Product Details

  • Series: The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies (Book 393)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury T&T; Clark (August 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0567082725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0567082725
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,723,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This collection of essays edited by Lester Grabbe address what appears to be the major historical debate in Old Testament research: Josiah and his reform. The selection of essays covers a range of opinions and approaches the problem from different methodologies. In short, there is little extrabiblical evidence supporting the reform of Josiah and the finding of the scroll. Furthermore, there appears to be plenty of extrabiblical references to Manasseh who some of the authors feel was vilified by the Deuteronomist Historian(s).

While the work is intelligent, scholarly and well argued we must remember that we are expecting access to information about historic events that occurred over 2600 years ago. Frankly, it appears that these events are lost to us and we can only scratch the surface with conclusions based upon limited data.

The critics assume that the DeH is a theological document that has some core historic truths but was written and redacted with other purposes in mind. This should not undermine our faith for Israel has always understood its history as being a salvation history guided and ordained by God. A similar statement can be made about the written documents from the various empires of the period that may have been selective and distorted to glorify the king and his accomplishments and were not concerned with the issues important to scripture.

Rather than undermine the authority of the scripture, such silence from extrabiblical sources reinforce scriptures demand that, as Karl Barth says, "read the Bible Biblically." While such debates are important they are tangential to the Bible's purpose of salvation history and the argument from silence is basically faith in scripture or in biblical science.

The student and scholar must keep in his mind these two issues separate. For those interested this work will be a standard.
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