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Finding Myth and History in the Bible

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In recent years the critical approach to biblical ‘Ancient Israel’ and to the Bible as ancient text has undergone considerable change. This collection of essays, inspired by the work of Professor Giovanni Garbini, showcases scholarship which characterizes the new approach.

The papers collected in this volume focus on methodological and historical topics related to the study of the history of ancient Israel. They represent biblical and historical studies, or present the joining of the two fields together, with the aim of shedding new light on biblical material.

The contributions by leading scholars in the field of Biblical studies offer new readings of disputed texts, new methodological tools for study of the ancient world inhabited by an entity called ‘Israel’, and a variety of reinterpretations of biblical texts.

Published: Mar 25, 2016

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
Abbreviations Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano
Editorial Preface Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano
Chapter 1
Giovanni Garbini and Minimalism Thomas L. Thompson
Chapter 2
G. Garbini and the Poetry of Leah Goldberg Francesco Bianchi
Chapter 3
“To Each His Own Job.” On Job 42:1-6 Thomas Bolin
Chapter 4
The Siloam Tunnel Revisited Philip Davies
Chapter 5
Hos 2:2 and the Dating of the Book of Hosea Giovanni Deiana
Chapter 6
Beyond Garbini’s Anti-Mosaic Pentateuch: Nehushtan as Literary Tie between the Torah and the Historical Books Philippe Guillaume
Chapter 7
“When Dreams Come True”: Jerusalem/Hierosolyma and Jewish Nationalism in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. Ingrid Hjelm
Chapter 8
The Same Old Story Niels Peter Lemche
Chapter 9
Toponymy Riddles Mario Liverani
Chapter 10
Dividing the image of God: the creation of man and woman in Genesis Caterina Moro
Chapter 11
Farewell to the 'Blind and Lame‹' (2 Sam. 5:6-10) Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano
Chapter 12
From Moses to the Essenes Etiene Nodet
Chapter 13
A view from the West: The relationship between Phoenicia and “colonial” worlds in the Persian period Ida Oggiano
Chapter 14
A couple of stone disks or simply a pair of disks? About the Hebrew word obnayim (Exodus 1:16; Jeremiah 18:3) Fabrizio Pennacchietti
Chapter 15
Jonah and the triffid. A suggestion for the qiqayon Chiara Peri
Chapter 16
On Finding Myth and History in the Bible Emanuel Pfoh
Chapter 17
“Historical” Israel and “biblical” Israel, or ethnicity as a symbol
 Gian Luigi Prato
Chapter 18
Ethnicity and the Bible: Multiple Judaisms Thomas L. Thompson
Chapter 19
Correspondence Jim West
End Matter
Index of References Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano
Index of Authors Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano


Overall, I highly recommend this volume. After reading the basic summary of Giovanni Garbini’s ideas, it is clear how each contributor reflects such a critical tradition. Likewise, the final contribution by Jim West, letters by Giovanni Garbini to West, helps to paint the full picture of a man who seeks truth and understanding of the reality of history, not the ideological hopes projected upon the past. Each author expertly writes in the spirit of Garbini and provides a valuable contribution to a wide range of specializations of Biblical Studies within this volume. And for $34.95, this exquisite quality of contributions that become available to reader make the volume worth its weight in gold.
The Biblical Review

There is a formidable array of scholarship with an extensive array of references and bibliography after each article. This book should help to cool the animus between those who take the historicity of the Bible as the point of departure and those who demand physical and tactile evidence from contemporary sources. It also raises the question of the meaning of myth in relationship to history for much further exploration.
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament