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Book: Finding Myth and History in the Bible

Chapter: “Historical” Israel and “biblical” Israel, or ethnicity as a symbol

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.23760


The "biblical" identity of Ancient Israel is a historiographical construction, based on a particular self-consciousness of a people ethnically distinct from the others. This idea of ethnicity is therefore symbolic. We would try to trace the origin of such ethnical identity in some texts of the jewish apocryphal (or deuterocanonical) literature (Ben Sira, Tobit, Judith, Esther) and in the "national"

historiography of some Judeo-Hellenistic authors.

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