Donnerstag, 11. Februar 2010

Dissertation on Joshua 9:1-13:7: rethorics and archaeology

On March 18, 2010 Koert van Bekkum will defend his dissertation From Conquest to Coexistence. Ideology and Antiquarian Intent in the Historiography of Israel's Settlement in Canaan at the Theological University of the Reformed Churches, Kampen

Current research on biblical historiography concentrates on the relation between history and ideology. The ideological rhetoric of Joshua 9:1-13:7, combined with external evidence seems to falsify the historicity of these chapters. Scholars disagree, however, on the question when the texts were written and how their antiquarian interest and ideology should be related to one another. The thesis answers this question by using three methods: a synchronic and diachronic interpretation; comparison with ancient Near Eastern historiography; and a critical evaluation of recent developments in archaeology as regards the main sites and region mentioned in the text between Late Bronze II and Iron IIB.

Its most important result is the hypothesis that an early version of Joshua 9:1-13:7 describing a unified conquest of Cisjordan by Joshua and the people of Israel came into existence in Jerusalem by scribes educated to a scholarly level during the early first milennium BCE with help of Late Bronze memories.

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