In recent years revisionist scholars have attacked the Bible's picture of ancient Israel as a fiction. While the majority of scholars reject this claim, a spirit of uneasiness remains among those who affirm the Old Testament's reliability. This bracing book provides fresh evidence for the historical value of Scripture. Written by an international team of competent scholars, "Windows into Old Testament History seeks to rebuild the case for a positive appraisal of biblical Israel.
In the first essay Jens Bruun Kofoed explores the models and methods of study employed by the so-called Copenhagen School. Nicolai Winther-Nielsen then turns to the question of how best to hear the verbal testimony of the biblical texts, proposing a pragmatic approach to reading scripture. The next three essays examine ways of testing the truth value of the texts within the ancient Near Eastern context: Richard S. Hess, Alan R. Millard, and Kenneth A. Kitchen each focus on archaeological and comparative literary studies that illustrate how extrabiblical evidence can clarify debated issues and elucidate questions that are raised by the biblical texts themselves. Two case studies of the book of Chronicles by Brian E. Kelly and Peter J. Williams then demonstrate in a practical way how biblical and extrabiblical evidence can be brought together to uncover Israel's history. The final essay by Iain W. Provan returns to the epistemological and philosophical concerns which began the book, seen anew in light of the contributors' fruitful work.
Attacking head-on the major issues involved in this fascinating yet conflicted field, "Windows into OldTestament History is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the facts surrounding ancient Israel.