Biblical Israel: A People's History

Biblical Israel: A People's History

Biblical Israel: A People's History

Biblical Israel: A People's History

Synopsis

A synopsis of Israel's history - from the perspective of the poor. Reflecting the option for the poor that characterizes his Latin American setting, Pixley argues, with Norman Gottwald, that the "real story" of Israel is that of its peasants' struggles. This book is the first to attempt a brief, concise recovery of the broad outlines and sweep of the story of the people of Israel from the Bible. He deftly sketches that history from its origins in peasant uprisings of the fourteenth century b.c.e. to the bloody suppression of Simon bar Cosiba's uprising in the second century c.e. This straightforward presentation, with its numerous aids (charts, map, chronology, and select bibliography), and its keen sensitivities to the import of social location, should make this book a very helpful resource for undergraduate and lay leaders.

Excerpt

This book presents a brief history of Israel during the biblical period. Biblical Israel is defined by the following measures: (1) Chronologically, this period extends from Moses to Simon bar Cosiba, approximately 1220 B.C.E. to 135 C.E., excluding the patriarchal antecedents of Israel, on the one hand, and the derivation of this history in the Christian church and Rabbinic Judaism, on the other hand. (2) Geographically, this history is limited by the confines of the land of Canaan or Palestine, two names for the same land situated between the Mediterranean Sea on the west, the desert to the east and the south, and the Lebanese mountains to the north, excluding, therefore, the stories of the ancient related Jewish groups that lived outside this land, in Babylon, Egypt, Persia, and other places. (3) Sociologically, Israel during those thirteen hundred years was the project of a peasant nation that struggled to survive and to give itself the structures necessary for its survival.

This definition of biblical Israel is by no means obvious. the development of the history will serve as its justification, in the measure in which it is able to account for the documents (mostly biblical) and for the archaeological remains better than alternative parameters can.

The author of this book is a professor of Bible in a Christian (Baptist) theological seminary. This history is written for seminarians, students, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and delegates of the Word. It proposes to offer a historical framework for reading with greater understanding the sacred books to persons who have a basic knowledge of the biblical books and a faith in the God of the Bible. For this reason we devote much space to situating the biblical books historically and sociologically, much more space than would be strictly necessary in a history . . .

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