Front cover image for The mythic past : biblical archaeology and the myth of Israel

The mythic past : biblical archaeology and the myth of Israel

Thompson insists that the Old Testament is a fantastic literary parable about a mankind that has lost its way, and in the process rejects all Jewish claims to the modern state of Israel. The foundation of the Jewish claim is said to be a myth born of intellectual, philosophical, and mythological traditions of the great empires of antiquity, and based on the fictions found in the Old Testament
Print Book, English, ©1999
1st U.S. ed View all formats and editions
Basic Books, New York, ©1999
Controversial literature
xix, 412 pages : maps ; 24 cm
9780465006229, 9780465006496, 9780456006498, 0465006221, 0465006493, 0456006494
Part One: How stories talk about the past
1. History and origins: the changing past: When texts are confirmed by texts ; There is nothing new under the sun ; Stories of conflict ; The bible as survival literature
2. Confusing stories with historical evidence: Confusing naïve realism with historical method ; The Bible's many views of the past ; The stories of Yahweh as patron and his messiah ; Forgetting Saul's head on the battlefield ; How the Bible's collectors understood David ; Commenting on II Kings: Isaiah, Jonah and Elijah
3. How the Bible talks about the past : Stories and their references to an historical world ; Don't go back to Egypt for horses ; A story's access to reality ; Techniques in writing Genesis ; The biblical Israel as fiction
Myths of origins: The origins stories of humanity ; Of nations and heroes ; Of God's people ; A collapsing paradigm: The Bible as history. Part two: How historians create a past
Introduction to part two
5. Beginnings: Genesis c. 1 400 000-6000 BCE ; An African elden: c. 7000-6000 BCE ; Paradise lost: c. 6500-4500 BCE ; A Mediterranean economy: c. 6000-4000 BCE ; A heartland of villages: c. 3500-2400 BCE ; On owns and trade
6. A Mediterranean economy: Farmers and shepherds: a shifting economy: c. 2400-1750 BCE ; The early west Semites ; Palestine conquers Egypt? C. 1730-1570 BCE ; The Hyksos in Palestine? ; Armageddon and Egypt's adventures in Asia: c. 1468 and 1288 BCE
7. Palestine's many peoples: The great Mycenaean drought: c. 1300-1050 BCE ; Developing highland settlements ; Judea's independent history: c. 1000-700 BCE ; The states of Israel and Judah: c. 1000-600 BCE ; The anatomy of the Gods
8. Under the shadow of empires: The war for the Jezreel ; The historical Israel ; Deportation and return ; Palestine under a shifting empire
9. Historians create history: The historical David and the problem of eternity ; The exiles: Historical events ; The myth of exile. Part three: The Bible's place in history
Introduction to part three
10. The Bible's social and historical worlds: Israel and Palestine's hidden peoples ; The theology of the way: sectarian reflections on life and society ; New life and resurrection ; Prospects for the Bible and history ; Continuities and discontinuities in Palestine's history ; Many Judaisms ; The Jews' according to Josephus
11. The Bible's literary world: On literature ; Tradition and story variants ; Copenhagen Lego-blocks ; The Bible and its authors ; The function of commentary
12. The Bible's theological world I: how God began: What the bible knows and doesn't know about God ; Yahweh as God in Genesis ; Yahweh as godfather ; How Yahweh became God
13. The Bible's theological world II: the myths of the sons of God: The birth of a son of God as a traditional plot motif ; Humanity and the divine ; Humanity and murder ; The birth of the son of God and the sending of a savior ; Samson as son of God and Nazirite ; The classic forms of the tale types: Moses, Samuel, John and Jesus
14. The Bible's theological world III: Israel as God's son: Divine presence and the son of God ; Israel as a son of God ; The role of Immanuel and the son of God ; The prophets and the son God motif ; The parable of Yahweh and his wives ; Israel as God's beloved
15. The Bible's intellectual world: Whose history is it? ; Theology as critical reflections ; The Bible and the theologians ; The prophets and history ; The meaning of texts