Biblical Interpretation beyond Historicity evaluates the new perspectives that have emerged since the crisis over historicity in the 1970s and 80s in the field of biblical scholarship. Several new studies in the field, as well as the ‘deconstructive’ side of literary criticism that emerged from writers such as Derrida and Wittgenstein, among others, lead biblical scholars today to view the texts of the Bible more as literary narratives than as sources for a history of Israel. Increased interest in archaeological and anthropological studies in writing the history of Palestine and the ancient Near East leads to the need for an evidence-based history of Palestine.

This volume analyses the consequences of the question: "If the Bible is not history, what is it then?" The editors, Hjelm and Thompson are members of the Copenhagen School, which was formed in the light of this question and the commitment to a new approach to both the history of Palestine and the Bible’s place in ancient history. This volume features essays from a range of highly regarded scholars, and is divided into three sections: "Beyond Historicity", which explores alternative historical roles for the Bible, "Greek Connections", which discusses the Bible’s context in the Hellenistic world and "Reception", which explores extra-biblical functions of biblical studies.

Offering a unique gathering of scholars and challenging new theories, Biblical Interpretation beyond Historicity is invaluable to students in the field of Biblical and East Mediterranean Studies, and is a crucial resource for anyone working on both the archaeology and history of Palestine and the ancient Near East, and the religious development of Europe and the Near East.

chapter |12 pages


ByIngrid Hjelm, Thomas L. Thompson

part 1|46 pages

Beyond Historicity

chapter 1|15 pages

A new “biblical archaeology”

ByPhilip R. Davies

chapter 2|14 pages

Old and new ways of interpreting Isaiah 40–55

ByFrederik Poulsen

chapter 3|16 pages

Contextualizing composite works

The case of 4QMMT with a sociolinguistic twist
ByTrine Bjørnung Hasselbalch

part 2|58 pages

Greek Connections

chapter 4|16 pages

Is the Old Testament still a Hellenistic book?

ByNiels Peter Lemche

chapter 5|15 pages

From Plato to Moses

Genesis-Kings as a Platonic epic
ByPhilippe Wajdenbaum

chapter 6|12 pages

Greek genres and the Hebrew Bible

ByRussell Gmirkin

chapter 7|14 pages

When the Septuagint came in from the cold

ByMogens Müller

part 3|80 pages


chapter 8|12 pages

Of Qumran, the canon, and the history of the Bible Text

ByFrederick H. Cryer

chapter 10|14 pages

Canon formation, canonicity, and the Qumran library

ByJesper Høgenhaven

chapter 11|18 pages

New Children of Abraham in Greenland – the creation of a nation

ByFlemming A. J. Nielsen

chapter 12|10 pages

Closing the Conference

Whose mythic, rhythmic, theological and cultural memory is it anyway?
ByJim West