The three terms “history,” ‘ideology” and “literature” have played a central role in scholarly literature on biblical historical texts, yet there is no uniform understanding of these terms. For example, different volumes in the series The Forms of the Old Testament Literature1 present different definitions of the genre history. One volume defines it as “Designed to record events of the past as they actually occurred. The structure is controlled by chronological stages or cause-effect sequences of events as the author(s) understood them.”2 Another considers “history”:

An extensive, continuous, written composition made up of and based upon various materials, some originally traditional and oral, others written, and devoted to a particular subject or historical period. The author of history links together his materials and unifies the whole by imposing overarching structural and thematic connections. History is dominated by a concern with chronology and cause-effect relationships; it seeks to place events and how they occurred within a framework of interpretation and in relation to the author’s own time. For purposes of literary definition, it is not important whether, from our modern point of view, the events actually occurred as reported…. Writers of history intended to document, reflect on, and organize the past in order to understand, legitimate, or define in some way the institutional and social reality of their own time.3