By James Hoffmeier
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Extra resources for Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition
Sinai, forty years of wandering in the wilderness, miraculous conquests of Canaan, . . ’’9 The second paradigm reads the Bible using a postmodern hermeneutic, and its adherents arrive at nearly the same conclusion. Consider the position of Thomas Thompson as a spokesperson for this model: ‘‘Biblical Israel, as an element of tradition and story, such as the murmuring stories in the wilderness, . . ’’11 Both of these paradigms will be examined in more detail below, but for the moment, it is clear that many of those who champion these approaches are equally skeptical that the Bible can serve as a source for history.
Is the period of the composition of noncanonical or apocryphal works such as Judith and the books of Maccabees. And, not surprisingly, some are written in Greek, not Hebrew, nor even Late Biblical Hebrew, let alone Biblical Hebrew. This is also the period when the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew canon, was being made. The Hellenistic period was a time when Greek culture and language were dominating the Mediterranean world; it was not a period known for producing Hebrew literature.
The use of new literary approaches by biblical scholars has certainly undermined the foundation of the old source-critical consensus. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century bulwark is now in serious trouble, and the result has been a scramble to determine the dates and reliability of the sources or traditions. 74 Some of the historical minimalists who have been engaged in the debate over the origins of Israel during the past twenty years have even championed a Hellenistic dating for the composition of various Hebrew books.