This semester, my first semester at Baptist College of Ministry (Menomonee Falls, WI), I have the privilege of teaching Hebrew History, Elements of Hebrew Grammar, and English Composition and Rhetoric (the basic research class), along with a directed study with a seminary student on the Epistle to the Hebrews. For Hebrew History, I have taken to studying the topic with a vengeance, so much so that about a week ago I woke up in the middle of the night having been dreaming of the Assyrians! (It was not, need I mention, a pleasant dream?) Although Old Testament is certainly not my specialty, I have had a fantastic time compiling resources and lecturing and interacting with my class of 33. I figured this would be an excellent time to share with you, dear reader, what are some of the best texts to examine for Hebrew History (from Abraham to A.D. 70). In addition, I have compiled a list of every single relevant article from the Journal of the Evangelical Society (I did not use any search engines for this; I basically examined every single issue and typed out any relevant article).
Key Ancient Sources
Naturally, the Old Testament itself is your main text. If you can get ahold of the annals of the Assyrian or Babylonian Kings, these will occasionally be relevant. Naturally, for the 1st century, Josephus takes pride of place since he personally saw the Jewish War unfold and was intimately familiar with Jewish life and customs of that time. First and Second Maccabees (the latter is not a continuation of the former; they both tell the same story in a different way) remains essential for understanding the era after the division of Alexander the Great’s empire. The Dead Sea Scrolls and various apocryphal books (e.g., Wisdom of Solomon), as well as Philo, can give you a window into Jewish thought (especially Alexandrian Jewish thought) of the first century and the years preceding it. By the way, as a guide to studying Jewish Second Temple Literature, may I recommend the fantastic book by Larry Helyer, Exploring Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2002).
Old Testament Theology
May I just mention here that Bruce Waltke and Charles Yu, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2007, retains pride of place as one of the best Old Testament books I own? Seriously, folks, this book provides some fantastic theological insights into Israel’s history from a solid evangelical perspective.
Textbooks, histories, introductions, etc.
First off, our textbook, Eugene Merrill’s Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel (2nd ed; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2008), an excellent work by a solid evangelical scholar. One caveat: it only goes up to the return from exile.
For a very handy quick reference, I have benefited greatly from John Sailhamer’s Old Testament History (Zondervan Quick Reference Library; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1998).
We also have F. F. Bruce’s Israel and the Nations: The History of Israel from the Exodus to the Fall of the Second Temple (revised by David F. Payne; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1997) as well as the very helpful Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History, both of which go up through New Testament times (I’m requiring the Holman Bible Atlas in addition to Merrill’s book for my students).
Let me also recommend Ian Provan; V. Philips Long; and Tremper Longman III’s A Biblical History of Israel (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 2003) and K. A. Kitchen’s On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich. Eerdmans, 2003). Meanwhile, if you need an Old Testament Intro, pride of place in my library goes to Eugene H. Merrill, Mark F. Rooker, and Michael Grisanti’s The World and the Word: An Introduction to the Old Testament (Nashville, Tenn.: B&H Academic, 2011). I’m slightly biased, since I got to grade for Dr. Rooker for one semester (while Dr. Robinson was on sabbatical) and enjoyed interacting with him.
For students of Hebrew History, here are some key journals to look out for (besides the obvious general journals like JBL, JETS, BBR, Tyndale Bulletin, etc.)
Biblical Archaeological Review
Jewish Bible Quarterly
Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament (brand new!)
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
Journal of Semitic Studies
Old Testament Essays
Relevant JETS Articles
As a service to my students, since our library currently does not have EBSCO, I went through and listed every single article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society that dealt with Hebrew history (these are available for free up until 2011 from www.etsjets.org) Here they are (please let me know if I missed any!) I did not use any search engine; I did this the “old fashioned” way.
(you should be able to search within this blog post for any particular articles that would be helpful for your research).
Akers, Matthew. "What's in a Name? An Examination of the Usage of the Term
'Hebrew' in the Old Testament." JETS 55 (December 2012).
Aling, Charles F. "The Biblical City of Ramses." JETS 25 (June 1982).
Aling, Charles F. "The Sphinx Stele of Thutmose IV and the Date of the Exodus." JETS 22 (June
Allen, Ronald Barclay. "Elijah the Broken Prophet." JETS 22 (September 1979).
Amaya, Ismael E. "The Bible and God's Revelation in History." JETS 14 (June
Archer, Gleason L. "AN Eighteenth Dynasty Ramses." JETS 17 (March 1974).
Arnold, Bill T. "The Amalekite's Report of Saul's Death: Political Intrigue or
Incompatible Sources?" JETS 32 (September 1989)
Arnold, Clint E. "Sceva, Solomon, and Shamanism: The Jewish Roots of the
Problem at Colossae." JETS 55 (March 2012).
Battenfield, James R. "A Consideration of the Identity of the Pharaoh of Genesis
47." JETS 15 (June 1972).
Beale, G. K. "The Use of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15: One More Time." JETS 55
Beck, John A. "Why Do Joshua's Readers Keep Crossing the River? The
Narrative-Geographical Shaping of Joshua 3-4." JETS 48 (December 2005).
Beitzel, Barry J. "Herod the Great: Another Snapshot of His Treachery?" JETS 57
Billington, Clyde E. "Goliath and the Exodus Giants: How Tall Were They?" JETS
50 (September 2007).
Block, Daniel I. "Israel's House: Reflections on the Use of BYT YSR'L in the Old
Testament in the Light of Its Ancient Near Eastern Environment." JETS 28
Block, Daniel I. "'You Shall Not Covet Your Neighbor's Wife:' A Study in
Deuteronomic Domestic Ideology." JETS 53 (September 2010).
Block, Daniel I. "Will the Real Gideon Please Stand Up? Narrative Style and
Intention in Judges 6-9." JETS 40 (September 1997).
Block, Daniel I. "'What Do These stones Mean?' The Riddle of Deuteronomy 27."
JETS 56 (March 2013).
Block, Daniel I. "Recovering the Voice of Moses: The Genesis of Deuteronomy."
JETS 44 (September 2001).
Bruno, Christopher R. "'Jesus Is Our Jubilee' . . . But How? The OT Background
and Lukan Fulfillment of the Ethics of Jubilees." JETS 53 (March 2010).
Bullock, C. Hassell. "Ezekiel, Bridge Between the Testaments." JETS 25 (March
Chase, Mitchell L. "The Genesis of Resurrection Hope: Exploring Its Early
Presence and Deep Roots." JETS 57 (September 2014).
Chávalas, Mark W. "The Historian, the Believer, and the OT: A Study in the
Supposed Conflict of Faith and Reason." JETS 36 (June 1993).
Chávalas, Mark W. "Recent Trends in the Study of Israelite History." JETS 38
Cheung, Alex T. M. "The Priest as the Redeemed Man: A Biblical-Theological
Study of the Priesthood." JETS 29 (September 1986).
Christensen, Duane L., and Marcel Narucki. "The Mosaic Authorship of the
Pentateuch." JETS 32 (December 1989).
Chisholm, Robert B., Jr. "The Chronology of the Book of Judges: A Linguistic
Clue to Solving a Pesky Problem." JETS 52 (June 2009).
Chisholm, Robert B., Jr. "In Defense of Paneling as a Clue to the Chronology of
Judges: A Critique of Andrew Steinmann's Reply." JETS 53 (June 2010).
Chisholm, Robert. "When Prophecy Appears to Fail, Check Your Hermeneutic"
JETS 53 (September 2010).
Collins, John J. "Prophecy and Fulfillment in the Qumran Scrolls." JETS 30
Culver, Robert D. "The Old Testament as Messianic Prophecy." BETS 7 (Summer
Curtis, Edward M. "Structure, Style and Context as a Key to Interpreting Jacob's
Encounter at Peniel." JETS 30 (June 1987).
Curtis, Edward M. "The Theological Basis for the Prohibition of Images in the Old
Testament." JETS 28 (September 1985).
Dalman, Rodger. "Egypt and Early Israel's Cultural Setting: A Quest for Evidential
Possibilities." JETS 51 (September 2008).
Davids, Peter H. "What Glasses Are You Wearing? Reading Hebrew Narratives
through Second Temple Lenses." JETS 55 (December 2012).
Day, Adam Warner. "Eating Before the Lord: A Theology of Food According to
Deuteronomy." JETS 57 (March 2014).
Dean, David Andrew. "Covenant, Conditionality, and Consequence: New
Terminology and a Case Study in the Abrahamic Covenant." JETS 57 (June
DeRouchie, Jason S. "The Blessing-Commission, the Promised Offspring, and the
Toledot Structure of Genesis." JETS 56 (June 2013).
Dillard, Raymond. "The Reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 14-16): An Example of the
Chronicler's Theological Method." JETS 23 (September 1980).
Donaldson, Terry L. "Levitical Messianology in Late Judaism: Origins,
Development and Decline." JETS 24 (September 1981).
Dumbrell, William J. "The Content and Significance of the Books of Samuel:
Their Place and Purpose within the Former Prophets." JETS 33 (March
Dumbrell, William J. "The Purpose of the Books of Chronicles." JETS 27
Dyck, Elmer. "Jonah Among the Prophets: A Study in Canonical Context." JETS
33 (March 1990).
Emmrich, Martin. "The Case against Moses Reopened." JETS 46 (March 2003).
Emmrich, Martin. "The Symbolism of the Lion and the Bees; Another Ironic Twist
in the Samson Cycle." JETS 44 (March 2001).
Enns, Peter. "William Henry Green and the Authorship of the Pentateuch: Some
Historical Considerations." JETS 45 (September 2002).
Ferguson, Paul. "Nebuchadnezzar, Gilgamesh, and the "Babylonian Job.'" JETS 37
Freeman, Hobart E. "The Problem of the Efficacy of Old Testament Sacrifices."
BETS 5 (Summer 1962).
Ferris, Paul Wayne, Jr. "The Manna Narrative of Exodus 16:1-10." JETS 18
Graves, Michael. "The Public Reading of Scripture in Early Judaism." JETS 50
Greene, Joseph R. "The Spirit in the Temple: Bridging the Gap Between Old
Testament Absence and New Testament Assumption." JETS 55 (December
Grisanti, Michael A. "Recent Archaeological Discoveries that Lend Credence to
the Historicity of the Scriptures." JETS 56 (2013).
Goswell, Greg. "The Order of the Books in the Hebrew Bible." JETS 51
Goswell, Greg. "The Temple Theme in the Book of Daniel." JETS 55 (September
Groningen, G. Van. "Interpretation of Genesis." JETS 13 (December 1970).
Groningen, G. Van. "Joshua-II Kings: Deuteronomistic? Priestly? Or Prophetic
Writing?" JETS 12 (March 1969).
Harbin, Michael A. "Jubilee and Social Justice." JETS 54 (December 2011).
Harris, Laird. "Chronicles and the Canon in New Testament Times." JETS 33
Harris, R. Laird. "Continuity in the Old Testament Historical Literature." JETS 14
Harris, R. Laird. "Factors Promoting the Formation of the Old Testament Canon."
BETS 10 (Winter 1967).
Hauser, Alan J. "Unity and Diversity in Early Israel before Samuel." JETS 22
Hawkins, Ralph K. "The Date of the Exodus-Conquest Is Still an Open Question:
A Response to Rodger Young and Bryant Wood." JETS 51 (June 2008).
Hawkins, Ralph K. "Propositions for Evangelical Acceptance of a Late-Date
Exodus-Conquest: Biblical Data and the Royal Scarabs from Mt. Ebal." JETS 50 (March 2007).
Hays, J. Daniel. "Reconsidering the Height of Goliath." JETS 48 (December 2005).
Hays, J. Daniel. "The Height of Goliath: A Response to Clyde Billington." JETS
50 (September 2007).
Heck, Joel D. "Issachar: Slave or Freeman? (Gen 49:14-15)." JETS 29 (December
Hellerman, Joseph. "Purity and Nationalism in Second Temple Literature: 1-2
Maccabees and Jubilees." JETS 46 (September 2003).
Hilber, John W. "Theology of Worship in Exodus 24." JETS 39 (June 1996).
Hildebrand, David R. "A Summary of Findings in Support of an Early Date for the
So-Called Priestly Materials of the Pentateuch." JETS 29 (June 1986).
Hill, Andrew E. "A Jonadab Connection in the Absalom Conspiracy?" JETS 30
Hill, Andrew E. "The Ebal Ceremony as Hebrew Land Grant?" JETS 31
Hill, Andrew E., and Gary A. Herion. "Functional Jehovah-ism and Social Control
in the Early Israelite Monarch." JETS 29 (September 1986).
Hill, Joseph A. "The Bible and Non-Inspired Sources." BETS 3 (Fall 1960).
Hoffmeier, James K. "What Is the Biblical Date for the Exodus? A Response to
Bryant Wood." JETS 50 (2007).
Hoffner, Harry A. "Ancient Views of Prophecy and Fulfillment: Mesopotamia and
Asia Minor." JETS 30 (September 1987).
Horton, Stanley M. "Critical Note: A Suggestion Concerning the Chronology of
Solomon's Reign." BETS 4 (October 1961).
House, Paul. "Investing in the Ruins: Jeremiah and Theological Vocation." JETS
56 (March 2013).
Howard, David M., Jr. "Sodom and Gomorrah Revisited." JETS 27 (December
Howard, David M., Jr. "'Three Days' in Joshua 1-3: Resolving a Chronological
Conundrum." JETS 41 (December 1998).
Howard, David M., Jr. "The Transfer of Power from Saul to David in 1 Sam 16:13-
14." JETS 32 (December 1989)
Jeffers, Adrian. "Ideal Versus Real History in the Book of Joshua." JETS 12
Johnson, Adam. "A Temple Framework of the Atonement." JETS 54 (June 2011).
Johansen, John H. "The Prophet Hosea: His Marriage and Message." JETS 14
Johnson, Benjamin J. M. "What Type of Son is Samson? Reading Judges 13 as a
Biblical Type-Scene." JETS 53 (June 2010).
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. "The Davidic Promise and the Inclusion of the Gentiles
(Amos 9:9-15 and Acts 15:13-18): A Test Passage for Theological
Systems." JETS 20 (June 1977).
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. "Is It the Case that Christ Is the Same Object of Faith in the
Old Testament? (Genesis 15:1-6). JETS 55 (June 2012).
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. "The Old Promise and the New Covenant: Jeremiah 31:31-
34." JETS 15 (March 1972).
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. "The Present State of Old Testament Studies." JETS 18 (June
Karlberg, Mark W. "The Significance of Israel in Biblical Typology." JETS 31
Kessler, John A. "The Shaking of the Nations; An Eschatological View." JETS 30
Koorevaar, Hendrik J. "The Exile and Return Model: A Proposal for the Original
Macrostructure of the Hebrew Canon." JETS 57 (September 2014).
Kuruvilla, Abraham. "The Aqedah (Genesis 22): What Is the Author Doing with
What He Is Saying?" JETS 55 (September 2012).
Lee, Chee-Chiew. "G'YM in Genesis 35:11 and the Abrahamic Promise of
Blessings for the Nations." JETS 52 (September 2009).
Longman, Tremper, III. "The Literary Approach to the Study of the Old
Testament: Promise and Pitfalls." JETS 28 (December 1985).
Luc, Alex. "A Theology of Ezekiel: God's Name and Israel's History." JETS 26
Lunn, Nicholas P. "Allusions to the Joseph Narrative in the Synoptic Gospels and
Acts: Foundations of a Biblical Type." JETS 55 (March 2012).
MacRae, Allan A. "Abraham and the Stars." BETS 8 (Summer 1965).
Martens, Elmer A. "Tackling Old Testament Theology." JETS 20 (June 1977).
Master, Jonathan. "Exodus 32 as an Argument for Traditional Theism." JETS 45
McComiskey, Douglas S. "Exile and Restoration from Exile in the Scriptural
Quotations and Allusions of Jesus." JETS 53 (December 2010).
McFall, Leslie. "The Chronology of Saul and David," JETS 53 (September 2010).
McFall, Leslie. "Do the Sixty-Nine Weeks of Daniel Date the Messianic Mission
of Nehemiah or Jesus?" JETS 52 (December 2009).
Merrill, Eugene H. "Name Terms of the Old Testament Prophet of God." JETS 14
Merrill, Eugene. "Old Testament Scholarship and the Man in the Street: Whence
and Whiter?" JETS 54 (March 2011).
Merrill, Eugene. Sabbatai Zvi and Jewish Messianism." JETS 16 (September
Merrill, Eugene. "The Sign of Jonah." JETS 23 (March 1980).
Neiderhiser, Edward A. "2 Samuel 20:8-10: A Note for a Commentary." JETS 24
Newman, Robert C. "Daniel's Seventy Weeks and the Old Testament Sabbath-Year
Cycle." JETS 16 (December 1973).
Nichols, David. "The Ancient Near East 853-745 B.C." JETS 18 (December 1975).
Niehaus, Jeffrey J. "Covenant: An Idea in the Mind of God." JETS 52 (June 2009).
Niehaus, Jeffrey J. "Covenant and Narrative, God and Time." JETS 53 (September
Niehaus, Jeffrey J. "God's Covenant with Abraham." JETS 56 (June 2013).
Niehaus, Jeffrey J. "Joshua and Ancient Near Eastern Warfare." JETS 31 (March
O'Brian, David. "David the Hebrew." JETS 23 (September 1980).
Parry, Jason Thomas. "Desolation of the Temple and Messianic Enthronement in
Daniel 11:36-12:3." JETS 54 (September 2011).
Patterson, Richard D., and Michael E. Travers. "Nahum: Poet Laureate of the
Minor Prophets." JETS 33 (December 1990).
Patterson, Richard D. "An Overlooked Scriptural Paradox: The Pseudosorites."
JETS 53 (March 2010).
Patterson, Richard D. "Holding on to Daniel's Court Tales," JETS 36 (December
Patterson, Richard D. "The Old Testament Use of an Archetype: The Trickster."
JETS 42 (September 1999).
Payne, Barton. "The Arrangement of Jeremiah's Prophecies." BETS 7 (Fall 1964).
Payne, J. Barton. "Faith and History in the Old Testament." BETS 11 (Summer
Payne, J. Barton. "The Goal of Daniel's Seventy Weeks." JETS 21 (June 1978).
Peterson, Brian. "Ezekiel's Rhetoric: Ancient Near Eastern Building Protocol and
Shame and Honor as the Keys in Identifying the Builder of the
Eschatological Temple." JETS 56 (December 2013).
Petrovich, Douglas. "The Dating of Hazor's Destruction in Joshua 11 by Way of
Biblical, Archaeological, and Epigraphical Evidence." JETS 51 (September
Pierce, Ronald W. "Male/Female Leadership and Korah's Revolt: An Analogy?"
JETS 30 (March 1987).
Proffitt, D., III. "Moses and Anthropology: A New View of the Exodus." JETS 27
Rea, John. "The Time of the Oppression and the Exodus." BETS 3 (Summer 1960).
Reist, Irwin W. "The Theological Significance of the Exodus." JETS 12 (December
Rhoads, John H. "Josephus Misdated the Census of Quirinus." JETS 54 (March
Rogers, Cleon. "Moses: Meek or Miserable?" JETS 29 (September 1986).
Rowley, Matthew. "The Epistemology of Sacralized Violence in the Exodus and
Conquest." JETS 57 (March 2014).
Ruthven, Jon. "A Note on Elijah's 'Fire from the Lord.'" JETS 12 (June 1969).
Sailhamer, John H. "The Messiah and the Hebrew Bible." JETS 44 (March 2001).
Scanlin, Harold P. "The Emergence of the Writing Prophets in Israel in the Mid-
Eight Century." JETS 21 (December 1978).
Schnabel, Eckhard J. "Israel, the People of God, and the Nations." JETS 45 (March
Schultz, Arnold C. "Frontier Issues in Contemporary Theology: The Old
Testament." BETS 9 (Spring 1966).
Smick, Elmer B. "Old Testament Cross-Culturalism: Paradigmatic or Enigmatic?"
JETS 32 (March 1989).
Smith, Gary V. "Isaiah 40-55: Which Audience Was Addressed?" JETS 54
Sprinkle, Joe M. "Law and Narrative in Exodus 19-24." JETS 47 (June 2004).
Steinmann, Andrew E. "A Chronological Note: The Return of the Exiles Under
Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel (Ezra 1-2). JETS 51 (September 2008).
Steinmann, Andrew W. "The Chronology of 2 Kings 15-18." JETS 30 (December
Steinmann, Andrew W. "Literary Clues in Judges: A Response to Robert
Chisholm." JETS 53 (June 2010).
Steinmann, Andrew W. "The Mysterious Numbers of the Book of Judges." JETS
48 (September 2005).
Tanner, J. Paul. "Daniel's 'King of the North': Do We Owe Russia an Apology?"
JETS 35 (September 1992).
Tanner, J. Paul. "Rethinking Ezekiel's Invasion by Gog." JETS 39 (March 1996).
Tenney, Merril C. "The Bible and History." JETS 14 (June 1971).
Trimm, Charlie. "Did the Lord Condemn the Nations When He Elected Israel? The
Lord's Disposition Toward Non-Israelites in the Torah." JETS 55 (2012).
Ulrich, Dean R. "The Framing Function of the Narratives about Zelophehad's
Daughters." JETS 41 (December 1998).
Vogt, Peter T. "Social Justice and the Vision of Deuteronomy." JETS 51 (March
Walton, John H. "New Observations on the Date of Isaiah." JETS 28 (1985).
Walton, John H. "The Decree of Darius the Mede in Daniel 6." JETS 31
Walton, John H. "The Four Kingdoms of Daniel." JETS 29 (1986).
Warning, Wilfried. "Terminological Patters and Genesis 39." JETS 44 (September
Wegner, Paul D. "How Many Virgin Births Are in the Bible? (Isaiah 7:14): A
Prophetic Pattern Approach." JETS 54 (September 2011).
Wolf, Herbert. "'The Desire of All Nations' in Haggai 2:7: Messianic or Not?"
JETS 19 (June 1976).
Wood, Bryant G. "The Biblical Date for the Exodus Is 1446 BC: A Response to
James Hoffmeier." JETS 50 (June 2007).
Wood, Bryant G. "Hittites and Hethites: A Proposed Solution to an Etymological
Conundrum." JETS 54 (June 2011).
Wood, Bryant G. "The Rise and Fall of the 13th-Century Exodus Conquest
Theory." JETS 48 (September 2005).
Wood, Leon J. "Ecstasy and Israel's Prophets." BETS 9 (Summer 1966).
Wood, Leon J. "Simeon, the Tenth Tribe of Israel." JETS 14 (December 1971).
Young, Rodger C. "Tables of Reign Lengths from the Hebrew Court Recorders."
JETS 48 (June 2005).
Young, Rodger C. "When Did Jerusalem Fall?" JETS 47 (March 2004).
Young, Rodger C. "When Did Solomon Die?" JETS 46 (December 2003).
Young, Rodger C. "When Was Samaria Captured? The Need for Precision in
Biblical Chronologies." JETS 47 (December 2004).
Young, Rodger C., and Bryant G. Wood. "A Critical Analysis of the Evidence
from Ralph Hawkins for a Late-Date Exodus Conquest." JETS 51 (June
Youngblood, Ronald. "Moses and the King of Siam." JETS 16 (December 1973).
Zimmer, Robert G. "The Temple of God." JETS 18 (March 1957).