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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Tristan Carter

Historical Criticism October 3, 2011 th Methods of Biblical Analysis • 20 century saw a conflict between Christian fundamentalism and Historical Criticism • Historical Criticism o Source Criticism o Form Criticism (Formsgeschichte) o Redaction Criticism ( Redaktionsgeschichte) • Literary Criticism o Narrative, plot, character, theme, genre • Other Approaches o Social-Scientific, Feminist, Postcolonial, Queer Source Criticism • Source critics determine the sources that were used to put a text together. • The Bible itself talks abo ut other non-biblical sources. E.g.: o Book of Jashar (Joshua 10:13; II Samuel 1:18) o Book of the Acts of Solomon (I Kings 11:41) o Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah (I Kings 14:29) o Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel (I Kings 14:19) • There are at least 40 references to various “annals” in the Bible. Joshua 10 (NIV) 12On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon. ” 13So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a d ay like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel! 15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal. 2 Samuel 1 (NIV) 17 18 David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar): 19“A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel. How the mighty have fallen!“Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the s treets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice. 21“Mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, may no showers fall on your terraced fields. For there the shield of the mighty was despised, the shield of Saul —no longer rubbed with oil. 22 “From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied. 23Saul and Jonathan— in life they were loved and admired, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 24 “Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold. 25“How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. 27“How the mighty have fallen! The weapons o f war have perished!” 1 Kings 11 (NIV) 41As for the other events of Solomon’s reign —all he did and the wisdom he displayed —are they not written in the 1 42 43 book of the annals of Solomon? Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king. 1 Kings 14 (NIV) 19 The other even20 of Jeroboam’s reign, his wars and how he ruled, are written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel. He reigned for twenty -two years and then rested with his ancestors. And Nadab his son succeeded him as king. 21 Rehoboam son of Solomon was king in Judah. He was forty -one years old when he became king, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel in which to put his Name. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. 22Judah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. By 23 the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than those who were before them had done. They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all t he detestable p25ctices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 26 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. He carried off the treasures of the temple of the LORD and the treasures of the roya l palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields 27 Solomon had made. So King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace t28m and assigned these to the commanders of the guard on duty at the entrance to the royal palace. Whenever the king went to the LORD’s temple, the guards bore the shields, and afterward they returned them to the guardroom. 29 As for the oth30 events of Rehoboam’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in 31e book of the annals of the kings of Judah? There was continual warfare between Rehoboam and Jeroboam. And Rehoboam rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His mother’s name was Naamah; she was an Ammonite. And Abijah his son succeeded him as king.
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