Biblical Archaeology Review 32:3, May/June 2006

Biblical Views: How a People Forms

By Mary Joan Winn Leith

Many of us struggling through our children’s teenage years are all too familiar with the adolescent compulsion to assert an identity apart from one’s parents. Yet, no matter how vociferously they reject it, teens cannot escape from what we might call the “historical reality” of their genes and upbringing. The past decade or so has witnessed the scholarly recognition of something akin to this phenomenon in the way the Biblical Israelites came to construct their identity. Israel defined itself as “not Canaanite” while the archaeological and textual record reveals that, in its formative centuries, Israel, like a teenager, was a lot more what it claimed not to be than otherwise.

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.