Biblical Archaeology Review 33:4, July/August 2007

Biblical Views: The Archaeology of Rahab

By Mary Joan Winn Leith

With its many layers and compositional phases, the Bible is often compared to a Near Eastern tell composed of strata accumulated over successive historical periods. However, there is yet another way the Bible can be compared to a tell; namely the layers of interpretation that one Biblical narrative can generate over time. Having attracted its share of interpreters, the story of Rahab the prostitute1 (Joshua 2; 6) exemplifies this process and shows why an awareness of this type of Biblical stratigraphy enhances an appreciation of the Biblical text as a living document.

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