La Bible à la croisée des sources

Translated title of the contribution: The Bible. At the crossroad of the sources

Nadav Na'aman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Bible alone describes in a systematic and continuous way the history of Israel in pre-monarchical and monarchical periods. However, biblical historiography was written first of all in order to convey religious, ideological and ethical messages. The late date at which biblical history was written, its literary and ideological nature and extreme tendentiousness, are serious flaws for its use as a source for writing a history of Israel according to the acceptable "Western" standards. The article examines the extent to which we can trust the Bible as a source for reconstructing various stages in the history of Israel. It seeks to recover the kinds of sources available to the author of the Deuteronomistic history and the way he worked them. It is evident that he had some written sources on which he based his history, but their number was small and the amount of material they contained was limited. The article concludes that our knowledge of the history of Israel in biblical time, in particular in the early stages, is considerable poorer than scholars used to assume in the past.

Translated title of the contributionThe Bible. At the crossroad of the sources
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)1321-1346+III-IV
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2003


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