"History of the Biblical World" as a Challenge to Deal with Biblical History and Exegetical Understanding of the Southern Levant – Evaluations from Related Sciences


The archaeologist and Old Testament scholar Dieter Vieweger tells in his new book, Geschichte der biblischen Welt, I Paläolithikum bis Bronzezeit, II Eisenzeit, III Persische bis römische Zeit, Gütersloh 2019 (I 289; II 385; III 569 pages), the story of the southern Levant from the beginning of human settlement until the formation of the rabbinic Pharisaic Judaism and the Early Church in the 3rd century AD. He bases his history on social and economic as well as political and religious dynamics of the region in which the Bible - as we do it know today - has its origin.

Israel and Juda were discussed as parts of the old world – not in a special Bible related/focused way. His work turns therefore the usual way, to write the history of Old Israel, from head to toe: Not biblical or theological interests guide the presentation, but the research results of archeology, ancient history, epigraphy and iconography. They draw their own image on an equal footing of these bygone eras, which the biblical writers and their contemporaries interpreted and understood in their own ways.

His general approach to Near Eastern history, his view of biblical history as one part of the simultaneously fundamental different societies in the southern levant and his interpretation of the content and genres of biblical literature in the contexts of the local (Jerusalem, Judah, Alexandria etc.) and time related writing of the canonic, deutero- and non-canonic literature should be subject of discussions and inquiries from experts of different historic schools.


History of the Southern Levant, Biblical History, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Iconography


Dieter Vieweger
German Protestant Institute of Archaeology, Jerusalem and Amman
and Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal

Reinhard Achenbach
University of Münster 

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Wuppertal 2021 Call for Papers

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