As students seek an understanding of ancient Israel and the ancient Near East , they are confronted with a variety of competing opinions and methods regarding the culture, history, sociology, and geography of the biblical story. Does archaeology 'prove' the Bible? Is the Bible history, and if so, what kind? How should the Old Testament be approached as literature? Studying the Ancient Israelites provides a guide to the tools, methods, and goals of the study of ancient Israel. The book also examines the insights that can be gained from geography, archaeology, literary study, sociology, and historiography as well as the limitations of each of these disciplines.
Victor H. Matthews (Ph.D., Brandeis University) is associate dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs and professor of religious studies at Missouri State University. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Old Testament Turning Points, Manners and Customs in the Bible, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Genesis-Deuteronomy, The Old Testament: Text and Context, and A Brief History of Ancient Israel.