Page 47 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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rl in sky
— B
ibl ica l
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Canaan and the Hebraic experience in Egypt. Bright, on the
other hand (pp. 60-127), in the tradition of his influential men-
tor, Albright, would regard Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as real
people who once trod the terrain of Western Asia; and Moses
in Egypt, in association with the bondage and exodus of his kins-
men, was very much more than the figment of pious imagination
on the part of later writers who wished to create a glorious anti-
quity for their people. (What he believes to be a fair statement
of Moses’ career may now be found in the writer’s opening chap-
ter on “Moses” on pp. 10-39 of
Great Jewish Personalities in An-
cient and Medieval Times
, ed. S. Noveck, constituting Vol. I in
B’nai B’rith Great Books Series
[New York, Farrar, Straus
and Cudahy, 1959].)
A historian of the Biblical period whose work is only recently
beginning to come to the attention of the scholars and more
intelligent laymen who are not at home in Modern Hebrew is
Yehezkel Kaufmann. In 1956 his
became available
to the English reader by way of the section on “The Biblical
Age” in
Great Ages and Ideas of the Jewish People
(ed. Leo W.
Schwarz, New York, Random House, 1956), pp. 3-92. Now, as
this survey is being written, announcement is made of Kaufmann’s
Religion of Israel
(Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1960),
translated and abridged from the Hebrew by Moshe Greenberg; it
is hoped that the detailed argumentation in the Hebrew original
in eight volumes,
Toledoth Ha-Emunah Ha-Yisraelith (A History
of the Religion of Israel;
Tel Aviv, Dvir, 1937-1956) will not have
suffered too much suppression in the abridgment. A fair evalua-
tion of the points of view of Noth and Kaufmann may be found
in J. Bright’s monograph,
Early History in Recent History Writ-
(no. 19 in series,
Studies in Biblical Theology,
London, SCM
Press, 1956).
Two scholars whose work is not yet available in English should
not, for that reason, go unnoted here: the late Albrecht Alt
(Noth’s great teacher) and,
yibbadel le-hayyim,
Roland de Vaux.
The former’s numerous and wholly excellent articles and mono-
graphs in Biblical history and archeology were brought together
in 1953 in two volumes,
Kleine Schriften zur Geschichte des
Volkes Israel
(Munchen, C. H. Beck, 1953); the latter is well
represented in
Les institutions de VAncien Testament
(Vol. I,
Paris, 1958; vol II to appear soon). Finally, it would not be fair
to avoid mention of Max Weber’s
Ancient Judaism
and edited by H. H. Gerth-D.Martindale, Glencoe, 111., Free Press,
1952); his point of view merits careful study.
The use of archeological data for the reconstruction of ancient
Israel’s history and background is well illustrated by such works
as N. Glueck’s
The River Jordan
being an Illustrated Account
of Earth’s Most Storied River
(Philadelphia, Westminister, 1946)
Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev
(New York,
Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1959; now a Grove Press paperback);