Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity, por Ann Killebrew: há novidades neste estudo?

KILLEBREW, A. E. Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity: An Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and Early Israel 1300-1100 B.C.E. Atlanta/Leiden: Society of Biblical Literature/Brill, 2005, xx + 362 p.

A apresentação do livro Povos Bíblicos e Etnicidade: Um estudo arqueológico de egípcios, cananeus, filisteus e do Israel primitivo entre 1300 e 1100 a.C. no site da editora Brill, diz o seguinte:

Ancient Israel did not emerge within a vacuum but rather came to exist alongside various peoples, including Canaanites, Egyptians, and Philistines. Indeed, Israel’s very proximity to these groups has made it difficult – until now – to distinguish the archaeological traces of early Israel and other contemporary groups. Through an analysis of the results from recent excavations in light of relevant historical and later biblical texts, this book proposes that it is possible to identify these peoples and trace culturally or ethnically defined boundaries in the archaeological record. Features of late second-millennium B.C.E. culture are critically examined in their historical and biblical contexts in order to define the complex social boundaries of the early Iron Age and reconstruct the diverse material world of these four peoples. Of particular value to scholars, archaeologists, and historians, this volume will also be a standard reference and resource for tudents and other readers interested in the emergence of early Israel.

Entretanto, duas resenhas publicadas pela Review of Biblical Literature no dia 8 de abril de 2006, escritas por Diana Edelman e Gerald Klingbeil, mostram que o livro de Killebrew, uma arqueóloga bem preparada, não trata, de fato, do caráter ou da qualidade étnica dos povos mencionados…

Mas faz uma síntese histórica bastante didática e… problemática! Pois, como diz Diana Edelman, da Universidade de Sheffield, Reino Unido, em sua resenha, o livro

does not elaborate on points enough to allow the reader to assess the strengths and weaknesses of given theories or textual and archaeological source material independently without going and reading all the original discussions, with the exception of the pottery sections.

Acrescentando que

There is no new contribution visible in this book. Killebrew seems to be unaware that her proposed “mixed multitude” theory for the origin of Israel was already suggested in 1986 by Max Miller in his history co-written with John Hayes, which is cited in the bibliography. The title of the volume suggests that the main focus of the investigation will be on ethnicity, yet this is not the case. The book reads more like a history than a study of ancient ethnicity…

Além disso, sustenta Edelman que

Killebrew has misunderstood the minimalist discussion concerning ancient Israel, incorrectly stating that some deny the existence of a historical Israel. She misses that they are addressing instead the fact that the Israel portrayed in the biblical texts is a literary creation and idealization that provides minimal reliable information about the actual Israel. It is interesting to note that she uses the term “biblical Israel” to designate the historical Israel, not seeing any distinction between the two, and accepts the view of Joshua-Judges as an origin story designed to create ethnic cohesion, yet also thinks such a story only was put into written form in the eighth–seventh century B.C.E. Her position on the amount of older, reliable source material is not developed, although she seems to think that some stories reflect events in the Late Bronze and Iron I period. Yet here again her criteria for dating the exodus tradition to the era of Ramesses II is weak…

O Professor Lawrence Schiffman opina sobre o Evangelho de Judas

Em The Jewish Week, Lawrence H. Schiffman – Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and chair of the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University – escreve sobre o Evangelho Copta de Judas.


Judas, Reconsidered

Despite its alleged kosher certification of Judas Iscariot, the Gospel of Judas is part of a literature that represents a sort of alternative anti-Judaism to that which developed in the era of the Church Fathers. Much has been made of the fact that this text describes Judas as having been particularly close to Jesus, who revealed to him esoteric teachings. However, the content of this revelation is a series of Gnostic teachings that are totally at odds with Christianity as we know it (…)

The Gospel of Judas discovery may lead some to read the New Testament in a way that further reduces its anti-Judaism by interpreting Judas role as part of what Christians see as the divine plan. If so, this text will have turned out to be good for the Jews. Texts such as the Gospel of Judas can help to remind us of alternative explanations and guide us towards greater understanding, but they cannot be taken as the basis for any kind of historical understanding of the first century.