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The Mythic Past:
One of the great controversies surrounding the Bible in the last 20 years centers on whether it is a historical document and therefore literally "true." Thomas L. Thompson has spent his academic career steeped in this controversy, researching the archaeological histories of Israel and Palestine, and has concluded that the Bible is not a historical document. Thompson contends however, that understanding the Bible as fictive does not have to undermine its truth and integrity. Currently a professor of the Old Testament at the University of Copenhagen, Thompson's The Mythic Past: Biblical Archaeology and the Myth of Israel aims to separate the Bible from history in order to understand it on its own terms, in the context its authors intended. While parts of The Mythic Past value research and analysis over readability, it is arranged to help aspiring scholars negotiate the vast and complex history of biblical understanding. Thompson believes that "How the Bible is related to history has been badly misunderstood. As we have been reading the Bible within a context that is certainly wrong, and as we have misunderstood the Bible because of this, we need to seek a context more appropriate. As a result, we will begin to read the Bible in a new way." --Jodie Buller [via]