The age of the Hebrew Bible is a complicated and controversial topic. Many scholars have argued that most or all of the Hebrew Bible was written in the second half of the first millennium BCE, during the Persian and/or Hellenistic periods, and draw the inference that there is little or no historical content that predates this era. Recent research, drawing on the intertwined histories of language, text, and culture, shows that the ages of the books of the Hebrew Bible span a vastly longer chronological range, starting with the early Iron Age. Ron Hendel will explain his methodology for dating the bible and understanding crucial aspects of its historical and contemporary significance.
Ronald Hendel is the Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at UC Berkeley. He is the author of many books and articles on the history, religion, and literature of the Bible, most recently How Old is the Hebrew Bible? A Linguistic, Textual, and Historical Study (Yale University Press), co-authored with Jan Joosten. He is the general editor of The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition.
Program made possible, in part, by Richard and Barbara Rosenberg.