Reblogging for future reference.
I was surprised to find this article by Eugene H. Merrill on an evangelical apologetics site. It is a moderate article and contains good information.
This is the way he explains the minimalist and maximalist schools of assessing the historical nature of ancient Israel:
1. Scholars inclined to assign little or no historical or cultural validity to the Old Testament narratives suggest that either those narratives are late, retrospective renditions of traditions that enjoyed wide currency in Israel’s larger milieu, or that the alleged commonalities between the textual evidence from the ANE and the OT are illusory, coincidental, or derived from common stock.
2. On the other hand, conservatives of many varieties have largely embraced the findings of archaeological research and have employed them heuristically, apologetically, or even polemically. Sadly, the extremes of both positions have resulted, in the first case, in an even stronger denial of any independent…
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