Biblical Minimalism

Biblical minimalism — also known as The Copenhagen School (because two of its most prominent figures taught at Copenhagen University) — was a movement or trend in biblical scholarship in the 1990s which made two main claims: first, that the Bible cannot be considered reliable evidence for what had happened in ancient Israel; and second, that "Israel" itself is a problematic subject for historical study.

Minimalism was not a unified movement, but rather a label that came to be applied to several scholars at different universities who held similar views, chiefly Niels Peter Lemche and Thomas L. Thompson at the University of Copenhagen, Philip R. Davies, and Keith Whitelam. Minimalism gave rise to intense debate during the 1990s - the term "minimalists" was in fact a derogatory one given by its opponents, who were consequently dubbed "maximalists", but in fact neither side accepted either label. The so-called Maximalists, or neo-Albrightians, were composed of two quite distinct groups, the first represented by the archaeologist William Dever and the influential publication Biblical Archaeology Review, the second by conservative evangelical Christians such as biblical scholar Iain Provan and Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen. Although these debates were in some cases heated, most scholars stayed in the middle ground between minimalists and maximalists evaluating the arguments of both schools critically, and since the 1990s, while some of the minimalist arguments have been challenged or rejected, others have been refined and adopted into the mainstream of biblical scholarship.

Read more about Biblical MinimalismBackground: Academic Study of The Bible in The 20th Century, Biblical Minimalism, Important Works, Reception and Influence

Other articles related to "biblical minimalism, biblical":

Biblical Minimalism - Reception and Influence
... Taking a different approach, A Biblical History of Israel, by Iain Provan, V ... Avi Hurvitz compared biblical Hebrew with the Hebrew from ancient inscriptions and found it consistent with the period before the Persian period ... for example (Israel's History and the History of Israel, 2005), accepts that the biblical sources are from the Persian period, but believes that the ...
The Bible And History - Schools of Archaeological and Historical Thought - Biblical Minimalism
... Biblical minimalists generally hold that the Bible is principally a theological and apologetic work, and all stories within it are of an aetiological character ... In this view, all of the stories about the biblical patriarchs are fictional, and the patriarchs mere legendary eponyms to describe later historical realities ... Further, biblical minimalists hold that the twelve tribes of Israel were a later construction, the stories of King David and King Saul were modeled upon ...