Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

Biblical Studies Deuteronomistic History
by
Gary N. Knoppers, Jonathan S. Greer

Introduction

The Deuteronomistic History (DH) is a modern theoretical construct holding that behind the present forms of the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (the Former Prophets in the Hebrew canon) there was a single literary work. In the late 19th century, some scholars conceived of the DH as a loosely edited collection of works, written in reference to some of the standards espoused in the book of Deuteronomy. The architect of the modern theory, which holds to greater unity within the work, was Martin Noth who built upon older theories (see Noth’s Theory [Single Literary Work]). He noted similarities in language, style, and content among these biblical books in his Überlieferungsgeschichtliche and suggested that an originally unified work was composed during the exilic period by an individual—the “Deuteronomist” (Dtr)—reflecting on the loss of the kingdoms soon after the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 587–586 BCE following the conclusion of 2 Kings. Noth’s theory was so persuasive that it was widely accepted within critical scholarship until recently. While the theory still enjoys significant support in modified forms, many of its central tenets have been called into question. These challenges have given rise to a proliferation of new theories, as detailed below. The topic of history and history writing in the Deuteronomistic History (and in the rest of the Hebrew Bible) is a large and important topic distinct from, but related to, the theory of the DH.

General Overviews

For one interested in the topic of the DH, many overviews are readily accessible from dictionary-type entries and articles to essay collections. The latter grouping is more helpful for the advanced inquirer interested in exposure to the complexity and ongoing nature of the debate, particularly in European circles.

Articles

Detailed overviews of Noth’s theory, and the ensuing scholarship related to it, may be found in encyclopedic form in McKenzie 1992 and Richter 2005; more succinct overviews are in Knoppers 2000, Paganini 2005, and McKenzie 2006. Also helpful are articles outlining the various positions (McConville 1997) and contours of the present debates (see, especially, Römer and de Pury 2000), as well as collections that incorporate various opinions (see Collections).

  • Knoppers, Gary N. “Deuteronomistic History.” In Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck, 341–342. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Brief overview of some of the most important aspects of the theory and reactions.

    Find this resource:

  • McConville, J. G. “The Old Testament Historical Books in Modern Scholarship.” Themelios 22.3 (1997): 3–13.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A helpful overview of the major categories of thought regarding the DH and its relationship to individual books especially; though, again, there have been significant developments since this text was written.

    Find this resource:

  • McKenzie, Stephen L. “Deuteronomistic History.” In The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. Vol. 2. Edited by Katherine Doob Sakenfeld, 106–108. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A brief overview of the theory and the schools it spawned, with a helpful summary of recent trajectories and a concise bibliography.

    Find this resource:

  • McKenzie, Steven L. “Deuteronomistic History.” In The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Vol. 2. Edited by David Noel Freedman, 160–168. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Extensive treatment including the origin of the theory and related issues such as the unity and structure, purpose, composition, and date of the DH. Also covers new literary approaches and history and historiography related to the DH. The topic has become even more complex since the entry was written nearly two decades ago.

    Find this resource:

  • Paganini, Simone. “Deuteronomistisches Geschichtswerk (DtrG).” Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A concise German overview of the theory of the Deuteronomistic History (abbreviated here in German as DtrG) with discussion of Noth’s thesis and the ongoing discussion with print and electronic bibliographic citations.

    Find this resource:

  • Richter, S. L. “Deuteronomistic History.” In Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. Edited by Bill T. Arnold and H. G. M. Williamson, 219–230. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A detailed, up-to-date overview and bibliography covering the context of the theory, the resultant Cross and Göttingen schools, and other advances in DH studies with a thoughtful summary of the more established tenets of the theory within North American scholarship.

    Find this resource:

  • Römer, T. C., and A. de Pury. “The Deuteronomistic History (DH): History of Research and Debated Issues.” In Israel Constructs Its History: Deuteronomistic Historiography in Recent Research. Translated by J. Edward Crowley. Edited by Albert de Pury, Thomas Römer, and Jean-Daniel Macchi, 24–143.Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 306. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of “L’historiographie deutéronomiste (HD): Histoire de la recherche et enjeux du débat,” in Israël construit son histoire: l’historiographie deutéronomiste à la lumière des recherches récentes (Geneva, Switzerland: Labor et Fides, 1996). A lengthy, even-handed, and informative review essay with a rich bibliography on the state of scholarship on the DH through the mid-1990s.

    Find this resource:

  • Schniedewind, William M. “The Problem with Kings: Recent Study of the Deuteronomisitic History.” Religious Studies Review 22.1 (1996): 22–27.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A detailed review article of major publications on the DH in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Provan 1988, McKenzie 1991, Knoppers 1993, Knoppers 1994, and Würthwein 1994. The author sketches out the debates and provides additional bibliography.

    Find this resource:

Collections

There has also been a flurry of essay collections from recent conferences addressing various aspects of the DH, especially its relationship to the Primary History/Enneateuch of Genesis through Kings (de Pury, et al. 2000, Römer 2000, Otto and Achenbach 2004, Witte, et al. 2006; also see The Deuteronomistic History and the Primary History/Enneateuch). Knoppers and McConville 2000 provides a valuable resource in describing the theory and ensuing discussions along with a carefully selected collection of important articles from the time Noth introduced his theory (see Noth’s Theory [Single Literary Work]) through the late 1990s, and Na’aman 2006 provides a number of helpful essays regarding historical issues especially.

  • de Pury, Albert, Thomas Römer, and Jean-Daniel Macchi, eds. Israel Constructs Its History: Deuteronomistic Historiography in Recent Research. Translated by J. Edward Crowley. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 306. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of Israël construit son histoire: l’historiographie deutéronomiste à la lumière des recherches récentes (Geneva, Switzerland: Labor et Fides, 1996). The volume catalogues important papers from a series of research seminars organized by the universities of Fribourg, Geneva, Neuchâtel, and Lausanne representing relatively recent European perspectives.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N., and J. Gordon McConville, eds. Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies on the Deuteronomistic History. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of significant essays—many translated into English from their original languages for this volume—with both an extensive introduction to the current debates and detailed explanatory forewords for each essay.

    Find this resource:

  • McKenzie, Steven L., and Linda S. Schearing, eds. Those Elusive Deuteronomists: The Phenomenon of Pan-Deuteronomism. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 268. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Various essays discussing the problem of so-called pan-Deuteronomism and the relationship between the “Deuteronomists” and the Pentateuch, Prophets, and Writings, in some degree anticipating more recent discussions (see The Deuteronomistic History and the Primary History/Enneateuch and The Deuteronomistic History and Deuteronomy), with numerous case studies.

    Find this resource:

  • Na’aman, Nadav. Ancient Israel’s History and Historiography: The First Temple Period. Collected Essays. Vol. 3. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The final volume of the author’s collected works. Essays related to the study of the DH include those addressing the use of early source material and the historical context of selected larger works or compositions within the DH.

    Find this resource:

  • Otto, Eckart, and Reinhard Achenbach, eds. Das Deuteronomium zwischen Pentateuch und deuteronomistischem Geschichtswerk. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 206. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of German and English essays from Society of Biblical Literature International meetings in Berlin 2002 and Cambridge 2003. Seeks to address the evolution of the Primary History and its relationship to Priestly and Deuteronomic sources, as well as to the DH—althoughsome take issue with the very notion of a DH (see The Deuteronomistic History and the Primary History/Enneateuch and The Deuteronomistic History and Deuteronomy).

    Find this resource:

  • Römer, Thomas, ed. The Future of the Deuteronomistic History. Bibliotheca Ephemeridum theologicarum Lovaniensium 147. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compiled from a recent Society of Biblical Literature International conference (Lausanne 1997), these English, French, German, and Spanish essays tackle issues of the future of DH study, identity and literary strategies of the Dtr, and “Deuteronomism” and the Hebrew Bible.

    Find this resource:

  • Witte, Markus, Konrad Schmid, Doris Prechel, and Jan Christian Gertz, eds. Die deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerke: Redaktions-und religionsgeschichtliche Perspektiven zur “Deuteronomismus” Diskussion in Tora und Vorderen Propheten. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 365. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of diverse essays from seminars in Mainz 2004 and Heidelberg 2005 exploring various issues that affect the relationship of the DH to the larger Enneateuch (see The Deuteronomistic History and the Primary History/Enneateuch and The Deuteronomistic History and Deuteronomy). A detailed English-language article by Jeremy M. Hutton, “Deuteronomistic History or Histories? New Approaches to Deuteronomy-Kings.” may be accessed online.

    Find this resource:

Bibliographies

For print resources, one should consult the bibliographies in the works under General Overviews for more general treatments. Another print resource is Mills 2002, organized by biblical book, and a number of online resources are freely available. Some more generally include works related to the history of the time (Matthews 2009) and others are specific to Kings (McDaniel, Avioz 2005, Avioz 2006). A few focus on the DH (Hymes, Heard). All are useful and include many of the references here and more.

Noth’s Theory (Single Literary Work)

Noth 1943 persuasively argued that the books of Deuteronomy through Kings constituted a single literary work demarcated by a basic homogeneity in language, style, and content. Building upon the observations of W. M. L. de Wette (Wette 1971; also see Harvey and Halpern 2008) that the book of Deuteronomy was more closely related to the so-called historical books (Joshua-Kings) than it was to any other books of the Hebrew Bible, he suggested that the Dtr began his work with the incorporation of an older “Deuteronomic” law code (an early form of Deuteronomy or the D Source). The Deuteronomist framed the older code with speeches of Moses and employed this code as the standard by which the later actions of the community were judged. To the law code, Dtr added other sources, including those recounting the conquest and settlement of the land, prophetic narratives and speeches, and royal records and annals. He then ordered and shaped his sources and inserted his own theological commentary recounting the failure of the monarchy and the deserved punishment of exile often in the form of speeches, prayers, or summaries at critical junctures in the history. Noth’s idea of the Dtr as both redactor and author—thus, accounting for both the diversity among the sources and unity in the final work—solved many of the problems raised by debates between source-theory proponents (especially in the wake of the success of Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis and the theory of the Hexateuch [Wellhausen 1885, Wellhausen 1889]) and individual book-based theorists of his day (see the papers in McKenzie and Graham 1994 and Römer and de Pury 2000, cited under General Overviews) and was widely accepted within critical scholarship until recent decades. While the theory, with some minor modifications, still enjoys significant support, there has been a proliferation of new theories and some returning to older ones.

  • Harvey, Paul B., Jr., and Baruch Halpern. “W. M. L. de Wette’s ‘Dissertatio Critica . . .’: Context and Translation.” Zeitschrift für Altorientalische unde Biblische Rechtsgeschichte 14 (2008): 47–85.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Superb English translation of de Wette’s 1805 Latin dissertation Dissertatio critica, with especially helpful introductory material placing de Wette’s work in context and dispelling commonly held misconceptions regarding this work.

    Find this resource:

  • McKenzie, Steven L., and M. Patrick Graham. The History of Israel’s Traditions: The Heritage of Martin Noth. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 182. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Collection of essays from the 1993 Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Noth’s Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien (Noth 1943) and the legacy and impact of Noth’s theory, providing many helpful details about the context of the debates and their implications for later scholarship.

    Find this resource:

  • Noth, Martin. The Deuteronomistic History. 2d ed. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 15. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1991.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The best and most accessible English version of the first part of Noth 1943.

    Find this resource:

  • Noth, Martin. Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien: Die sammelnden und bearbeitenden Geschichtswerke im Alten Testament. Schriften der Königsberger Gelehrten Gesellschaft Geisteswissenschaftliche Klasse 18. Tübingen, Germany: Max Niemeyer, 1943.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The original German edition of Noth’s now-classic work, the first part of which sketches out his theory on the DH.

    Find this resource:

  • Wellhausen, Julius. Prolegomena to the History of Israel. Translated by J. Sutherland Black and A. Menzies. Edinburgh: Adam and Charles Black, 1885.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels, first published in 1882. The classic statement of the theory of the Documentary Hypothesis.

    Find this resource:

  • Wellhausen, Julius. Die composition des Hexateuchs und der historischen Bücher des Alten Testaments. 2d ed. Berlin: Reimer, 1899.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Building on conclusions in Wellhausen 1885, extends his thesis to incorporate the book of Joshua, thereby providing a clear formulation of the theory of the Hexateuch.

    Find this resource:

  • Wette, Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de. Beiträge zur Einleitung in das Alte Testament. Hildesheim, Germany: Olms, 1971.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reprint of the 1806–1807 original in which arguments equating the Book of the Law found in Josiah’s 7th-century BCE reforms with an early form of Deuteronomy are made explicit. Also proposes a “Deuteronomist,” setting the stage for Noth’s presentation of the DH (see Harvey and Halpern 2008).

    Find this resource:

Early Refinements and Challenges

While Noth’s theory was readily embraced by many, some scholars took issue with various points, refining his discussion on the use of literary devices and theology (e.g., Plöger 2000; von Rad 1966, expanded in Weippert 2000). Early challenges also came in regard to Noth’s understanding of the pessimistic nature of the history (von Rad 1966; Wolff 2000) and the idea of the historian as a single author.

  • Plöger, Otto. “Speech and Prayer in the Deuteronomistic and the Chronicler’s Histories.” Translated by Peter T. Daniels. In Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies in the Deuteronomistic History. Edited by Gary N. Knoppers and J. Gordon McConville, 31–46. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of Reden und Gebete im deuteronomistischen und chronistischen Geschichtswerk, first published in 1957. Suggests that prayers, speeches, and summaries not only served as transitions between major epochs (in agreement with Noth), but also that they provide information on the theology of Dtr and the DH.

    Find this resource:

  • von Rad, Gerhard. “The Deuteronomic Theology of History in I and II Kings.” Translated by E. W. Trueman Dicken. In The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays. Edited by Gerhard von Rad, 205–221. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of his original essay in Gesammelte Studien zum Alten Testament, first published in 1958. Challenges the negative perspective of Noth’s interpretation of the DH, noting the tension that exists between the themes of “gospel” and “law” in Samuel-Kings and its resolution in a final note of hope with the release of Jehoiachin in 2 Kings 25. He also stresses the prophecy-fulfillment pattern in DH, emphasizing the unity of the work.

    Find this resource:

  • Weippert, Helga. “‘Histories’ and ‘History’: Promise and Fulfillment in the Deuteronomistic Historical Work.” Translated by Peter T. Daniels. In Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies in the Deuteronomistic History. Edited by Gary N. Knoppers and J. Gordon McConville, 47–61. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of Geschichten und Geschichte: Verheissung und Erfüllung im deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk, first published in 1991. Expands on von Rad’s observations of the prophecy-fulfillment pattern and highlights examples at short- and long-range narrative levels within the whole of the DH, in which each interpretation builds on the previous one.

    Find this resource:

  • Wolff, Hans Walter. “The Kerygma of the Deuteronomistic Historical Work.” Translated by Frederick C. Prussner. In Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies on the Deuteronomistic History. Edited by Gary N. Knoppers and J. Gordon McConville, 62–78. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of “Das Kerygma des deuteronomistischen Geschischtswerk,” first published in 1961. Challenges Noth’s understanding of the negative nature of the DH by focusing on the importance of repentance in Deuteronomy, Judges, and Kings and the hope it conveys.

    Find this resource:

Noth’s Supporters and Followers

In spite of such refinements and challenges, support for Noth’s single author-redactor theory continued through the 1980s and 1990s in various forms (Hoffmann 1980, Van Seters 1983, van Keulen 1996, McKenzie 1991). Some even ascribed more to the Dtr than Noth initially suggested, viewing him more as an author (Hoffmann 1980, Van Seters 1983), althoughmore recent studies have emphasized the complexity of the issues involved.

  • Hoffmann, Hans-Detlef. Reform und Reformen: Untersuchungen zu einem Grundthema der deuteronomistischen Geschichtsschreibung. Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments 66. Zurich, Switzerland: Theologischer Verlag, 1980.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Supports Noth’s view of an exilic unified history through a literary study of the overarching themes of regression and reform highlighting the centrality of Josiah. Attributing more material to the Dtr, he views much of the material set in earlier times as fictional recreation.

    Find this resource:

  • McKenzie, Steven L. The Trouble with Kings: The Composition of the Book of Kings in the Deuteronomistic History. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 42. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1991.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Supports the idea of a single unified DH, although attributes it to the time of Josiah (thus differing with Noth on the date), finding the later interpolations—including the prophetic materials relating to the northern monarchy—lacking in evidence of unity that would constitute a full and thorough second edition.

    Find this resource:

  • Mullen, E. Theodore, Jr. Narrative History and Ethnic Boundaries: The Deuteronomistic Historian and the Creation of Israelite National Identity. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Envisions an exilic DH completed in the mid-6th century serving as the means to redefine Israelite ethnicity. Even within this Neo-Babylonian setting, the Deuteronomistic writer affirms Davidic kingship and the prophetic office as necessary components of national identity.

    Find this resource:

  • van Keulen, P. S. F. Manasseh through the Eyes of the Deuteronomists: The Manasseh Account (2 Kings 21: 1–18) and the Final Chapters of the Deuteronomistic History. Oudtestamentische Studiën 38. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focusing on Manasseh, he concludes that 2 Kings 21–25 is a unified composition of exilic origin. While acknowledging later editing in the tradition of Smend (seeing a DtrN layer), he argues for thematic ties of the Manasseh pericope to the descriptions of Jeroboam and Ahab suggesting their common redaction.

    Find this resource:

  • Van Seters, John. In Search of History: Historiography in the Ancient World and the Origins of Biblical History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for an internally coherent but originally shorter Deuteronomistic History into which some larger interpolations, such as the Court History, were made. Draws important parallels between the Dtr and Greek historians. Also argues for the primacy of the DH, seeing later Priestly and Yahwistic interpolations.

    Find this resource:

Literary Approaches

Some literary studies have embraced the concept of the DH, even though the scholars advancing a variety of new literary approaches do not employ standard diachronic reconstructions. These scholars (e.g., Exum 1990, Jobling 1993, Polzin 1980, Polzin 1989, Polzin 1993) seek to demonstrate wide-ranging thematic unity and structure to texts often assigned by others to different redactional editions within individual books and the DH as a whole. If such literary unity may be demonstrated at various levels, one has to explain the function of such small-scale and large-scale literary structures within literary or redactional reconstructions.

The “Deuteronomic School”

Others accepted the concept of a DH stretching from Deuteronomy through Kings but found the diversity represented in the work was too great to be accounted for by the diversity of the sources themselves. Some suggested a “school” that was active from the time of Hezekiah through the exilic period (Nicholson 1967, Weinfeld 1972), thus explaining the diversity as a result of changes over time and the continuity by its association with the royal court. The idea has been attractive to some, especially when buttressed by ancient Near Eastern parallels (Weinfeld 1972) and is still adhered to in various forms while also having an influence on many within the dominant Göttingen and Cross traditions (see, for example, Person 2002).

  • Nicholson, E. W. Deuteronomy and Tradition. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1967.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    While affirming Noth’s “final” exilic form of the DH, he suggests earlier editorial activity by a group of redactors within the northern prophetic tradition beginning as early as the time of Hezekiah through the exilic period. This group was responsible for an early form of Deuteronomy (under Manasseh) and the DH (under Josiah).

    Find this resource:

  • Person, Raymond F. The Deuteronomic School: History, Social Setting, and Literature. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the “Deuteronomic School” as an exilic scribal guild that exerted its dominance in Persian-period Yehud, leaving its marks on Deuteronomy through Kings, until the school was eclipsed by a new school in the time of Ezra. Person posits several “block” editions, consistent with the methodology of the Cross school.

    Find this resource:

  • Weinfeld, Moshe. Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School. Oxford: Clarendon, 1972.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Suggests a royal “school” within the wisdom tradition was responsible for the redaction of an early form of Deuteronomy, Joshua-Kings, and Jeremiah in the 7th–6th centuries BCE. Also argues that parallels to the language and covenantal structure of Deuteronomy may be found in Neo-Assyrian vassal treaties. His work also contains a helpful catalogue of “Deuteronomic” phraseology in Joshua-Kings and Jeremiah.

    Find this resource:

Multiple-Edition Theories

Rudolf Smend following and reworking Jepsen 1956, Cross 1973, and the schools of thought they spawned, approached the problem of diversity in the DH in different ways: in Smend 2000, the diversity was explained by different editions demarcated by thematic concerns layering an earlier historical account; for Cross 1973, the diversity was explained by different editions arising in different historical contexts with their respective theological perspectives preserved in larger blocks. Still, within these schools, many characteristics of Noth’s original formulation are still evident (see, for example, Knoppers 2000).

  • Cross, Frank M. “The Themes of the Book of Kings and the Structure of the Deuteronomistic History.” In Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel. Edited by Frank Moore Cross, 274–289. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Cross differentiated between a substantial late preexilic edition (Dtr1) and a minor exilic edition (Dtr2). He associated Dtr1 historically with the cultic reform of Josiah (r. 640–609 BCE) and thematically with the contrast between the sins of Jeroboam and the promises to David. He viewed Dtr2as an update that included the fall of Jerusalem and introduced the sub-theme of Manasseh’s sin.

    Find this resource:

  • Jepsen, A. Die Quellen des Königsbuches. 2d ed. Halle, Germany: Max Niemeyer, 1956.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An early multiedition reconstruction revived and modified by Smend.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N. “Is There a Future for the Deuteronomistic History?” In The Future of the Deuteronomistic History. Edited by Thomas Römer, 119–134. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A “moderate defense” of the DH affirming Noth’s view of a Dtr who was both author and editor.

    Find this resource:

  • Smend, Rudolf. “The Law and the Nations: A Contribution to Deuteronomistic Tradition History.” In Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies in the Deuteronomistic History. Translated by Peter T. Daniels. Edited by Gary N. Knoppers and J. Gordon McConville, 95–110. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Translation of “Das Gesetz und die Völker: Ein Beitrag zur deuteronomistischen Redaktionsgeschichte,” in Probleme biblischer Theologie: Festschrift Gerhard von Rad, 1971. Focuses on sections of Joshua and Judges, arguing that the basic narrative of the DH underwent two major redactions isolated by thematic foci: one, an exilic work of a historical nature (initially designated as “DtrG,” later as “DtrH”) and the other, a postexilic work of a nomistic nature (“DtrN”), which may be the product of multiple editors.

    Find this resource:

The Cross School

The double redaction theory proposed by Cross still holds sway (Nelson 1981, Cortese 1985, Halpern 1996, Knoppers 1993, Knoppers 1994, Sweeney 2001) and has been developed in different ways (see Theories of Three [or More] Redactions). It has been further refined within the Cross camp, attributing more or different material to Dtr2 (Levenson 1975, Peckham 1985) or to Dtr1 (Friedman 1981, Nelson 1981) than in Cross’s original thesis.

  • Cortese, E. Da Mosè Esdra: i libri storici dell’antico Israele. Collana La Bibbia nella storia 2. Bologna, Italy: Edizioni Dehoniane, 1985.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Engaging study basically adopting the dual redaction hypothesis advanced by Cross, but adding his own insights informed by other studies.

    Find this resource:

  • Friedman, Richard Elliott. The Exile and Biblical Narrative. Harvard Semitic Monographs 22. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Suggests two editions of the Priestly source and the DH, both originating in the time of Josiah, and reassigns portions of Cross’s Dtr2 to Dtr1.

    Find this resource:

  • Halpern, Baruch. The First Historians: The Hebrew Bible and History. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Reprint of the 1988 original. Affirms the Cross model of a Josianic Dtr1 and a later, lighter exilic Dtr2 that shifted the blame to Manasseh, while reassigning some material between the editions and highlighting the methods used by the historians (free composition, rephrasing, and mechanical recopying) as well as the authors’ respect for antiquarian traditions as an explanation of inconsistencies.

    Find this resource:

  • Levenson, Jon D. “Who Inserted the Book of the Torah?” The Harvard Theological Review 68 (1975): 203–233.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Affirms Cross’s theory but credits Dtr2 with the insertion of the Book of the Law into Deuteronomy.

    Find this resource:

  • Nelson, Richard D. The Double Redaction of the Deuteronomistic History. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament: Supplement Series 18. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1981.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Buttresses the double-redaction theory with analyses of structural and linguistic data, regnal formulas, and theological themes, althoughrefining some of Cross’s original arguments and highlighting centrality of Josiah.

    Find this resource:

  • Peckham, Brian. The Composition of the Deuteronomistic History. Harvard Semitic Monographs 35. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Although following in the Cross tradition, he suggests a complex reworking of Dtr1’s shorter history (from Moses to Hezekiah) and Pentateuchal sources by Dtr2 as part of a comprehensive and theological effort at establishing a Primary History. In this way, his Dtr2 functions, in some respects, comparably to Noth’s Dtr.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N. Two Nations under God: The Deuteronomistic History of Solomon and the Dual Monarchies. Vol. 1, The Reign of Solomon and the Rise of Jeroboam. Harvard Semitic Monographs 52. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The first volume of a detailed two-part study arguing for a major preexilic redaction of Kings, which not only linked the southern kingdom to its northern counterpart but also distanced the southern kingdom from its fate.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N. Two Nations under God: The Deuteronomistic History of Solomon and the Dual Monarchies. Vol. 2, The Reign of Jeroboam, the Fall of Israel, and the Reign of Josiah. Harvard Semitic Monographs 53. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A continuation of Knoppers 1993 focusing on the reigns of Jeroboam and Josiah.

    Find this resource:

  • Sweeney, Marvin A. King Josiah of Judah: the Lost Messiah of Israel. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Suggests that the historical Josiah portrayed himself as a messianic king of a reunified Israel, drawing evidence from a reconstructed Dtr1 and reactions to the death of Josiah gleaned from prophetic texts.

    Find this resource:

Theories of Three (or More) Redactions

Some scholars would add a third redaction (or more) to the reconstruction proposed by Cross (see O’Brien 1989 and Römer 2005, as well as Person 2002, cited under The “Deuteronomic School”). An earlier case for three redactions (the first dated to the time of Hezekiah) was proposed by Weippert 1972 and has been expanded by others (Provan 1988), often within the Cross framework (Halpern and Vanderhooft 1991, Barrick 2002). Others operating within the same methodological framework contend for the incorporation of large-scale independent sections into the Deuteronomistic History (Campbell 1986, Campbell and O’Brien 2000).

  • Barrick, W. Boyd. The King and the Cemeteries: Toward a New Understanding of Josiah’s Reform. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 88. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Diachronic historical study of Josiah’s cult reform interacting with the Chronicler’s account and suggesting four Deuteronomistic layers: Hezekian, Josianic, early exilic, and postexilic.

    Find this resource:

  • Campbell, Antony F. Of Prophets and Kings: A Late Ninth-Century Document (1 Samuel 1–2 Kings 10). Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series 17. Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1986.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that a late-9th-century northern “Prophetic Record” formed the basis for a significant portion of the Samuel-Kings narrative highlighting the importance played by prophets in the political life of Israel.

    Find this resource:

  • Campbell, Antony F., and Mark A. O’Brien. Unfolding the Deuteronomistic History: Origins, Upgrades, Present Text. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Support for the notion of a pre-Deuteronomistic “Prophetic Record” in 2 Sam 1–5, followed by subsequent editions. A collection of reviews from others working closely with this material, with a response, may be found online.

    Find this resource:

  • O’Brien, Mark A. The Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis: A Reassessment. Orbis biblicus et orientalis 92. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1989.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Asserts that an original Josianic DH underwent at least three subsequent redactions based on leadership models, incorporating some of elements of the Göttingen school.

    Find this resource:

  • Provan, Iain W. Hezekiah and the Book of Kings. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Based on changes in references to both David and the “high places,” he suggests that the first edition of the DH covered the period of the monarchy from Saul to Hezekiah and probably did not include Deuteronomy and Joshua.

    Find this resource:

  • Römer, Thomas. The So-called Deuteronomistic History: A Sociological, Historical, and Literary Introduction. London/New York: T & T Clark, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for a three-stage development of the DH beginning with a rather limited Josianic edition of the DH, which was reedited and greatly expanded during the Babylonian exile. A more limited edition in the Persian period added further details.

    Find this resource:

  • Weippert, Helga. “Die ‘deuteronomistischen’ Beurteilungen der Könige von Israel und Juda und das Problem der Redaktion der Königsbücher.” Biblica 53 (1972): 301–339.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An early exposition of the triple-redaction theory based on patterns in regnal formulas and the forerunner in presenting a strong case for a Hezekian redaction.

    Find this resource:

The Göttingen School and Supporters

Whereas the dual-redaction theory of Cross proceeds according to a “block” model of composition, the triple-redaction theory of Smend and his followers proceeds according to a “layer” model (Schichten Modell) of composition. Smend 2000 (see Multiple-Edition Theories) added a second nomistically oriented Deuteronomistic edition (DtrN, which may have included several writers) to the historically oriented Deuteronomist posited by Noth (DtrH[istorie], first designated as DtrG). His theory was revised and expanded in Dietrich 1972 to include a third work with a prophetic focus (DtrP), dating all three redactions (DtrH, DtrP, DtrN, respectively) to the period of the Babylonian exile but prior to 560 BCE, while still holding to the incorporation of preexilic sources (Dietrich 2000). The same tripartite structure was developed in a somewhat different direction by Veijola (Veijola 1975 and Veijola 1977; see also the essays in Dietrich 2008), who placed different theological and political emphases on his redactors and has been expanded more dramatically in recent works (e.g., Wälchli 1999). The theory still enjoys support, particularly within German circles (Würthwein 1994), though, as with those in the Cross school, many now recognize an even greater complexity.

  • Dietrich, Manfried. “Prophetie im deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk.” In The Future of the Deuteronomistic History. Edited by Thomas Römer, 47–65. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Suggests that DtrP drew upon and edited a substantial body of preexilic prophetic stories dating to the reign of Manasseh (1 Kings 17–2 Kings 10) and that the work of DtrP was added to the older literary layer (DtrH), but prior to a later nomistic redaction (DtrN).

    Find this resource:

  • Dietrich, Walter, ed. Leben nach der Weisung: Εxegetisch-historische Studien zum Alten Testament. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 224. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An edited collection of some of Veijola’s German and English works between 1988 and 2006, demonstrating Veijola’s approach in a number of case studies.

    Find this resource:

  • Dietrich, Walter. Prophetie und Geschichte. Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 108. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1972.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Expanded Smend’s hypothesis through an examination of prophetic narratives and speeches in Kings and introduced a third layer, a prophetic edition (DtrP) also dating to the time of the Babylonian exile (althoughdeveloped from preexilic material from the time of Manasseh) along with the redactions posited by Smend—but after DtrH and before DtrN.

    Find this resource:

  • Veijola, Timo. Die ewige Dynastie: David und die Entstehung seiner Dynastie nach der deuteronomistischen Darstellung. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1975.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    In a methodological framework shaped by Smend and Dietrich, Veijola adopted the DtrH, DtrP, and DtrN (later DrtB) nomenclature but linked these different redactions to contrasting attitudes toward the monarchy in the Davidic traditions.

    Find this resource:

  • Veijola, Timo. Das Königtum in der Beurteilung der deuteronomistischen Historiographie: eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1977.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Applies the tripartite framework based on contrasting attitudes toward the monarchy that was introduced in his work on David (Veijola 1975) to subsequent kings.

    Find this resource:

  • Wälchli, Stefan. Der weise König Salomo: eine Studie zu den Erzählungen von der Weisheit Salomos in ihrem alttestamentlichen und altorientalischen Kontext. Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten (und Neuen) Testament 141. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Working within the so-called Göttingen tradition of interpretation, Wälchli argues for three pre-Deuteronomistic stages in the formation of 1 Kings 3–11, as well as a succession of Deuteronomistic and post-Deuteronomistic editions.

    Find this resource:

  • Würthwein, Ernst. Studien zum Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerk. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 227. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A collection of previously published German and English essays, plus three new ones, dealing with specific texts within the Göttingen school. The author includes an introductory chapter stating his view of the DH and his more recent approach that begins with Kings as a basis for the composition of the entire work.

    Find this resource:

Individual Book-Based Theories

Some take issue with the very notion of a tightly unified Deuteronomistic History and place more of an emphasis on the development of the individual books (Westermann 1994) with their own redactional histories (Knauf 2000, McConville 1997), similar to positions held prior to Noth’s theory (see Noth’s Theory [Single Literary Work]).

  • Knauf, Ernst Axel. “Does ‘Deuteronomistic Historiography’ (DH) Exist?” In Israel Constructs Its History: Deuteronomistic Historiography in Recent Research. Edited by Albert de Pury, Thomas Römer, and Jean-Daniel Macchi. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 306. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of the essay in Israël construit son histoire: l’historiographie deutéronomiste à la lumière des recherches récentes (Geneva, Switzerland: Labor et Fides, 1996). Challenges the extent of the Deuteronomistic History often proposed and favors the independent development of individual books, each with its own redactional history.

    Find this resource:

  • McConville, J. Gordon. “The Old Testament Historical Books in Modern Scholarship.” Themelios 22.3 (1997): 3–13.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A helpful overview of the state of DH research in the mid-1990s, as in the section called Articles. Also suggests his own model in which books developed individually but in dialogue with one another.

    Find this resource:

  • Westermann, Claus. Die Geschichtsbücher des Alten Testaments: gab es ein deuteronomistisches Geschichtswerk? Theologische Bücherei 87 AT. Gütersloh, Germany: Chr. Kaiser, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Questions the limits and unity of the Deuteronomistic History and supports the theory of the long development of individual books, only strung together by occasional Deuteronomistic editing; thus Dtr is merely a light redactor of preexisting compositions and collections.

    Find this resource:

New Theories

Although some scholars share assumptions and methodologies with those from the dominant schools, they see the process as more complicated and developed models that incorporated elements of both theories as well as introduced new paradigms and returned to older ones. These may be grouped by those suggesting larger preexisting blocks, those preferring a rolling corpus model, and other composite theories, although there is much overlap among these works.

Independent Block Models

Some scholars suggest that there were larger blocks of connected material that did not correspond to individual books, althoughthey may have included them (Eynikel 1996). One particular “block” of special interest concerns the Elijah and Elisha narratives and the prophetic oracles against the northern dynasties in the book of Kings. Some of these stories can stand on their own as self-contained, albeit complex, narratives of various dates (see Rofé 1988, Rofé 1991, White 1997) and prompt further questions regarding the history of composition of these materials and their relationship to larger theories of the DH (Keinänen 2001, Otto 2001).

  • Eynikel, Erik. The Reform of King Josiah and the Composition of the Deuteronomistic History. Old Testament Studies 33. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for a variety of distinct blocks that were written independently and incorporated separately authored books not brought together until fairly late in the editorial process.

    Find this resource:

  • Keinänen, Jyrki. Traditions in Collision: A Literary and Redaction-Critical Study of the Elijah Narratives in 1 Kings 17–19. Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 80. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Situated within the so-called Göttingen school of interpretation, Keinänen contends for an edition by a prophetically oriented Deuteronomistic editor (DtrP) of older traditions followed by a later, postexilic “anti-Baal” oriented edition, and several later post-Deuteronomistic expansions.

    Find this resource:

  • Otto, Susanne. Jehu, Elia, und Elisa: die Erzählung von der Jehu-Revolution und die Komposition der Elia-Elisa-Erzählungen. Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten (und Neuen) Testament 8.12. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Concerned with redaction-history, Otto contends for an elaborate sequence of stages: an exilic Deuteronomistic level, as well as three late exilic and postexilic post-Deuteronomistic levels, each of which involved the interpolation of new materials.

    Find this resource:

  • Rofé, Alexander. The Prophetical Stories: The Narratives about the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, Their Literary Types and History. Jerusalem: Magnes, 1988.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that many of the prophetic tales in Kings were independent later (postexilic) insertions into the narrative.

    Find this resource:

  • Rofé, Alexander. “Ephraimite versus Deuteronomistic History.” In Storia e Tradizioni di Israele: Scritti in Onore di J. Alberto Soggin. Edited by Daniele Garrone and Felice Israel, 221–235. Brescia, Italy: Paideia, 1991.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Revives older arguments for a large block of pre-Deuteronomistic narrative material running from Joshua 24–1 Samuel 12 that represents a coherent northern Israelite perspective, only incorporated into the larger DH at a later time.

    Find this resource:

  • White, Marsha C. The Elijah Legends and Jehu’s Coup. Brown Judaic Studies 311. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Understands much of the material dealing with Elijah and the Jehu dynasty as reflecting a pre-Deuteronomistic narrative source that was later incorporated and edited into the story of Kings.

    Find this resource:

Rolling Corpus Theories

These works have in common the understanding of the DH as a process that was updated throughout its formation, whether constantly (Lemaire 2000) or in stages, althoughsome radically reshape the paradigm (e.g., Auld 1994).

  • Auld, A. Graeme. Kings without Privilege: David and Moses in the Story of the Bible’s Kings. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Advocates a new version of the rolling corpus model, beginning with the composition of an earlier form of Kings and extending (eventually) from Kings back to Deuteronomy, contending that both Kings and Chronicles represent alternate or competing appropriations of an earlier story of Judah’s kings. He dates both the Chronistic work and the DH to the Persian period.

    Find this resource:

  • Lemaire, A. “Toward a Redactional History of the Book of Kings.” Translated by Samuel A. Heldenbrand. In Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies in the Deuteronomistic History. Edited by Gary N. Knoppers, and J. Gordon McConville, 446–461. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of “Vers l’histoire de la rédaction des Livres des Rois,” first published in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft in 1986. Argues for a “rolling corpus” model, rather than distinct layers or blocks, in which the books of Kings were constantly updated through various stages of the monarchy.

    Find this resource:

Composite Theories

Others incorporate elements of the more popular theories in their own reconstructions of the formation of the DH, such as book-centered theories (Rösel 1999), block models (Lohfink 1981, Lohfink 1987, Lohfink 2005), and combinations of Göttingen and Cross approaches (Mayes 1983). Still others isolate larger themes (Särkiö 1994, Volgger 1998) or vocabulary (Geoghegan 2006) or move in new directions entirely (Wissmann 2008).

  • Geoghegan, Jeffrey C. The Time, Place, and Purpose of the Deuteronomistic History: The Evidence of “Until This Day.” Brown Judaic Studies 347. Providence, RI: Brown Judaic Studies, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examination of the phrase “until this day,” concluding that these stem from a Josianic redactor (much like Cross’s Dtr1), likely a Levite, who incorporates various sources, even conflicting accounts, in an attempt at writing a “sermonic” history to survivors. Briefly touches on the possibility of Deuteronomistic editing of a preexilic Tetrateuch and a close connection with Jeremiah.

    Find this resource:

  • Lohfink, Norbert. “Kerygmata des Deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerks.” In Die Botschaft und die Boten (Fs. H.W. Wolff). Edited by Jörg Jeremias and Lothar Perlitt, 87–100. Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A seminal essay by one of the doyens of DH scholarship, stressing that the DH contains a variety of major themes, aside from the theme of repentance outlined by Wolff 2000 (cited under Early Refinements and Challenges).

    Find this resource:

  • Lohfink, Norbert. “The Cult Reform of Josiah of Judah: 2 Kings 22–23 as a Source for the Story of Israelite Religion.” In Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross. Edited by Patrick D. Miller, Paul D. Hanson, and S. Dean McBride, 459–476. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Complex theory suggesting two Josianic works, one close to an early edition of Kings and the other covering from Deuteronomy 1 thorough Joshua 22 (his DtrL[anderoberungserzählung]), eventually combined and redacted in several postexilic stages.

    Find this resource:

  • Lohfink, Norbert. Studien zum Deuteronomium und zur deuteronomistischen Literatur V. Stuttgarter Biblische Aufsatzbande: Altes Testament 38. Stuttgart: Verlag Katholische Bibelwerk, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The most recent collection of Lohfink’s published essays on Deuteronomy and Deuteronomistic literature. This particular group of studies includes both essays on specific exegetical issues concerning the interpretation of individual passages (e.g., 2 Kgs 8:19) and essays exploring larger themes (e.g., common structures in Deuteronomy and Joshua).

    Find this resource:

  • Mayes, A. D. H. The Story of Israel between Settlement and Exile: A Redactional Study of the Deuteronomistic History. London: SCM, 1983.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Detailed analysis of the DH corpus affirming two redactional layers, Josianic and exilic, crediting a larger portion than Cross to the latter. Yet he incorporates perspectives of the Göttingen school in highlighting legal and covenantal concerns in the case of the latter, his Dtr2, much akin to formulations of DtrN.

    Find this resource:

  • Rösel, H. N. Von Josua bis Jojachin: Untersuchungen zu den deuteronomistischen Geschichtsbüchern des Alten Testaments. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 75. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Begins with the formation of a preexilic DH, extending from Solomon to Hezekiah, that was subsequently augmented with new material (e.g., 2 Kings 17; 21–25). This material was conjoined with the preexisting books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Samuel.

    Find this resource:

  • Särkiö, P. Die Weisheit und Macht Salomos in der Israelitischen Historiographie: Eine tradtions- und redaktionskritische Untersuchung über 1 Kön 3–5 und 9–11. Schriften der Finnischen Exegetischen Gesellschaft 60; Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1994.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focusing on the compositional history of particular chapters dealing with the theme of wisdom (1 Kings 3–5, 9–11) and Solomon as a pharaoh-like figure, Särkiö posits pre-Deuteronomistic material and five Deuteronomistic strata.

    Find this resource:

  • Volgger, D. Verbindliche Tora am einzigen Tempel: zu Motiv und Ort der Komposition von 1.2 Kön. Arbeiten zu Text und Sprache im Alten Testament 61. St. Ottilien, Germany: EOS Verlag, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores the fascinating links between Temple and Torah in Kings and how one might understand the possible compositional processes corresponding to such themes.

    Find this resource:

  • Wissmann, Felipe Blanco. “Er tat das Rechte”: Beurteilungskriterien und Deuteronomismus in 1Kön 12–2Kön 25. Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments 93. Zurich, Switzerland: Theologischer Verlag Zürich, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An exploration of the Kings account of the divided monarchy drawing heavily upon ancient Near Eastern parallels. Argues for a “DH” consisting of a portion of Samuel-Kings severed from Deuteronomy-Judges composed by an exiled Judean elite of prophetic persuasion in Babylon during the mid-6th century BCE.

    Find this resource:

The Deuteronomistic History and Other Books

There have been some attempts to move beyond the margins of the DH to understand better the relationships between the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets. Some scholars have thus sought to revise older views of the DH (e.g., that of Noth; see Noth’s Theory [Single Literary Work]) by, among other things, bringing a wider range of biblical literature into view, and others break new ground in suggesting relationships with a Primary History or Enneateuch, consisting of the books of Genesis through Kings, often reassessing the relationship to Deuteronomy.

The Deuteronomistic History and the Primary History/Enneateuch

Some (e.g., Mandell and Freedman 1993, Freedman and Geoghegan 1994) speak of a Primary History consisting of the books of Genesis through Kings. Others (e.g., Kratz 2005, Otto 2000, Achenbach 2003, Schmid 2010) explore the long process leading to the redaction of the Enneateuch. These commentators observe that Deuteronomy functions as a critical hinge, serving as both the conclusion to the Pentateuch and as the introduction to the DH. They argue that any theory seeking to explain the redaction of the DH must also address in some way the compositional history of these other works (see, for example, Schmid 2006).

  • Kratz, Reinhard Gregor. The Composition of the Narrative Books of the Old Testament. Translated by John Bowden. London/New York: T. & T. Clark, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Translation of Die Komposition der erzählenden Bücher des Alten Testaments: Grundwissen der Bibelkritik (Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2000). Postulates that the DH developed in blocks (the earliest being 1 Samuel 1–2 Kings 25 during the Neo-Babylonian era) over a long period of time and was subject to a succession of editions that were combined in various ways. A series of Deuteronomistic and post-Deuteronomistic additions to Joshua-Kings, some of which were extensive, rounded out the work.

    Find this resource:

  • Mandell, Sara, and David N. Freedman. The Relationship between Herodotus’ History and the Primary History. South Florida Studies in the History of Judaism 60. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Compares the literary and structural features of Herodotus’s Histories with those of the so-called Primary History of Genesis–2 Kings, concluding that a direct relationship exists between the texts in the influence of the latter (in an Aramaic form) on the former.

    Find this resource:

  • Otto, Eckart. Das Deuteronomium im Pentateuch und Hexateuch: Studien zur Literaturgeschichte von Pentateuch und Hexateuch im Lichte des Deuteronomiumrahmens. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 30. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Features a complex series of arguments for more substantial redaction of Deuteronomy as part of successive Deuteronomistic works (DtrD and DtrL) incorporated first as part of a Hexateuch, then as part of a Pentateuch.

    Find this resource:

  • Schmid, Konrad. Genesis and the Moses Story: Israel’s Dual Origins in the Hebrew Bible. Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures 3. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Expanded and updated translation of Erzväter und Exodus: Untersuchungen sur doppelten Begründung der Ursprünge Israels innerhalb der Geschichtsbücher des Alten Testaments, first published in 1999. Argues for competing ancestor traditions in Genesis and in the Moses story in Exodus that were combined in the early Persian period by P (the author of the Priestly source) and became part of the Enneateuch, which served as an historical introduction to latter prophets.

    Find this resource:

  • Schmid, Konrad. “Hatte Wellhausen Recht? Das Problem der literarhistorischen Anfänge des Deuteronomismus in den Königebüchern.” In Die deuteronomistischen Geschichtswerke: Redaktions-und religionsgeschichtliche Perspektiven zur “Deuteronomismus”Diskussion in Tora und Vorderen Propheten. Edited by Markus Witte, Konrad Schmid, Doris Prechel, and Jan Christian Gertz, 19–43. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Essentially defends Wellhausen’s claims (see Noth’s Theory [Single Literary Work]) of interconnections between the Tetrateuch and the DH and sees multiple levels of redaction in DH in line with the Cross school, ultimately supporting a preexilic edition of the DH (ending at 2 Kings 23), followed by a second exilic edition. Is somewhat critical of the proliferation of “layers” by proponents of the Göttingen approach.

    Find this resource:

The Deuteronomistic History and Deuteronomy

The book of Deuteronomy is of foundational importance in any conception of the DH and has left an indelible mark on the rest of the Hebrew Bible (McKenzie 2002). Yet, even for those accepting the existence of a DH, the issue of the relationship between the old Deuteronomic law-code (the original extent of this work is debated) and the larger DH is in dispute and is of critical importance (Albertz 2009). Noth thought that the Deuteronomist used the code as a yardstick to judge the conduct of major characters in his work. Some (e.g., Levenson 1975, cited under The Cross School; Westermann 1994, cited under Individual Book-Based Theories) think, however, that the Deuteronomic law-code was a late insertion. Yet others (e.g., Knoppers 1996, Knoppers 2001, Levinson 2001) contend that the authors of Kings used some form of Deuteronomy but that the Deuteronomistic use of Urdeuteronomium was much more sophisticated and complex than Noth recognized (see, for example, Römer 2000).

  • Albertz, Rainer. “A Possible Terminus ad Quem for the Deuteronomistic Legislation—A Fresh Look at Deut. 17:16.” In Homeland and Exile: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honour of Bustenay Oded. By Rainer Albertz, 271–296. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Emphasizes the impact and importance of dating the essential part of Deuteronomy to the time of Josiah for the study of Israelite religion and the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, arguing for a terminus ad quem for the insertion of Deut 17:16 into the Law of the King between 594–590 BCE.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N. “The Deuteronomist and the Deuteronomic Law of the King: A Reexamination of a Relationship.” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 108 (1996): 329–346.

    DOI: 10.1515/zatw.1996.108.3.329Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Describes the positive portrayal of Solomon as an ancient Near Eastern king and demonstrates that the prohibitions in the Deuteronomic Law of the King are not central concerns in the Deuteronomistic evaluation of Solomon or of other monarchs in the DH. The Deuteronomists, rather, invoke Deuteronomic law to support their notion of the centralization of the cult.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N. “Rethinking the Relationship between Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History: The Case of Kings.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 63 (2001): 393–415.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Draws out contrasts between the views portrayed in Deuteronomy and those portrayed in the DH in regard to limiting royal authority in the former and promoting centralization in the latter, opening the possibility for the separate editing of Urdeuteronium and the books of Kings.

    Find this resource:

  • Levinson, Bernard M. “The Reconceptualization of Kingship in Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History’s Transformation of Torah.” Vetus Testamentum 51 (2001): 511–534.

    DOI: 10.1163/15685330152939523Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that the DH reconfigured Deuteronomy’s utopian vision, which limited the power of the king, and restored the power to the monarch.

    Find this resource:

  • Levinson, Bernard M. Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that the 7th-century authors of Deuteronomy reworked older legal texts, especially those within the so-called Covenant Code, as part of their program intended to reform Israel’s religion and society.

    Find this resource:

  • McKenzie, Steven L. “The Theological Legacy of Deuteronomy.” In Vergegenwärtigung des Alten Testaments: Beiträge zur biblischen Hermeneutik: Festschrift für Rudolf Smend zum 70. Geburtstag. Edited by Christoph Bultman, Walter Dietrich, and Christoph Levin, 28–43. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Expounds the theological impact centralization in Deuteronomy had on the theological concepts of God, election, covenant, and reward and punishment and the ways in which this 7th-century BCE national constitution was transformed into “scripture” with enduring impact.

    Find this resource:

  • Römer, Thomas. “Deuteronomy and the Question of Origins.” In Reconsidering Israel and Judah: Recent Studies on the Deuteronomistic History. Edited by Gary N. Knoppers and J. Gordon McConville, 112–138. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of “Le Deutéronome à la quête des origines,” in Le Pentateuque: Débats et recherches (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1992). Points out that references to the ancestors pertain to the patriarchs in some contexts; but in other contexts, the references pertain to the leaders of the exodus generation. Römer argues for more extensive editing of the Deuteronomic code than the framing suggested by Noth.

    Find this resource:

Textual Issues

Although most of the debate mentioned above centers on redactional issues and questions of literary formation, other issues complicate matters. One issue concerns the textual plurality evident for some books within the DH. In the wake of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the antiquity of Hebrew versions behind Septuagint traditions especially have been emphasized (Trebolle Barrera 1989, Trebolle Barrera 1982, Schenker 2000, Schenker 2004), thus dramatically effecting redactional reconstructions—since length, content, and sequence of various texts can differ among the textual traditions, each tradition must be considered before literary or redactional reconstructions can be attempted. Some studies (e.g., McKenzie 1985) stress the antiquity of the proto-MT.

  • McKenzie, Steven L. The Chronicler’s Use of the Deuteronomistic History. Harvard Semitic Monographs 33. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1985.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Detailed study of the text of the DH used by the Chronicler, focusing on Kings, arguing that the Chronicler used an early form of Kings from the DH (i.e., Dtr1) that was similar to, but not identical with, the MT of Kings. For an alternative model, see Auld 1994 (cited under Corpus Theories).

    Find this resource:

  • Schenker, Adrian. Septante et texte massorétique dans l’histoire la plus ancienne du texte de 1 Rois 2–14. Cahiers de la Revue biblique 48. Paris: Gabalda, 2000.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Contends that the variants among the Greek and Old Latin texts do not constitute tendentious alterations of a standard and fixed Hebrew text, but rather form genuine witnesses in their own right to a text that is older than the proto-MT.

    Find this resource:

  • Schenker, Adrian. Älteste Textgeschichte der Königsbücher: die hebräische Vorlage der ursprünglichen Septuaginta als älteste Textform der Königsbücher. Orbis biblicus et orientalis 199. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that the Hebrew source used by the translators of the original LXX was shorter and earlier than the text of the MT. Stresses the value of the Old Latin for reconstructing the LXX.

    Find this resource:

  • Trebolle Barrera, Julio C. “Redaction, Recension, and Midrash in the Books of Kings.” Bulletin of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies 15 (1982): 12–35.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Also in Knoppers and McConville 2000 (cited under Collections). Highlights the antiquity of different textual traditions in the books of Kings.

    Find this resource:

  • Trebolle Barrera, Julio C. Centena in libros Samuelis et Regum: variantes textuales y composición literaria en los libros de Samuel y Reyes. Textos y estudios Cardenal Cisneros 47. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1989.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for the priority of the LXX and Old Latin, in many cases, over the MT.

    Find this resource:

Religious Reflection in the Deuteronomistic History

A continuing feature of research into the DH is the exploration of the social (Dutcher-Walls 1991) and ancient Near Eastern (Richter 2002) contexts of religion in ancient Israel and Judah as it is portrayed by the Deuteronomists. Many examine the various theological perspectives among (Pakkala 1999, Pakkala 2007, Sparks 1998) and within (Albertz 2003, Williamson 2009) various editions. Some have noted, contrary to Noth’s claim that Dtr had little interest in the cult, that the temple was a major concern of the Deuteronomists (e.g., Knoppers 1995, Knoppers 2006). Religious reflection within the DH is, in fact, a huge area of investigation in its own right and is only partially covered here as it relates to the composition of the DH.

  • Albertz, Rainer. Israel in Exile: The History and Literature of the Sixth Century B.C.E. Translated by David Green. SBL Studies in Biblical Literature 3. Atlanta Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    English translation of Biblische Enzyklopädie, Vol. 7 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2001). Examines the biblical portrayal, history, literature, and theological contributions of the period of the exile in great detail with special attention to literary works that the author believes are the product of (or heavily edited during) the exile. Such include several of the latter prophets, the “exilic patriarchal history,” and the DH.

    Find this resource:

  • Dutcher-Walls, Patricia. “The Social Location of the Deuteronomists: A Sociological Study of Factional Politics in Late Pre-Exilic Judah.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 52 (1991): 77–94.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Social-scientific approach to the context of Josiah’s reform and the time of Jeremiah.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N. “Prayer and Propaganda: The Dedication of Solomon’s Temple and the Deuteronomist’s Program.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 57 (1995): 229–254.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for the unity of Solomon’s blessings and prayer (arranged in a large chiastic structure). Advancing a Jerusalem-centered vision of Israelite identity, the Deuteronomistic editor portrays the temple dedication as a high point in Israelite history.

    Find this resource:

  • Knoppers, Gary N. “Yhwh’s Rejection of the House Built for his Name: On the Significance of Anti-Temple Rhetoric in the Deuteronomistic History.” In Essays on Ancient Israel in Its Near Eastern Context: A Tribute to Nadav Na’aman. Edited by Yairah Amit, Ehud Ben Zvi, Israel Finkelstein, and Oded Lipschits, 221–238. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Corrects the notion that the exilic Dtr editors were anti-temple, suggesting that their understanding of the Jerusalem temple as an exalted but vulnerable institution effectively blamed those who supported and frequented other shrines for the downfall of the Jerusalem sanctuary. This redefinition of the temple provided hope and direction to the community of survivors and returnees.

    Find this resource:

  • Pakkala, Juha. Intolerant Monolatry in the Deuteronomistic History. Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 76. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1999.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues for a shift from so-called tolerant monolatry to “intolerant monolatry” primarily in Deuteronomy and the rest of the DH. Standing within the Göttingen tradition, he assigns the former theological stance to a history writer and the latter to an exilic (or later) “nomistic” editor.

    Find this resource:

  • Pakkala, Juha. “The Monotheism of the Deuteronomistic History.” Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 21 (2007): 159–178.

    DOI: 10.1080/09018320801896500Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Views monotheistic texts in the DH as nationally motivated late additions in the 5th century BCE or later, suggesting a shift to monotheism during the Persian period following the destruction of the temple.

    Find this resource:

  • Richter, Sandra L. The Deuteronomistic History and the Name Theology: lešakkēn šemô šām in the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 318. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2002.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Undermines the significance of the use of the phrase “[the place where Yahweh] will cause his name to dwell” for the development of the so-called Name Theology theory in the DH by demonstrating that the phrase is actually a loan-adaptation of a cognate Akkadian phrase meaning “to place one’s name on a monument.”

    Find this resource:

  • Sparks, Kenton L. Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Israel: Prolegomena to the Study of Ethnic Sentiments and Their Expression in the Hebrew Bible. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1998.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Explores questions of ethnicity and identity during the Assyrian period, the Judean monarchy, and the exilic period, focusing his study in Deuteronomy and the Latter Prophets. Concludes that religious identity was the primary concern of ancient Israel.

    Find this resource:

  • Williamson, H. G. M. “How Did the Deuteronomists Envisage the Past?” In The Past in the Past: Concepts of Past Reality in Ancient Near Eastern and Early Greek Thought. Edited by Hans M. Barstad and Pierre Briant, 133–172. Oslo, Norway: Novus Press/Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Exploration of the Deuteronomists’ theological perspective of their past history, concerning the human response to divine initiative and the dynamic relationship between Yahweh and Israel.

    Find this resource:

LAST MODIFIED: 09/13/2010

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195393361-0028

back to top

Article

Up

Down