Original Research

Jericho: From archaeology challenging the canon to searching for the meaning(s) of myth(s)

Eben Scheffler
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 69, No 1 | a1918 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1918 | © 2013 Eben Scheffler | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 January 2013 | Published: 05 September 2013

About the author(s)

Eben Scheffler, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Joshua 6 functions as a test case for the idea of Biblical Archaeology par excellence. In this article it will be probed (by referring amongst others to the work of Garstang and Kenyon) to what extent the archaeological excavations at Jericho have been influenced by a literal reading of Joshua 6 (e.g. Garstang) and to what extend the excavations (by Kenyon) had compelled exegetes to read the text of Joshua 6 historical critically. In the consideration of a wide range of possible approaches to Joshua 6, some recent conservative opinions in which there is a continued search to harmonise the archaeological and textual information in order to secure a ‘historical’ reading of the text, will also be noted. Arguing not for the abolition, but rather for a broader interpretation of the concept ‘canon’, some hermeneutical remarks will be made regarding Joshua 6 as a ‘cultic myth’, in view of its positive communication.

Keywords

Joshua 6; archaeology; legend; myth; biblical interpretation; canon; hermeneutics

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