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Scholars also examine the historical context of Bible passages, the importance ascribed to events by the authors, and the contrast between the descriptions of these events and other historical evidence.

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In discussing the role of his discipline in interpreting the biblical record, Dever has pointed to multiple histories within the Bible, including the history of theology (the relationship between God and believers), political history (usually the account of "Great Men"), narrative history (the chronology of events), intellectual history (ideas and their development, context and evolution), socio-cultural history (institutions, including their social underpinnings in family, clan, tribe and social class and the state), cultural history (overall cultural evolution, demography, socio-economic and political structure and ethnicity), technological history (the techniques by which humans adapt to, exploit and make use of the resources of their environment), natural history (how humans discover and adapt to the ecological facts of their natural environment), and material history (artifacts as correlates of changes in human behaviour).

A special challenge for assessing the historicity of the Bible is sharply differing perspectives on the relationship between narrative history and theological meaning.

The influential medieval philosopher Maimonides maintained a skeptical ambiguity towards creation ex nihilo and considered the stories about Adam more as "philosophical anthropology, rather than as historical stories whose protagonist is the 'first man'." The publication of James Hutton's Theory of the Earth in 1788 was an important development in the scientific revolution that would dethrone Genesis as the ultimate authority on primeval earth and prehistory.

The first casualty was the Creation story itself, and by the early 19th century "no responsible scientist contended for the literal credibility of the Mosaic account of creation." The battle between uniformitarianism and catastrophism kept the Flood alive in the emerging discipline, until Adam Sedgwick, the president of the Geological Society, publicly recanted his previous support in his 1831 presidential address: We ought indeed to have paused before we first adopted the diluvian theory, and referred all our old superficial gravel to the action of the Mosaic Flood.

During the modern era, the focus of Biblical history has also diversified.

The project of biblical archaeology associated with W. Albright, which sought to validate the historicity of the events narrated in the Bible through the ancient texts and material remains of the Near East, has a more specific focus compared to the more expansive view of history described by archaeologist William Dever.This can be extended to the question of the Christian New Testament as an accurate record of the historical Jesus and the Apostolic Age.Many fields of study span the Bible and history, such fields range from archeology and astronomy to linguistics and comparative literature.The Talmud cites a dictum ascribed to the third-century teacher Abba Arika that "there is no chronological order in the Torah".Examples were often presented and discussed in later Jewish exegesis with, according to Abraham Joshua Heschel, an ongoing discourse between those who would follow the views of Rabbi Ishmael that "the Torah speaks in human language", compared to the more mystical approach of Rabbi Akiva that any such deviations should signpost some deeper order or purpose, to be divined.The historicity of the Bible is the question of the Bible's "acceptability as a history," in the words of Thomas L.

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