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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment


This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 27 August 2019 and 5 December 2019. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Wendy072310.

Above undated message substituted from Template:Dashboard.wikiedu.org assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 16:06, 16 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Suspecting some cherry-picking


I have an issue with this article regarding the historicity of the Book of Joshua. Yes I know the sources directly said most scholars think the book is ahistorical however there is some issues when I read further through the sources.

Also this book on page 152 says scholars think it’s ahistorical but the events might reflect a later period.

Like there is this book cited within this article says this on page 5. None of this means that a Israelite conquest of Canaan did not happen.

Keep in mind this book was published five years later after the earlier book I just mentioned. I didn’t read through the entire books so do forgive me if I missed something.

Also I checked this book and I couldn’t see any mention of the page directly saying it never happening. Also I don’t know if I misread the source but I didn’t see a mention of it directly saying the Book of Joshua was nationalist propaganda.

I don’t have any issue with Wikipedia going by what mainstream scholars say on a certain topic but it’s kind of original research to just cherry pick a certain sentence to come to an conclusion, when a text does more in depth on a topic.

Also the section of historicity uses some sources from the 1930s which is kind of problematic since more updated sources are preferred.

I’m not saying this all to be some kind of POV pusher, I’m saying because I have an issue with sources being cherry-picked.CycoMa (talk) 16:10, 5 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

The academic consensus (WP:RS/AC) is that the Israelites were the offspring of Canaanites. So they did not conquer Canaan, they were born in Canaan. Canaanites became Israelites by a process of othering. tgeorgescu (talk) 07:38, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Tgeorgescu Okay buddy but the sources say this, I’m gonna bold some to help you see my point.
Almost without exception, scholars agree that the account in Joshua holds little historical value vis-à-vis early Israel and most likely reflects much later historical times.
Reflects a later period, don’t you think this article should explain why the source said it reflects a later period.
Also one of the sources cited in this article straight up says this. None of this means that a Israelite conquest of Canaan did not happen. This statement is from this book. Published 5 years later after the earlier book I mentioned.
Also I don’t know if I misread this book but I don’t see any mention of it directly say it was nationalist propaganda.
Buddy this is literally what the sources cited in the article say. I don’t care what you think on the subject I care what the sources say on the subject. Also I never once denied that the sources said there was a consensus on this.
Dude all I’m asking for this article to explain further in detail on why these sources are saying things like reflects a later period or says this doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.CycoMa (talk) 07:53, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Fixed my comment, all I’m asking is for this article to be edited to explain further in detail why the sources are saying things like this.CycoMa (talk) 08:02, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@CycoMa: Was it ever conquered? How would I know? I am no expert in history. But it certainly wasn't conquered by Joshua. tgeorgescu (talk) 08:27, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
tgeorgescu and I’m no expert on this topic either but, I know that here on Wikipedia we shouldn’t just cherry-pick some sentences to push our narratives.CycoMa (talk) 08:33, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@CycoMa: See WP:DUE. The idea that the Israelites were an alien, outside population which has invaded Canaan has already been debunked. Or as the MythBusters say Busted!
Killebrew, Ann E. (2005). Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity: An Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and Early Israel, 1300–1100 B.C.E. Society of Biblical Lit. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-58983-097-4. Most scholars today accept that the majority of the conquest narratives in the book of Joshua are devoid of historical reality; ...
"D'une façon générale, aucun archéologue sérieux ne croit plus aujourd'hui que les événements rapportés dans le livre de Josué ont un fondement historique précis. Des prospections archéologiques, au début des années 1990, en particulier, ont révélé que la culture israélite a émergé dans les collines du centre du pays, en continuité avec la culture cananéenne de l'époque précédente." Pierre de Miroschedji, revue La Recherche nr. 391, 01-11-2005, dossier Les archéologues réécrivent la Bible, p. 32. tgeorgescu (talk) 08:46, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

tgeorgescu if that’s the case then remove the sources that claim that the book likely reflects a later period.

Look man I don’t care if Joshua existed or not, I don’t care if the Isaelities were aliens or not, I don’t care if Canaan was conquered or not.

The sources that are cited in this article literally say the things I just quoted.

I feel like you keep missing my point. Must I present the quote again?

(Almost without exception, scholars agree that the account in Joshua holds little historical value vis-à-vis early Israel and most likely reflects much later historical times.)

In that sentence it straight up states it most likely reflects a later period. If that’s false there should be no reason for that source to be here in the first place.CycoMa (talk) 08:47, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Oh I see the quote you mentioned.CycoMa (talk) 08:48, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

But anyway the historicity section still needs some expansion upon it.CycoMa (talk) 08:49, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@CycoMa: I don't understand your point. The point is: it wasn't conquered by Joshua maybe was conquered at a later time, by another guy, who maybe wasn't even an Israelite. tgeorgescu (talk) 08:50, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
tgeorgescu all I am asking is for it to explain further in depth on the topic.
I mean it directly said it most likely reflects a later period and another source said it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
I’m not arguing that every detail in the book of Joshua is historically accurate.
My point is for the article to explain why the source says.
Most likely reflects a later period. That’s it.
Also I believe I read something about Bronze Age collapse around that time. I haven’t done much research on this so I can’t say much.CycoMa (talk) 08:58, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Like I haven’t read through much of the sources to explain my this is the case. The sources cited here probably explain why they say all that.CycoMa (talk) 08:59, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
As a matter of fact fact I’m not even arguing it’s historical.CycoMa (talk) 17:45, 6 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Genocide of the Canaanites


I categorized the Book of Joshua in Category:History books about genocide. The categorization was reverted with the following comment:

'Anachronistic, absurd extrapolation. By that standard, all ancient books are about "genocide".' Duponieux

A passage from the Book for example:

"They totally destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed... For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy..." (Joshua 11:11, 20).

"By that standard, all ancient books are about genocide"? You mean Analects, Antigona, Kama Sutra...?

Does not the chapter "Moral and political interpretation" in the article list reliable scholars who found in the Book genocide and ethnic cleansing? Can you edit your "anachronistic, absurd extrapolation" in the chapter itself?

Israel those days was chiefdom of 12 tribes. Genocide was norm of the chiefdom-level warfare worldwide.[1]

Did you decisively demonstrate that all this anthropological research is "absurd extrapolation"? Can you refer to your research in the field and positive reviews?

Or the concensus cancels all pre-modern genocides as "anachronistic"?--Maxaxa (talk) 07:19, 26 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]

A review of Daniel Hawk's book The Violence of the Biblical God says:
"But is the book of Joshua about genocide? In light of the many internal contradictions within the text and the highly stylized ways killing is described, Hawk concludes that rhetoric about mass killing “contains more style than substance.” Like other recent scholars, he appeals to Deuteronomy 7. If God really wants the Israelites to “wipe out” the inhabitants of the land completely (7:1–2), then why does God immediately follow up with a commandment not to intermarry with them (7:3)? The Israelites presumably will not marry nations they have already slaughtered. The command to kill the nations of the land, then, “does not appear to be concerned with eliminating them so much as keeping Israel at a distance from them.”
The hyperbolic rhetoric of Deuteronomy and Joshua ultimately underscore Israel’s commitment to radical separation from the land’s native inhabitants. The rhetoric is about mass killing, but the actual commitment is to something different—unadulterated commitment to God. The fact that indigenous people who embrace the God of Israel are incorporated into the community without a protest from God would also seem to show that the rhetorical flourishes of the book of Joshua are not meant to be taken literally. The text does present a story of comprehensive military triumph, but it also pokes abundant holes in that very story."[1]
It's clear they weren't totally destroyed. Doug Weller talk 08:14, 26 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The error in the review (and maybe in what it is reviewing; I didn't check) is that "wipe out completely" in ancient times generally didn't include killing women who were considered more suitable for capture. Those women became part of the conquering tribe and so the vanquished tribe thereby became extinct. A command to not intermarry could even be a euphemistic way of saying that the women should be killed too; it certainly does not negate the genocidal aspect. Zerotalk 12:27, 26 October 2022 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ Robert Carneiro, "Chiefdom-level warfare," The Anthropology of War, Camridge University Press, 1990