The Joseph Story between Egypt and Israel

Edited by Thomas Römer, Konrad Schmid, and Axel Bühler

[Die Josephsgeschichte zwischen Ägypten und Israel]

2021. VI, 178 pages.

Archaeology and Bible 5

eBook PDF
ISBN 978-3-16-160154-5
Open Access: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Sponsored by: Schweizerische Nationalfonds (SNF)
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Published in English.
The story of Joseph and his brothers is one of the most beautiful narratives of the Bible; however, its intention and historical setting are not easy to assess. The present volume offers new approaches to these question in combining methodologies of biblical scholars and of Egyptologists.
Within the context of the Torah, the Joseph story can be read as a transition that explains why Jacob and his family came to Egypt. However, if one looks at other texts of the Hebrew Bible, there is no mention of the Joseph story; instead, the arrival of the Israelites is said to be the result of the decision of a »father« or of »fathers« to go down do Egypt. Indeed, there are very few references to Joseph at all in the whole Hebrew Bible. Apparently, the Joseph story is not necessary for explaining why the Israelites found themselves in Egypt. The question therefore arises: Why was this story written, when, and for what audience?
This volume offers an overview of the current discussion on the origins, composition, and historical contexts behind the Joseph narrative. There is a tendency to date the story (or its original version) to the Persian period, but this volume includes divergent voices about this issue. The volume also shows that scholarly discussion about the historical location of the Joseph story requires to bring together Egyptologists and biblical scholars.
Survey of contents
Franziska Ede: The Joseph Story: Diaspora Novella-Patriarchal Story-Exodus Narrative (Part I) − Reinhard Kratz: The Joseph Story: Diaspora Novella-Patriarchal Story-Exodus Narrative (Part II) − Thomas Römer: How »Persian« or »Hellenistic« is the Joseph Narrative? − Lauren Monroe: Stripping off the Robe: New Light on »Joseph the Hebrew« and the bet-yosef − Samuel Arnet: Aspects of Jewish Identity in the Joseph Story − Safwat Marzouk: Forced Migration and Reconciliation in the Joseph Narrative − Konrad Schmid: Sapiential Anthropology in the Joseph Story − Camille Guérin: The Joseph Story from an Egyptological Perspective − Bernd Schipper: Joseph in Egypt: A Critical Evaluation of the Classical Parallels and a New Interpretation

Thomas Römer Born 1955; professor and chair of the Collège de France and Professor emeritus of the University of Lausanne.

Konrad Schmid Born 1965; professor of Old Testament and Ancient Judaism at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland.

Axel Bühler Born 1992; currently PhD student at the University of Geneva and research assistant at the University of Geneva and the Collège de France.


The following reviews are known:

In: Old Testament Abstracts — 45 (2022), pp. 618–619 (Christopher T. Begg)
In: The Bible Today — November-December 2021, pp. 399–400 (Leslie J. Hoppe)
In: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung — 116 (2021), pp. 470–471 (Kristin Weingart)