The Deuteronomic or, more properly, Deuteronomistic History is a modern theoretical construct which holds that the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings constitute a single work, unified by a basic homogeneity in language, style, and content. This construct owes much to the influence of Martin Noth's classic study of the Deuteronomistic History, contained in his larger Uberlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien. According to Noth, the Deuteronomist incorporated the deuteronomic law into the beginning of his work, framing it with speeches by Moses. The Deuteronomist then added other sources, such as tales of conquest and settlement, prophetic narratives and speeches, official annals and records.
While this larger thesis has stood the test of time, there is much disagreement among contemporary scholars about a wide variety of issues. The present collection attempts to provide readers with an understanding of the important developments, methodologies, and points of view in the ongoing debate. Both current essays and some older, classic essays that have shaped the larger debate are included. Ten are newly translated into English. Each essay is prefaced by a detailed foreword by one of the editors that summarizes and places the essay in its appropriate context, making the volume ideal for use in seminars or courses, as well as for individuals wishing to become familiar with the state of discussion on the Deuteronomistic History.