The political nature of English Bibles (Geneva Bible, Douai-Rhemes, KingJames Bible) in the long history of biblical translation is often neglected in the analysis of Bibles as ideological weapons ofwar in the theopolitical struggles of the time of their production. The eventual triumph of the KJB centuries later inscribed ideological traces of partisan versions of those struggles in "the English Bible." Violence is done to the biblical text and by readers of the text in the perpetuation of such Bibles as translations. Some examples of these kinds of violence are discussed, with observations on the hermeneutic constraints built into such translations.
The enterprise of writing "histories" of "ancient Israel" in which biblical historiography is reproduced by old credulists or critiqued by new nihilists represents one of the leading edges of contemporary biblical studies in relation to the Hebrew Bible. This quest for a cultural poetics or cultural materialist accounts of the Bible is virtually equivalent to a New Historicism in the discipline. In this article analyses of three topics from current debates in biblical studies (historiography of "ancient Israel", the empty land topos, canons and context) are used to provide insights into how new historicist approaches to contextualizing literature may contribute to these current debates about the Bible.