This involved an entire reconstruction of theological ideas which went beyond even the reconstructions of Amos and Isaiah.
Hence, in the absence of more complete external evidence one is obliged to recognize the limitations of Old Testament historical criticism, even though this recognition means that positive reconstructions are more precarious than negative conclusions.
On the other hand Christianity, though Asiatic in its origin and essential ideas, has to a large extent taken its present form on European soil, and some of its most important manifestations - notably the Roman Church - are European reconstructions in which little of the Asiatic element remains.
However, both the recovery of the compilers' aims and attempted reconstructions are precluded from finality by the scantiness of independent historical evidence.
Many of them present evidence of having been more than once destroyed by fire and reconstructed, while others show one or more reconstructions at higher levels on the same site.