The Book of Joshua happens to be the sixth book of the Hebrew Bible and the first book of the Deuteronomistic history. That’s also the story of Israel ranging from the conquest of Canaan to the Babylonian exile. It illustrates the campaigns of the Israelites in southern, central as well as northern Canaan, the destruction of their enemies as well as the division of the land among the twelve tribes, framed by two set-piece speeches, the first by Lord, permitting the conquest of the land, and, in the end, Joshua’s warning of the necessity for faithful observance of the Law also dubbed Torah disclosed to Moses.
Almost all scholars agree with the fact that the book of Joshua boasts little historical value for early Israel and most probably reflects a much later period. Although Rabbinic tradition states that the book was created by Joshua, it’s quite real that it was created by multiple editors as well as authors far removed from the times it illustrates.
The earliest parts of the book are probably chapters 2–11, illustrating the conquest. The given chapters were later included into an early form of Joshua written late during the reign of king Josiah, though the book was never completed until after the collapse of Jerusalem to the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE, and probably not until after getting back from the Babylonian exile in 539 BCE.
The Book of Joshua appears to be absolutely anonymous. The Babylonian Talmud, created in the 3rd to 5th centuries CE, was the first try to attach writers to the holy books: every book, according to the authors of the Talmud, was composed by a prophet, and every prophet turned to be an eyewitness of the events depicted, and Joshua himself labeled it as the book, which bears his name. This idea was rejected as useless by John Calvin, and by the time of Thomas Hobbes it was officially recognized that the book must have been composed much later than the period it pictured.
Currently, there’s general agreement that Joshua was created as part of a larger work, known as the Deuteronomistic history, descending from Deuteronomy to Kings. In 1943 the German biblical scholar Martin Noth advanced a hypothesis that this history was written by a single author, who lived in the era of the Exile. A key modification to Noth's theory was completed in 1973 by the American scientist Frank M. Cross. From his point of view two separate editions of the history could be distinguished.
The Book of Joshua happens to be the sixth book of the Hebrew Bible and the first book of the Deuteronomistic history. That’s also the story of Israel ranging from the conquest of Canaan to the Babylonian exile.