The Origins of Biblical Monotheism
Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts
By (author) Mark S. Smith
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Origins of Biblical Monotheism by Mark S. Smith
Book DescriptionAs the bible tells us, ancient Israel's neighbours worshipped a wide variety of gods. It is now widely accepted that the Israelites' God, Yahweh, must have originated as one among these many, before assuming the role of the one true God of monotheism. Mark Smith here seeks to discover more precisely what was meant by "divinity" in the ancient near-East, and how these concepts apply to Yahweh. Part One of the book offers a detailed examination of the deities of ancient Ugarit, known to us from the largest surviving group of relevant extra-biblical texts. In Part Two, Smith looks closely at four classic problems associated with four Ugaritic deities, and considers how they affect our understanding of Yahweh. At the end of the book he returns to the question of Israelite monotheism, seeking to discover what religious issues it addressed and why it made sense at the time of its emergence. He argues that within the Bible, monotheism is not a separate "stage" of religion but rather represents a kind of rhetoric reinforcing Israel's exclusive relation with its deity.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780195167689
(235mm x 155mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Mark S. Smith
How Human is God?, Paperback (July 2014)
Seven Questions about God and Humanity in the Bible
Treblinka Survivor, Paperback (July 2011)» View all books by Mark S. Smith
In Treblinka Survivor, Journalist and author Mark S. Smith traces the life of a man who survived seven camps, and what he had to do to achieve this.
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Author Biography - Mark S. Smith
Mark S. Smith is Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. His publications include The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus (1997), The Ugaritic Baal Cycle (1994), The Early History of God (1990), as well as several other books on the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and West Semitic mythology and literature.
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