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The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts
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The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts (Hardback)

£79.00
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Synopsis

As 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 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 large 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.

History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalAncient history: to c 500 CEHistory & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450-1500History & PoliticsRegional & national historyMiddle Eastern historyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsChristianityChristian Churches & denominations Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc Publication Date: 31/01/2001 ISBN-13: 9780195134803  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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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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