Thursday, December 20, 2012
Book Review - From Gods to God
About the Book
The ancient Israelites believed things that the writers of the Bible wanted them to forget: myths and legends from a pre-biblical world that the new monotheist order needed to bury, hide, or reinterpret.
Ancient Israel was rich in such literary traditions before the Bible reached the final form that we have today. These traditions were not lost but continued, passed down through the ages. Many managed to reach us in post-biblical sources: rabbinic literature, Jewish Hellenistic writings, the writings of the Dead Sea sect, the Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and other ancient translations of the Bible, and even outside the ancient Jewish world in Christian and Islamic texts. The Bible itself sometimes alludes to these traditions, often in surprising contexts.
Written in clear and accessible language, this volume presents thirty such traditions. It voyages behind the veil of the written Bible to reconstruct what was told and retold among the ancient Israelites, even if it is “not what the Bible tells us.”
My Take on the Book
This was a fascinating book! As a person who enjoys history, as you look back you see the worshiping of multiple Gods in most cultures up to a certain point and then this coalesces into the worshiping of one God. This book will challenge some of your held beliefs, especially if they are based on the Bible. There are some well constructed arguments for why things have happened the way that they have and the author of this book lays them out in a clear, concise way. Even if you think you will not agree with the author, you should read this book to open your mind and eyes to some of the realities that led to the beliefs that we hold today. This was a well researched book and shares some strong arguments on how we have come to be where we are today. I found this to be vastly informative and think that any scholar of history or religion would find this to be a great read!
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