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Origins of Biblical Monotheism Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts

ISBN-10: 0195167686

ISBN-13: 9780195167689

Edition: 2004

Authors: Mark S. Smith

List price: $40.95
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Description:

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 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 details

List price: $40.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/6/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 10.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Mark S. Smith is Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University and author of many books. He was the 2010-11 President of the Catholic Biblical Association of America.

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations, Terms, and Sigla
The Origins of Biblical Monotheism
Introduction
The Structures of Divinity
Anthropomorphic Deities and Divine Monsters
The Divine Council
The Divine Family
Pluralities, Pairings, and Other Divine Relations
Characteristics of Divinity
The Traits of Deities
The Life and Death of Baal
The Origins of Monotheism in the Bible
El, Yahweh, and the Original God of Israel and the Exodus
The Emergence of Monotheistic Rhetoric in Ancient Judah
The Formation of Monotheistic Theologies in Biblical Literature
Monotheism in Isaiah 40-55
Notes
Index of Texts
Index of Subject