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Twilight of the Gods

Polytheism in the Hebrew Bible
  • By David Penchansky
Since the middle of the twentieth centuries, one of biblical scholarship's chief assumptions has been that ancient Israel evolved out of the polytheism of surrounding cultures into an ethical monotheism. By the time of the eighth century (halfway through the monarchy, around the time of Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah), the religious thinkers of the biblical texts believed in the existence of Yahweh alone. The exile and restoration (in the sixth century) cemented monotheism as a core belief in early Judaism, and after the exile, the worship of other gods is not existent. However, this consensus has fallen apart in the last twenty years, on two fronts: we now know that early Israel was surrounded by a very polytheistic culture, out of which Yahweh emerged not as only God but as chief God among many gods (see Mark Smith's The Early History of God, for instance); and archaeology has shown that Yahweh was worshipped along with other gods throughout the postexilic period, when many of the shrines were in honor of Yahweh and his Asherah. Penchansky's Twilight of the Gods is the first accessible book that shows how to interpret the difficult texts (those depicting other gods, and those claimi

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  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9780664228859
    • Manufacturer: Westminster Pr
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9780664228859
    • ISBN 10: 0664228852
    • Publication Date: 07/01/2005
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: David Penchansky
    • Page Count: 160
    • Width: 6.20 inches
    • Height: 0.34 inches
    • Length: 8.98 inches
    • Weight: 0.46 pounds
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