From Gods to God by Avigdor Shinan
How the Bible Debunked, Suppressed, or Changed Ancient Myths and Legends

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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.”

About Avigdor Shinan

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Avigdor Shinan is the Yitzhak Becker Professor of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of numerous books in Hebrew on rabbinic literature, Jewish liturgy, and the Aramaic translations of the Bible.   Yair Zakovitch is the Emeritus Father Takeji Otsuki Professor of Bible Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a professor of Jewish Peoplehood at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. He is the author of numerous books in Hebrew on biblical literature and ancient interpretation of the Bible.   Valerie Zakovitch is a translator and editor of works in Jewish studies and the humanities.  
Published December 1, 2012 by The Jewish Publication Society. 320 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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In demonstrating how the Bible “actively argues against ancient traditions that were deemed unsuitable to the biblical writers for inclusion in their great work,” Shinan and Zakovitch paint a richly nuanced portrait of the biblical literature as an interlocutor in the debates of its day, but thei...

Nov 15 2012 | Read Full Review of From Gods to God: How the Bib...

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