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The Bible among the Myths, a reivew from Bible Study Magazine

Categories New Testament Old Testament

Should the Bible take a place among world mythology?

Like Israel’s neighboring countries, Israelites worshiped in a temple. But unlike the temples of Babylon and other nearby empires and nations, Israel didn’t have an idol in their innermost sanctuary. Does that significantly distinguish Israel’s worship? 

Dr. John N. Oswalt explains the shift among biblical scholars from viewing the Bible as an accurate and distinct historical account, to the prevalent opinion that it is one myth among many. He also discusses the widespread rejection of divine revelation—the idea that this world “is not self-explanatory, and that some communication from beyond is necessary to explain it” (pg. 12) Accepting revelation for many would be admitting that humanity does not control its own destiny—a sacrifice of personal autonomy.

This book resulted from questions Oswalt had while studying Middle Eastern religious texts in university, as well as the insights he gained from his discussions with students in the courses he has taught. Although he concludes that the Bible is accurate, Oswalt suggests that we should not hold to the expression: “The Bible says it, and I believe it.” Instead, he asks us to consider the Bible the starting point for an exploration of its own historical accuracy.

REVIEWED BY HEATHER M. BROOKS. COPYRIGHT BIBLE STUDY MAGAZINE JAN-FEB 2010. http://www.biblestudymagazine.com

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