The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (Biblical Resource Series)

Mark S. Smith

The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (Biblical Resource Series)
The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (Biblical Resource Series)

Book Details

Categories: Israelite Religion

Book Information

Pages: 289
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Published: 2002
ISBN-10: 080283972X
ISBN-13: 9780802839725


To review this book, please Login or Register.

4.875 out of 5 based on 4 user ratings
Denver Seminary Journal December 5, 2009 4.5 5
A detailed synthesis of archaeological, textual, and biblical evidence for the worship of Yahweh and other deities in Old Testament times. This approach argues for a convergence of various deities to "create" Israel's God as he is known in the Bible. [Full Review]
This second edition of Smiths book follows precisely the outline of the first edition published by Harper & Row in 1990the same chapter heads and subheadsand reproduces the front and back matter from the earlier work (reviewed by D. N. Freedman in JBL 110 [1991]: 69698). New materi al comprises a twenty-six-page Preface to the Second Edition and a number of minor ch anges in the body of the text, responding partly to reviews of the first edition and partly to more recent discoveries and studies. A major change in format is the substitution of footnotes for endnotes. A brief foreword by Patrick D. Miller introduces the new edition. The new preface reviews pertinent discoveries and studies that have appeared since the first edition. It begins with a bibliographical survey of recent work on the relevant deities and religions, including the various forms of polytheism and developments toward monotheism. Smith then identifies some important trends of the last decade: a new concentration on iconography; new synthetic archaeological research and theoretical discussion; and greater influence of the social sciences. A section on theoretical challenges reverts to the problems of interpreting vestigial evidence of various kinds. [Full Review]
This revised edition of Mark S. Smiths landmark study of ancient Israels pluralistic religious landscape accomplishes the improbable; it exceeds the pivotal first edition in importance and circumspection. Smith has thoroughly revised elements of the text in the light of recent bibliography and scholarship. The preface recounts the trends and development of research on ancient Israelite religion since the appearance of the first edition in 1990. It is perhaps a common desire of readers to know how an author believes his or her published work interacts with subsequent research and rejoinders, and here Smith rewards the curious with a concise yet highly satisfying survey of the fields evol ution (and the place of his ideas therein) over the past decade or so. He responds not only to critiques of his own thesis but also to more paradigmatic changes in discursive approaches to the social world of ancient Israel. Some of these approaches concern the import of changing archaeological perspectives, such as the more cautious association between material culture and ethnicity, while others concern large conceptual models of interpretation influenced by the academy. [Full Review]
This is the second edition, thoroughly updated and partly revised, of a book first published in 1990. The author, Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University, is a recognized expert in ancient West Semitic languages and literature and well known for his numerous writings in the fields of Ugaritic literature and religion, Israelite religious history, and biblical studies. The first edition of the book under review was rightly welcomed a decade ago as a major synthesis on the history of ancient Israelite religion in general and the relationship between Yahweh and other deities in particular. This review (1) briefly summarizes the general structure and major arguments of the book; (2) exposes salient features of the new edition; and (3) offers the reviewers appreciation on the books pl ace in the ongoing scholarly debate on the development of Yahwism from the nonexclusive worship of a primary deity through exclusive monolatry to monotheism during the first millennium B.C.E. 1. [Full Review]

Amazon Reviews

Google Book Preview


Top Commentaries by Book Top Commentaries by Series Forthcoming & Unreleased Commentaries
Pentateuch History Poetry Prophets Minor Prophets
Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth 1/2 Samuel 1/2 Kings 1/2 Chronicles Ezra/Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi
OT Theology OT Introduction Atlases Biblical-Theological Dictionaries Archaeology Hebrew Lexicons Hebrew Grammars (Introductory) Hebrew Grammars (Intermediate) Hebrew Grammars (Advanced) Old Testament Canon/Textual Criticism Histories of Israel Ancient Near Eastern Histories Sociological and Anthropological Studies Feminist, Minority, and Third World Studies Literary Approaches Israelite Religion Messianic Judaism OT Apocryphal
Gospels/Acts Pauline Epistles General Epistles
Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1/2 Thessalonians Pastoral Epistles Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter/Jude Johannine Epistles Revelation
Primary Source Materials NT Grammar NT Textual Criticism Lexical Analysis NT Introductions NT Theology History and Religion NT Apocryphal
Dictionaries / Encyclopedias Jesus & the Gospels Pauline Studies
Systematics Subjects
Systematic Theology Prolegomena Scriptures and Revelation Trinitarianism Doctrine of God Humanity/Anthropology Harmartiology/Sin Pneumatology/Holy Spirit Christology Soteriology/Salvaion Angels and Demons The Church Eschatology Biblical Theology Providence/Soveriegnty Ethics Sola Scriptura Theological Dictionaries Narrative Themes
Christian Life Ministry
Biblical Counseling Anxiety Technology Preaching
Controller: 00:00:00 ; Template: 00:00:00.0156250