The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel, 2d ed.  -     By: Mark Smith
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The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel, 2d ed.

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2002 / Paperback

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Product Description

In this remarkable, acclaimed history of the development of monotheism, Mark S. Smith explains how Israel's religion evolved from a cult of Yahweh as a primary deity among many to a fully defined monotheistic faith with Yahweh as sole god. Repudiating the traditional view that Israel was fundamentally different in culture and religion from its Canaanite neighbors, this provocative book argues that Israelite religion developed, at least in part from the religion of Canaan. Drawing on epigraphic and archaeological sources, Smith cogently demonstrates that Israelite religion was not an outright rejection of foreign, pagan gods but, rather, was the result of the progressive establishment of a distinctly separate Israelite identity. This thoroughly revised second edition of The Early Histoey of God includes a substantial new preface by the author and a foreword by Patrick D. Miller.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 227
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 080283972X
ISBN-13: 9780802839725
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: Biblical Resource

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Publisher's Description

In this remarkable history of the development of monotheism, Mark S. Smith explains for the first time how Israel's religion evolved from a cult of Yahweh as a primary deity among many to a fully defined religion with Yahweh as sole god.

Repudiating the traditional view that Israel was fundamentally different in culture and religion from its Canaanite neighbors, this provocative book argues that Israelite religion developed, at least in part, from the religion of Canaan. Looking at a wide range of sources, Smith cogently demonstrates that Israelite religion was not an outright rejection of foreign, pagan gods but, rather, was the result of the establishment of a distinctly separate Israelite identity that included the recognition of a singular, universal deity.

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  1. Jonathan Becker
    Blue Springs, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Treatment of Israelite Monotheism
    February 18, 2013
    Jonathan Becker
    Blue Springs, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Six months ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of picking up Smith's "Early History of God." However, I decided to give it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised.

    For one, Smith has earned a reputation as a premier biblical scholar, so his numerous works on Israelite monotheism can't be ignored. The information is dense at times, but his lengthy explanations and translations of relevant material make this work accessible for anyone willing to expend a bit of effort.

    Secondly, Smith seems extremely charitable to other views, while remaining confident of his own. Thus, this book comes accross more as one voice in reasoned dialogue than one haughty scholar's view on developmental monotheism.

    If one doesn't accept all of Smith's conclusions, there is still much to learn from this book and I firmly recommend it to anyone fascinated by Israel's early faith.
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