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Overholt shows the usefulness of cultural anthropology to enhance our understanding of ancient Israelite society and to shed light on some puzzling features of Old Testament stories, especially in the Elijah and Elisha cycles.
In bridging the gap between ancient texts and readers of today, contemporary biblical scholarship uses a variety of methods. One of these methods is drawn from the work of cultural anthropologists. This book shows the usefulness of such an approach to increase our understanding of the society that lies behind Old Testament stories and to shed light on some of the more puzzling features of those stories, such as holy men who heal and resuscitate the dead.