Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology

Overview

?Jeffrey Niehaus?s book is wonderfully helpful in explaining the connections between the thought patterns and religious practices of the ancient biblical world and the way these patterns and practices were used by God to prepare the way for his special revelation to Israel. Even though the concepts shared by ancient pagan peoples only imperfectly and dimly reflected the truth, Niehaus shows how the written expressions of those concepts provide us with a backdrop from which to better understand the Bible itself. This is a book that any student or

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Overview

“Jeffrey Niehaus’s book is wonderfully helpful in explaining the connections between the thought patterns and religious practices of the ancient biblical world and the way these patterns and practices were used by God to prepare the way for his special revelation to Israel. Even though the concepts shared by ancient pagan peoples only imperfectly and dimly reflected the truth, Niehaus shows how the written expressions of those concepts provide us with a backdrop from which to better understand the Bible itself. This is a book that any student or pastor ought to read as a prolegomenon to doing biblical theology.”

—Douglas Stuart
Professor of Old Testament
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Based upon his extensive research into Assyriology and other ancient Near Eastern domains, the author traces the many parallels between the Old Testament (and Bible as a whole) and the ancient Near East, including creation and flood narratives, common literary and legal forms, and the reported acts of deities and the God of the Bible. Moving beyond a simple study of comparison and contrast, the author demonstrates that these parallels cannot be identified as cases of biblical dependence on ancient Near Eastern theology, nor are they just coincidences. Rather, he proposes that they represent “a shared theological structure of ideas in the ancient Near East, a structure that finds its most complete and true form in the Old and New Testaments.”

These truths, embodied in ancient worldviews that both predate and postdate the Bible, provided a matrix of thought, a theological backdrop as it were, so that when God’s revelation did come, it came to a people theologically prepared to receive it. Unlike similar volumes, Ancient Near Eastern Themes in Biblical Theology proposes an understanding that illustrates not just the cultural similarities, but more importantly, the spiritual dimension of biblical parallels with ancient Near Eastern thought and practice. This approach promises to help students and Bible readers more fully comprehend and appreciate the overarching story of the Bible.

Jeffrey J. Niehaus (Ph.D., Harvard University) is professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of God at Sinai: Covenant and Theophany in the Bible and Ancient Near East (Zondervan, 1995) as well as commentaries on Amos and Obadiah (Baker, 1992–93). He has also written articles for JETS, JBL, Tyndale Bulletin,and Vetus Testamentum.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825433603
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications
  • Publication date: 5/30/2008
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,383,096
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey J. Niehaus (Ph.D., Harvard University) is professor of Old Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of God at Sinai: Covenant and Theophany in the Bible and Ancient Near East (Zondervan, 1995) and commentaries on Amos and Obadiah (Baker, 1992-93). He has written articles for JETS, JBL, and Vetus Testamentum.
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