Twilight Of The Gods

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Overview

Since the middle of the twentieth century, one of biblical scholarship's chief assumptions has been that ancient Israel evolved out of the polytheism of surrounding cultures into an ethical monotheism. However, this consensus has fallen apart in recent years. Scholars now know that early Israel was surrounded by a very polytheistic culture and that many Israelites thought of Yahweh as the chief God among many gods. Furthermore, archaeology has shown that Yahweh was worshiped along with other gods throughout the period after the exile, when many shrines were in honor of "Yahweh and his Asherah." David Penchansky's Twilight of the Gods is the first accessible book that shows a historical Israel where polytheism and monotheism existed simultaneously in great conflict. He provides a historical introduction, followed by close readings of key Old Testament passages, where he demonstrates how to interpret difficult biblical texts that depict other gods or claim Yahweh is the only God within this new understanding of Israelite religion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664228859
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 122
  • Product dimensions: 0.26 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Meet the Author


David Penchansky is Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of several books, including What Rough Beast?: Images of God in the Hebrew Bible and The Betrayal of God: Ideological Conflict in Job.
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The Gods of ancient Israel
Ch. 1 The wrath of Chemosh : when Yahweh lost a war 3
Ch. 2 Miqreb : happenstance in ancient Israel 13
Ch. 3 Bene Elohim : the divine council in the Hebrew Bible 23
Ch. 4 The dissolution of the divine council 33
Ch. 5 Anti-idol polemic : an attack on the gods of Israel 41
Pt. 2 The goddesses of ancient Israel
Ch. 6 Hokmah and the ideology of monotheism 51
Ch. 7 Lady Zion : the beautiful goddess 67
Ch. 8 Asherah and archaeology 75
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