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Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament di [Currid, John D.]
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Lunghezza: 153 pagine Word Wise: Abilitato Lingua: Inglese

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Did Moses borrow ideas from his cultural neighbors when he wrote the Pentateuch? Scholars disagree on the relationship between portions of the Old Testament and similar ancient Near Eastern accounts. Following in the footsteps of higher critics, some evangelical scholars now argue that Moses drew significantly from the worldview of his pagan contemporaries. Respected Old Testament scholar John Currid, however, pushes back against this trend by highlighting the highly polemical nature of Moses’ writings. From the Genesis creation account to the story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, Currid shows how the biblical author’s continually emphasized the futility of paganism in contrast with the unparalleled worldview of the Hebrews. Currid’s penetrating analysis and thoughtful argumentation make this a ground-breaking resource for anyone interested in this ongoing discussion.


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  • Formato: Formato Kindle
  • Dimensioni file: 444 KB
  • Lunghezza stampa: 160
  • Editore: Crossway (31 agosto 2013)
  • Venduto da: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ASIN: B00EHMMHW6
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  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: #806.596 a pagamento nel Kindle Store (Visualizza i Top 100 a pagamento nella categoria Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.3 su 5 stelle 37 recensioni
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle Plausible but not persuasive alternatives 20 luglio 2014
Di mtlimber - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
Currid presents a lot of interesting Ancient Near East (ANE) texts but not a lot of compelling analysis of them. He presents polemicism as a primary key to solving the difficulties raised by ANE texts and even faults fellow conservatives (like John C. Collins of Covenant Seminary) for downplaying polemicism. But in the end Currid himself, through the unpersuasiveness of his arguments, convinced me that Collins was probably closer to the mark -- mild polemic is occasionally in play and a useful angle to consider but not a major influence on biblical texts.

At best, he presents a plausible alternate interpretation to the ones he critiques, but he almost universally fails to make a strong case for his interpretation as the best or right one. This book is perhaps useful for wise Christians looking for other possibilities, but it will never convince or even disturb a scholar/student in the field who doesn't already share Currid's basic outlook.

One minor pet peeve: Currid regularly and liberally quotes directly from his own articles and books. The quotes are all footnoted, but he gives no indication that it's him in the text. The reader has to flip to the back only to discover that it's not a supporting scholar but Currid himself. I kept saying to myself, "Just reword your other work (or tell us it's you up front) and keep the footnote for more info!" The frequency of this problem made him seem lazy.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle The Israelites response to the polytheistic mideastern culture 13 luglio 2015
Di fitzalling - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Professor Currid analyzes the overlay of ancient Near Eastern theology on some of the significant stories in the Pentateuch. I was aware that there were histories of a massive flood in other cultures and that the rod of Moses had parallels in non-Biblical writings. I was not aware of other non-Biblical stories paralleling events in the life of Joseph, the birth of Moses and, most significantly, the "I am" name of God.

The author takes care to distinguish between places where the non-Biblical, principally Egyptian, writings parallel and where the writings diverge in substance and intent. He argues that the ancient Israelite tribal authors used the Biblical writings to emphasize the monotheistic and true nature of God even when the stories had well-known parallels in Egypt's polytheistic culture. Thus, the Israelite tribal authors wrote with a polemical goal of presenting Yahweh as the true God in contrast to the false gods which the Israelites otherwise encountered in Egypt, Canaan and Babylon.

A committed secularist or a fundamentalist Jew or Christian will probably find the professor's arguments unpersuasive, but for different reasons. Others, like me, between these two poles will probably find the author's approach instructive. I gave the book 4 stars, and not 5, because in the latter part of the book when he considered Canaanite religions, his argument seemed less compelling. Perhaps this is because the Egyptian historical writings and the Egyptian culture seems better understood. I recommend the book.
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Plagiarism? Or theological "court case" against non-Israelite cultures? 6 luglio 2014
Di Dale Smith - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
It's not uncommon to hear the charge that Biblical writers borrowed and adapted material - myths, legends, religious practices - from the non-Israelite cultures around them. It isn't hard to find evidence that some of this "similar" material certainly pre-dated Biblical writings.

If you jump to this conclusion, take a good look at John Currid's book. He develops a concept that a lot of "similar" material doesn't mean or prove that Biblical writers plagiarized previously-existing ideas from other cultures. As he develops the concept of "polemical theology" - which isn't a new idea - he demonstrates how Moses, for example, took non-Biblical concepts and let them up to be compared and contrasted with true, Biblical concepts.

Yes, it is well known that Pharaoh's magicians pulled off some of the same "tricks" that Moses did as he confronted Pharaoh to release Israelite slaves. But the point is clearly made that, although Pharaoh's magicians could turn a wooden staff into a snake, it was Moses's staff (as a representative of God's Truth) that ate up the others to show who was superior - Yahweh, or the god-king pharaoh.

Numerous other similar confrontations are explored in this book. The book is relatively short and certainly easy to read. So technical aspects are minimized; the book is written to be a popular approach to polemical theology. Having read this, I am eager to read several of Currid's other books that help set the stage for this one.

I recommend this book to Christians for its apologetic significance and personal edification. I recommend it to non-Christians to see that there are other answers to evolutionary religious development that is suggested in out multiple-truth society that emphasized that there are many paths up to the mountain top.
4.0 su 5 stelle Solid Introduction to a Seldom Discussed Topic 16 aprile 2017
Di David Matthew Carver - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
This book presents itself forthrightly as an introduction to the vast discussion on conceptual, linguistic, and syntactical parallels between the Old Testament and ancient Near Eastern religions. As such, it achieves its purpose. One will be introduced to striking similarities between the Israelite, Canaanite, and Egyptian religions, after which the author will explain them in terms of what scholars style polemical theology. Overall, this discussion is helpful, but the explanations themselves can be quite thin. However, the many footnotes will point the interested reader to further resources, including those by the same author, that promise more involved and robust explorations.
5 di 6 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle The Polemical Theology of John Currid 28 settembre 2013
Di wabbit67 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato: Formato Kindle Acquisto verificato
This is a brief book that explores the parallels found in the religion of Israel and the religion of the Ancient Near East. This book was based on a series of lectures and that shows. Chapters sometimes feel rushed and often end abruptly. Currid is trying to challenge the prevailing wisdom that Old Testament religion is just a sanitized version of ANE myths and stories. He suggests instead that Israelite use of Egyptian and Canaanite myths and stories be seen as exercises in polemical theology. After reading the book, it is not really clear to me how polemical theology differs from prevailing explanations. In the end, polemical theology seems like sanitizing faith only with an agenda and edge. Wouldn't scholars of the "sanitizing school" agree that Israelites used these tales for political and ideological ends? Currin never seems to clearly differentiate his view from the one he seeks to critique. In the end, it seems that the main difference between Currin's view and the majority view is a matter of polemics. Currin wishes to maintain a religious role for the texts that many scholars do not. Thus, he sanitizes their conclusions to make them serve the cause of faith. Ironically, Currin's work seems to be not all that different from the Israelites' production of Old Testament texts.

Currin never addresses the big question: how does Old Testament's repeated use of ANE myth affect it's claim to be a unique work of the only true God? This is a big omission from a book that wants to preserve the Old Testament as the Word of God. But perhaps I am asking too much from a short lecture series.
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