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Book Summary: the Bible Among the Myths

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Introduction: The Bible Among The Myths by John N. Oswalt

The author Oswalt spent much time studying the subject of the ANE (Ancient Near East). This book will investigate the Idealism, history, culture and how they related to the relevance of the critical worldview of the Old Testament and the Hebrew belief as compared to the surrounding ANE. Oswalt’s views, thinking and direction have changed completely over his 50 years studying the ANE and the Bible. This book will show the similarities and differences in thought between the Hebrew Old Testament and the ANE. Oswalt will define what a myth is and argue why the Old Testament is not and cannot be considered a myth.

The Bible, when compared to ANE literature, has a completely different understanding of creation and how the spiritual and natural realms interact and exist. There is not a continuous existence that just repeats itself over and over, but rather a series of single events that lead to a greater purpose. It is Oswalt’s position that the Bible is an accurate historical account of a people who received their relevance of belief from a single living transcendent God. The historical basis is important as God reveals himself through humans, in non-recurring human-historical events, to impose God’s will and direction to affect the will of humans.

Chapter 1: The Bible In Its World

In this chapter Oswalt addresses different beliefs on the existence of the world. Specifically how the Israelites and Greeks viewed the world in relation to their neighboring cultures. The Bible is the most important source of all contributing factors in today’s Western culture, especially when combined with Israelite monotheism and Greek philosophy. The Hebrew transcendent living God along with Greek thought helped to organize the reality found in the Bible.

Greek Thought: Between 700 and 300 BC Greek philosophers founded...

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