By Mark S. Smith
This insightful paintings examines the range of the way that collective reminiscence, oral culture, background, and historical past writing intersect. imperative to all this are the ways that historic Israel used to be formed through the monarchy, the Babylonian exile, and the dispersions of Judeans and the ways that Israel conceptualized and interacted with the divine-Yahweh in addition to different deities.
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Extra info for Memoirs of God
Affirmations of the historical veracity of the exodus are sometimes regarded as intellectually feeble efforts inspired by misplaced religious sensibilities. The points that I have mentioned in favor of seeing some sort of exodus are disputed, yet they cannot be dismissed out of hand. More to the point, neither skeptics nor the religiously devoted can "prove" their view, largely because of the gaps in the textual and archaeological record. Like old shards of ancient memory preserved in Genesis, the narrative of Exodus through Numbers may contain older trad itions that were shaped to later Israelite concerns.
Merneptah brags: "Israel is laid waste, his seed is not" (ANET, 378). Unlike other names in the stela marked with the special sign for a land or place, the name of Israel is marked with the special sign for a people. Many scholars take this point in time as Israel's earliest known historical indicator as a people. Based on archaeological information and older sections of the book of Judges, we get a sense of the general conditions of the people residing in the highlands. During this period, patriarchal clans lived in the highland territory between the Mediterranean coast and the Jordan River valley.
These two initial chapters also provide a backdrop to the rest of the study, since the way Israel faced different crises and remembered its past profoundly shaped biblical monotheism and the memory of God in the Bible, the topics of chapters 3 and 4· In chapter 3 I look at biblical monotheism and how it fits into Israel's larger religious history. Monotheism, the belief in a single deity, has long been considered a hallmark of biblical religion. This is quite correct. All too often, however, monotheism is presumed by readers of the Bible to constitute part of the revelation at Mount Sinai that took place in the Late Bronze Age (as presented in the books of Exodus and Leviticus), prior to the entry into the land (as recounted in the book of Joshua).
Memoirs of God by Mark S. Smith