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Mythology's Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus Hardcover – June 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; Second Impression edition (June 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879757426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879757427
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

A highly recommended book for anyone interested in religion.
D. Dooley
Only the ethnicity of the deity has undergone revolutionary change; "god" is no longer of Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian or Greek descent.
Rebel 13
Thus far, my review of his book and much of the material in the bibliography leads me to think that he is on very solid ground overall.
Gordian Knot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 62 people found the following review helpful By David A. Lee on March 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
William Harwood is refreshingly candid in this historical treatment of the bible as mythology and propaganda. It will shock and offend those not ready to deal with stark historical realities and frank observations. This book is free of the euphemisms and niceties usually superimposed on biblical material. As a student of history myself, I put 'Mythology's Last Gods' on my must-read list for anybody with serious intrest in biblical history and literary criticism. This book lays bare closely-guarded facts that various clericalist heirarchies have hidden from the view of their flocks for centuries in place of dogma and articles of faith. Harwood has undertaken a monumental task - necessarily an uphill battle - but with this book, at least done much groundwork. Love it or loathe it, you will not look at the bible the same again after reading 'Mythology's Last Gods.'
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Chuck on June 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book twice and keep returning to it for reference; however, something about it bothers me each time. I am fascinated by Harwood's "methodology of history" applied to Biblical texts normally evaluated with inductive theological methods. Unfortunately, the author approaches his subject with undisguised anger for the perceived frauds perpetrated on him by the religion itself. I am sympathetic to Harwood's goals of opening out the study of Biblical texts to honest historical analysis, but his venom may have marred his objectivity. MAY HAVE... I simply don't know. I will keep returning to this book and I am glad to own it, but I would grade it higher if it was not so emotionally-charged. Perhaps Harwood's promised "Fully-Translated" Bible will be less angry.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By leyla on February 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If there were six stars I'd give it that.
Note: It is not for the faint of heart. Fundamentalists will hate it.
Mr. Harwood is neither sparing nor delicate in his presentation of the facts. But he is witty. I laughed out loud many times.
Very very educational.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By jotey@u.washington.edu on January 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The definitive book on the history of the Bible that explores the true authors, cultures, politics and settings of both the new and old testaments. Harwood sheds light on the sources and revisions that led to the modern Bible. The depth of detail is impressive and his scholarly treatment is overwhelming and convincing. I found out everything I wanted to know and more in this one book; more than any number of others that I read. However, the validity of Harwood's findings is severely threatened by his barely hidden opinions. Apparently he was a solid Catholic until he began his thesis on mythologies contemporary to writers of the Bible. In discovering how derivative the authors were, he apparently lost his faith and takes no pains to hide it. This guy is angry at Christianity in general and Catholicism specifically. I don't blame him, but the material would have been even more convincing if his subjective viewpoint had been even slightly veiled. Still, I wish everyone would read this book; it could change the Christian world
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John A. Henderson on April 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The first publisher to whom this book was submitted was convinced that it would "wipe out religion." If it ever reaches the unlearned masses, it will assuredly do just that. It demolishes religion as totally and definitevely as the first photographs of the Martian surface demolished the "canals myth." Nothing of comparable importance has been published in over a decade.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gordian Knot on June 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This may be one of the most important books I've read concerning the development of the bible, Judaism, and Christianity. Starting with the origins of religious beliefs and the describing the religious culture of the ancient environment that birthed the bible, and proceeding thru to Christianity, Harwood shows how the biblical God was created and shaped thru centuries by different authors with different agendas. His information is scholarly, well researched, and generally reflective of commonly held positions within academia. The two exceptions to that would be 1) if he occasionally advances a theory, which he does indicate he is doing, and explains and defends it - in such cases he also presents the prevailing opinion so as not to misinform. 2) Obviously, scholars who hold to a fundamentalist/evangelical perspective concerning the bible will never be willing to allow themselves to acknowledge scholarly findings contrary to their beliefs. As such, they, no doubt, would disagree with much that we've learned about the origins of their sacred texts and faith.
Harwood pulls no punches. I personally find that refreshing. Everyone writing about matters such as this is going to have a natural bias. My approach to trying to ascertain the truth is to be aware of any writer's bias - and the fact that Harwood himself doesn't hide his is refreshing. Further, while he clearly has a perspective, what matters ultimately is whether the case he is presenting is based on solid evidence, and is reasonable. Thus far, my review of his book and much of the material in the bibliography leads me to think that he is on very solid ground overall.
Concerning recommending this book to a Christian, I think it would depend on the individual.
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