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The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches Paperback – June 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0826463395 ISBN-10: 0826463398

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826463398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826463395
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 7.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,584,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most ambitious, the most sophisticated, the most important study of ancient Israelite religions ever undertaken. . . . The standard by which all works for a generation to come will be judged, and even then it may not be surpassed."—William G. Dever, University of Arizona

"Aimed at both scholar and layperson, [the book] is clearly written, and rich with illustration and example."
- Professor Bill Propp, UC San Diego

"This is by far the most comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the subject of religion in Iron Age Israel ever undertaken. It is deep, synthetic, even-handed, often provocative, and at ever turn of the page, appropriately self-conscious with respect to the author's perspectives, biases, and methodologies. Throughout Zevit combines a close study of biblical texts, epigraphic remains, and archaeological data, and configures all of the evidence within a conceptual matrix that draws heavily upon methodological advances and models more commonly known to scholars at home in the comparative study of religions, and in the humanities generally. Its exhaustiveness and methodological sophistication make it an important reference work and its timeliness marks it as representing a turning point in biblical scholarship.One of the most appealing aspects of this book is its accessibility. Zevit has intended it for a diverse, but informed, audience. This book is written for the undergraduate and graduate students studying Bible, archaeology, and history, for seminary graduates, and for scholars. All students.In sum, this book is a formidable tour de force, a magnum opus. It rewards the interested reader with a wealth of information, new insights, and a number of directions for future research. It clarifies in many definitive ways the complexities involved with studying the religions of ancient Israel and provides a greater appreciation for the sheer diversity of forms of Israelite devotion and rituals. Its numerous charts, diagrams, maps, drawings, photos, tables, and copious footnotes, as well as its exhaustive indices and bibliography only add to its value. Doubtless, it will be a valuable scholarly resource for years to come, one that also will be the focus of much discussion and debate in a number of disciplines."—Scott B. Noegel, Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

"Zevit weighs in as a heavyweight, disclosing what can and cannot be said from archaeological, epigraphic, and literary data about the nature of Israelite religiosity in the ancient Near East. The chief value of this work for classroom instruction is its judicious survey of many articles, books, monographs, and aide-memoire biblical passages written on the religion of ancient Israel. This tome is packed with information and innovative interpretation. [Zevit's] hypothesis is persuasive and sound. All academic levels."—Z. Garber, Choice, June 2002


"Zevit's work is learned and suggestive, often brilliant…The breadth of Zevit's vision and his grasp of detail are outstanding."Times Literary Supplement, 31 May 2002

"This volume is a well-researched and referenced account of aspects of Israelite religion which is prefaced with a useful survey of the current methods of reading the Old Testament historically." —Theological Book Review Feed the Minds

"The evidence is superbly presented. The sheer volume of material that Zevit presents makes this book a valuable monograph. The clear arrangement of the material makes the book useful as a reference tool, and the analyses are always judicious."—Corrine

'a huge book by all standards...In conception and coverage, it is as complete a treatment of its subject as possible for one scholar, and results in an encyclopaedic work..will be an important reference point for many years to come'
(Philip Johnston Themelios)

Title mention, 2007 edition
(Theologische Rundschau)

'a huge book by all standards...In conception and coverage, it is as complete a treatment of its subject as possible for one scholar, and results in an encyclopaedic work..will be an important reference point for many years to come'
(Sanford Lakoff Themelios)

From the Inside Flap

"Zevit’s tome brings the material and textual study of OT religious belief and praxis into a single work. Zevit speaks authoritatively and with a command of both the textual and archaeological data….is the most comprehensive synthesis to date of the archaeological and textual data….will be the reference book for the next decade in biblical studies and will provide dialogue and theory building for the next generation." –Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, September 2004

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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Proctor S. Burress on February 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Zevit has written his magnum opus. His avowed thesis is to establish the ethnic "particularity"(a new ethnic group in Canaan) of a people. He views the conclusions of some archaeologists such as Broshi, Finklestein and others as being inadequate. The central issue being: are there "ethnic markers" clearly present, as revealed in the work of Syro-palestinian archaeologists, demonstrating the distinctiveness of the tribes of Israel.
Zevit claims his method surpasses the work of those who affirm there are no ethnic markers...those scholars who say these people were Canaanites. Zevit is clear on his point of departure. He says"...this study proceeds from the premise...that the dominant ethnic group in Cisjordanian, Iron Age Palestine was not descended from its late Bronze inhabitants."
Using the notably awkward term "parallactic" to describe his method he offers detailed analysis of cult objects/places and texts which to his mind reveal the sure distinctiveness of the worshipers of Yahweh. He does not hestitate to provide clear opinions. For example, he describes Donald Redford's work and concludes, "Barring some significant new discovery, his book closes the door on those seeking to find evidence of Israel in Egypt...". Dr. J. K. Hoffmeier please note! Even so, and I think curiously, he refers to "...Israelites, those who underwent the Egyptian experience...". Maybe I am missing something here.
Who were they if not Canaanites? Here Zevit is a bit vague seeming to group Shasu, Habiru and others as the coterie of Yahwists. My continued study of this significant work may prove me to be wrong on this point.
The Religions of Ancient Israel, A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches is encylopedic in scope.
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14 of 26 people found the following review helpful By T. Perlman on May 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Recently taking a biblical archaeology course with Dr. Zevit, and referring frequenlty to this book for further understanding, I found this book easy to read, well organized and insightful. I recommend it highly to anyone interested in learning more about ancient Israel.
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