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Twilight of the Gods: Polytheism in the Hebrew Bible Paperback – August 12, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Penchansky is Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of several books, including What Rough Beast?: Images of God in the Hebrew Bible and The Betrayal of God: Ideological Conflict in Job.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (August 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664228852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664228859
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Penchansky, a professor at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, specializes in the fringe areas of biblical studies. His first book focuses on the Book of Job. Called _Betrayal of God_, it argues that when Job accuses God of treating him unfairly, he shows integrity. His subsequent books explore the edges of theology: _What Rough Beast_ explores the biblical passages which depict God as a destructive demon; _Twilight of the Gods_ suggests that most of the Hebrew Bible retains significant elements of polytheism. His most recent book, _Understanding Wisdom Literature_ is an introduction of the part of the Bible most different from the rest. Currently, he is writing a book about the Qur'an. He is married to Hend Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabian artist.

Customer Reviews

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. B. Vukich on October 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book will seriously distress most Christians who have not come to grips with the history and theology of the Bible. The Bible was and is a book containing Henotheistic theology. That is, the Hebrews did believe in more than one real God, and they wrote about it in scripture. This book very adequately lays out that case.

The book is brief, contains a lot of citations, is organized into logical chapters, and offers a view of Biblical theology which will challenge the blind follower who is still being told by their pastor that the Bible does not contain discussions about other real gods. This book is not to be seen as a major defense of the subject matter, as it is too brief for that. But it has many great citations one can follow.

For further reading on this subject, one should consult works by Mark Smith The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts, Bill Dever Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel, Margaret Barker's various works The Great Angel: A of Israel's Second God, or several other excellent works by various authors Only One God?: Monotheism in Ancient Israel and the Veneration of the Goddess Asherah (Biblical Seminar),
...Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Robideaux on June 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book, though interesting and informative, is nonetheless awkward in two ways. The minor way is in its conversion to electronic text. I read almost exclusively on my Kindle, but this book was badly converted for use electronically. It was not possible to move around, such as moving between footnotes and chapter text. For hard-copy readers, that is not an issue.

However, the second awkwardness is more major. I had to re-read the Introduction again after finishing the rest of the book in order to make sense of the Introduction. The author has two writing voices. One is accessible to any educated reader, but the other is highly specialized. To make an analogy, it was rather like swimming complacently in tranquil water, then suddenly being sucked into a violent whirlpool. Without warning, the conversational tone shifts to the academic for a paragraph or two. Imagine a doctoral dissertation unequally yoked to a general-reader publication.

The author's thesis is fascinating, and he does a good job of supplying evidence. Thus, the book is a worthwhile read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Lesser Beast on September 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very in depth reading of Jewish history,highlighting some of it's lesser known aspects such as female divinities in the early formation of Judaism. Some obscure gems here for scholars.
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