- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Crossway (August 31, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433531836
- ISBN-13: 978-1433531835
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 38 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament Paperback – August 31, 2013
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“A clearly written account of a centrally important issue—the influence (or not) of ancient Near Eastern thought upon Old Testament writers. John Currid’s books and commentaries have proven invaluable, and in this additional volume, his thorough research, theological acumen, and nuanced argumentation makes it an essential requirement for ministers, theological students, and serious students of Scripture. This is an invaluable aid in furthering our understanding of the Old Testament and a loud affirmation of the Bible’s utter trustworthiness and inerrancy. A marvelous book.”
—Derek W. H. Thomas, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina; chancellor’s professor of systematic and pastoral theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Acts (Reformed Expository Commentary)
“This is a splendid introduction to the use that the Old Testament makes of the religious ideas of Israel’s ancient neighbors. Currid compares the biblical accounts of creation and the flood with the versions from neighboring cultures and shows how the Bible puts down and rejects the theological ideas of Babylon, Egypt, the Hittites, and the Canaanites. This process, which Currid terms ‘polemical theology’, serves to demonstrate the unique sovereignty of the God of Israel. This is a very positive approach to the issues raised by the extrabiblical parallels and is greatly preferable to seeing the parallels as showing the Bible as simply borrowed pagan ideas and myths.”
—Gordon Wenham, emeritus professor of Old Testament, University of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
“In this vital work John Currid presents an enormously useful approach to understanding the relationship of the Old Testament to the literature and thought of Israel’s ancient Near Eastern neighbors. This book is certainly a must read for any Old Testament scholar, yet it also provides a relevant and readable introduction for every student of Scripture.”
—David W. Chapman, Professor of New Testament and Archaeology, Covenant Theological Seminary; author, Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion
“A rising influential voice in Old Testament studies is asserting that the biblical worldview, while monotheistic, often parallels and at times pirates with minimal discrimination the pre-enlightened religious ideas and rituals of ancient Israel’s neighbors. In contrast, John Currid persuasively demonstrates in Against the Gods that the Bible’s tendency is not to appropriate but to dispute and repudiate pagan myths, ideas, identities, and customs. This important introduction to Old Testament polemical theology provides a balanced corrective to many current comparative studies.”
—Jason S. DeRouchie, Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary
“If you're like me, you need to know a lot more about biblical backgrounds and how to think about them. John Currid's Against the Gods is a great place to start.”
—James M. Hamilton Jr., Associate Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment
About the Author
John D. Currid (PhD, University of Chicago) is the Carl W. McMurray Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies in Jerusalem, Israel, and serves as project director of the Bethsaida Excavations Project in Israel (1995-present). He lectures and preaches worldwide.
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If you jump to this conclusion, take a good look at John Currid's book. He develops a concept that a lot of "similar" material doesn't mean or prove that Biblical writers plagiarized previously-existing ideas from other cultures. As he develops the concept of "polemical theology" - which isn't a new idea - he demonstrates how Moses, for example, took non-Biblical concepts and let them up to be compared and contrasted with true, Biblical concepts.
Yes, it is well known that Pharaoh's magicians pulled off some of the same "tricks" that Moses did as he confronted Pharaoh to release Israelite slaves. But the point is clearly made that, although Pharaoh's magicians could turn a wooden staff into a snake, it was Moses's staff (as a representative of God's Truth) that ate up the others to show who was superior - Yahweh, or the god-king pharaoh.
Numerous other similar confrontations are explored in this book. The book is relatively short and certainly easy to read. So technical aspects are minimized; the book is written to be a popular approach to polemical theology. Having read this, I am eager to read several of Currid's other books that help set the stage for this one.
I recommend this book to Christians for its apologetic significance and personal edification. I recommend it to non-Christians to see that there are other answers to evolutionary religious development that is suggested in out multiple-truth society that emphasized that there are many paths up to the mountain top.
Currin never addresses the big question: how does Old Testament's repeated use of ANE myth affect it's claim to be a unique work of the only true God? This is a big omission from a book that wants to preserve the Old Testament as the Word of God. But perhaps I am asking too much from a short lecture series.
Most recent customer reviews
I found this to be a compelling and lucid introduction to the subject of OT culture.Read more