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