Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Those pesky gods

In the end, not only the substance of the prophets’ message but also the language in which that message was delivered shaped Jewish and later Christian monotheism. The problem of the look-alikes that this volume addresses arises not from the substance of the prophets’ monotheism, but from their language. The look-alikes could have been incorporated into a monotheistic scheme without threatening YHWH’s supremacy, but this would have required acknowledging at least their existence, and the prophets’ rhetoric made this harder and harder. The solution to “the problem of the look-alikes” is to adopt any of the solutions that can be found in other biblical contexts and reduce the “gods of the nations” to their proper size and place in YHWH’s world.—Robert Goldenberg in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, p. 95

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