The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel
Foreword by Patrick D. Miller
In this remarkable, acclaimed history of the development of monotheism, Mark S. Smith explains how Israel's religion evolved from a cult of Yahweh as a primary deity among many to a fully defined monotheistic faith with Yahweh as sole god. Repudiating the traditional view that Israel was fundamentally different in culture and religion from its Canaanite neighbors, this provocative book argues that Israelite religion developed, at least in part, from the religion of Canaan. Drawing on epigraphic and archaeological sources, Smith cogently demonstrates that Israelite religion was not an outright rejection of foreign, pagan gods but, rather, was the result of the progressive establishment of a distinctly separate Israelite identity. This thoroughly revised second edition ofThe Early History of God includes a substantial new preface by the author and a foreword by Patrick D. Miller.
What people are saying - Write a review
Great Treatment of Israelite MonotheismUser Review - Jonathan Becker - Christianbook.com
Six months ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of picking up Smith's "Early History of God." However, I decided to give it a try, and I was pleasantly surprised. For one, Smith has earned a reputation as a ... Read full review
Well researched and interesting -- but clearly intentionally biased in both research and authoring.
Chock-full, I believe intentionally, of assumptions that remain unproven but that are presented as confirmed indisputable fact.
Useful for drawing historical sources from. Worthless for drawing truly meaningful conclusions.