Essay on Book Summary of the Bible Among the Myths

2904 Words May 12th, 2013 12 Pages
Introduction Author John N. Oswalt begins The Bible Among the Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature? with a concise and well-written introduction that whets the reader’s appetite, compelling one to continue reading. He begins by informing the reader that his novel has been in the works dating all of the way back to the 1960s, when he attended the Asbury Theological Seminary. Oswalt quickly points out that one of the main points that the book will focus on is determining if “the religion of the Old Testament [is] essentially similar to, or essentially different from, the religions of its neighbors.”1 Oswalt is swift to acknowledge a major difference between the Old Testament and the religions of the Israelites Near …show more content…
Is it Appropriate to Classify the Bible as Myth? In this particular section, Oswalt begins by arguing that you cannot rationalize calling the Bible a myth until you have a clear definition of the word “myth.” He continues by pointing out how difficult it is to actually define what a “myth” is. Oswalt emphasizes that “Rogerson goes so far as to say that there are so many differences in opinion on the subject that no one definition is possible.”4 The definitions for the word “myth” can be divided into two distinct categories: historical-philosophical and the phenomenological, or descriptive. Regardless of the analysis of the word “myth” and its various meanings, Oswalt concludes that Bible is definitely not a myth in way, shape, form, or fashion. He writes, “Rather it is a rehearsal of the nonrepeatable acts of God in identifiable time and in concert with human beings. Its purpose is to provoke human choices and behavior through the medium of memory.”5
Continuity: The Basis of Mythical Thinking
Continuity as the Ruling Concept in Myth Myths are distinctive because of their continuity. Every aspect of a myth co-exists. They are intertwined, and there is no distinction between humanity, nature, and the deity. One of the interesting aspects of myths is that they lack barriers, and as a consequence, humans can actually participate in the nature and in the divine. Furthermore, symbols are reality. Everything is connected, and the lines are
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