Book Summary: the Bible Among the Myths by John N. Oswalt Essay

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ABSTRACT John Oswalt, in his book The Bible Among the Myths, presents his position to the reader that the bible is different and separate from other writings of the Ancient Near East. He asserts the Bible is both historically accurate and theologically sound. He makes the defense the Bible was divinely inspired and revealed to humanity and unique from other Ancient Near East literature. There was a time when the Bible, and the Israelite religion was different from its neighboring societies. But as times have changed, many people now lump the bible with other Ancient Near East myths. The book is broken up into two sections. The first half of the book, “The Bible and Myth,” Oswalt takes the time to define what a myth is and what…show more content…
The premise of chapter one is the Bible has had a major impact on the world, especially with its contributions to Greek philosophy and thought. Greek philosophers believed there was one “unifying principle in the cosmos” (21) and that everything could be identified and reasoned with through logic. As Oswalt states, this brought into conflict the thought of a myth based polytheistic society to a monotheistic mindset.

Oswalt states that the Hebrew thought survived through the exilic period in Assyria and Babylon even though they were in direct conflict with the societies in which they were captive. Israel brought into these societies the thought that there was only one God and He was the creator of the world and humanity. In addition, Oswalt states the Israelites brought the unique ideas that God was not dependent upon humanity but himself and that God revealed himself to humanity and gave them specific understandings of what he expected from his people. It was only by God’s design that the people of Israel were able to maintain their religion in a foreign land.
Greek and Hebrew thoughts combined into a complementary way of thinking about the universe and the world. The Hebrew religion of one creator who created the world found a place in the Greek philosophy of a unifying principle to the universe. On the other hand, Greek philosophy could combine itself by to Hebrew ideas by

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