The "Ancient Hebrew Scriptures," often called the Old Testament, embrace a world view which was both deeply imbedded in its historical context (the civilization of the Ancient Near East) and at the same time distinct from the other theological systems around it, especially in its monotheistic principles. Thus, the religion of ancient Israel is both a part of and apart from the cults and cultures surrounding it. To grasp how this belief structure evolved, one must first understand the way the Bible was formulated. At some point after the Babylonian Captivity, various Hebrew documents—now referred to as J, E, P and D—were woven together to form the Old Testament. By looking at these separately, it's possible to make out a pattern of development in ancient Hebrew thought, in particular, the path that led to monotheism. Biblical assertions to the contrary, archaeological data suggest how wide and uneven that path actually was.
Attribution to Mark L. Damen
Professor of History and Classics
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-0710
For more information please visit: https://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320Hist&Civ/chapters/09WOMEN.htm
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