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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

A Story of YHWH: Cultural Translation and Subversive Reception in Israelite History
Flynn, Shawn W.

New York: Routledge, 2020 pp. v + 223. $155.00

Description: A Story of YHWH investigates the ancient Israelite expression of their deity, and tracks why variation occurred in that expression, from the early Iron Age to the Persian period. Through this text, readers will gain a better appreciation for the complexities and contexts in the development of YHWH, from its earliest origins to the Persian period. Two interpretive frameworks–cultural translation and subversive reception–are offered for filtering through the textual data and contexts. Comparative study with ancient Near Eastern deities and select biblical texts lead readers through early YHWHism, YHWH’s original outsider status, and the eventual impact of urbanization on the expression. Perceived and real pressures then challenge urbanite YHWHism and invite new directions for forming a unique expression of divinity in the ancient world.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Israel

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Review by Michael J. Stahl
Published 5/21/2020
Citation: Michael J. Stahl, review of Shawn W. Flynn, A Story of YHWH: Cultural Translation and Subversive Reception in Israelite History, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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