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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Rationale for Aniconism in the Old Testament: A Study of Select Texts
Korada, Manoja Kumar

Leuven: Peeters, 2017 pp. xvi + 399. $98.00

Series Information
Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology, 86

Description: “Why does the Old Testament reject idolatry?” is a question that might be asked by both academics and others. Although many people may be satisfied with a simple answer, the scholarly community continues to grapple with this question. Scholarly works have looked at Israelite aniconism (the rejection of idolatry) using evolutionary, sociological and theological approaches, but they have not paid much attention to explaining its rationale in the Old Testament. The present work fills this gap by examining selected OT texts. The thesis of this work is that the OT rejects idolatry because of the incompatibility between the aniconic deity (Yahweh) and “idol” on the one hand and between the status of Israel and “idol” on the other hand. Here the word “idol” is used for something that is intended to represent Yahweh and/or other gods in the religions of Ancient West Asia.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Ancient Near East, Literature

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Review by Nathan Macdonald
Published 4/26/2018
Citation: Nathan MacDonald, review of Manoja Kumar Korada, The Rationale for Aniconism in the Old Testament: A Study of Select Texts, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2018).

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