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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Archaeology of Myth: Papers on Old Testament Tradition
Wyatt, N.

London: Equinox, 2010 pp. xii + 111. $45.00

Series Information
BibleWorld


Description: Israelite religion is studied overwhelmingly in historical categories, on the basis of its so-called 'historical faith'. Myth as a category is often explicitly denied as being present in the Bible. This volume resumes the author's concern (already addressed in The Mythic Mind, Equinox 2005) to recognize the importance of mythological categories in discussing any religion, and especially Israelite religion, as a means of redressing this perceived imbalance in the field. Having said this, myths themselves have histories, and the first five chapters in the present collection explore the shaping of various key biblical narratives and themes, with a view to showing how they developed from primitive forms into the distinctive final forms of the text. The last chapter resumes the author's discussion of the general theoretical issues involved in the treatment of myth in the biblical context, arguing that the concept shares many features with history, not least in the concern for both categories to reinforce and even shape social memories and values.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism

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Review by Uwe F. W. Bauer
Published 3/27/2011
Citation: Uwe F. W. Bauer, review of N. Wyatt, The Archaeology of Myth: Papers on Old Testament Tradition, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2011).


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