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

Words: 3544
Pages: 15

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…
Without it liking itself with the Greek philosophy, we would not have a need for reason, understand the importance of history and have value of the individual (27).

Chapter 2

Oswalt, in chapter two, attempts to define the word myth but prior to his discourse, he revisits the divergence of scholars going from believing in the OT as a separate piece of literature from all other ANE mythological literature to being placed in the mix of ANE literature as mythology.

Oswalt contends the job of defining a myth is challenging especially in a climate the Bible is being placed with other ANE literature. He states there are two definitional problems. The first problem has to do with the definitions of myth. He states there has been a breakdown in providing an accurate definition. The other problem has to do with the definition itself. It may not accurately describe the members of a class (32). Two primary definitions are provided for the reader. The first is the historical-philosophical definition which attempts to “describe how the myth operates in society” (40). Subdivisions of the historical-philosophical definition are the etymological, the sociological-theological and the literary. The second is the phenomenological. Etymological definition attempts to identify the false nature of an event or story. The sociological-theological definition is a form of story in which conveys some truth about the world. Literary definition of a myth is the