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Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, John H. Walton - Book Report/Review Example

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Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, John H. Walton

Old and New Testaments. The author has applied a thorough comparative research methodology, with the help of available relics related to the ancient civilizations of Babylonia and Egypt, in order to extract the roots of these ancient civilizations and their impact on the thought and teachings of two primary Abrahamic faiths including Judaism and Christianity. The main purpose behind conducting such an in-depth research includes exploration of the (mis)conception whether or not the Biblical narrations are actually the reflection of ANE civilization, and thus do not maintain any spiritual significance as these are proclaimed to be heavenly revelations by the Jews and Christians (17-18). Walton has divided his work into five parts; the first part could be stated as the introductory one, which reflects upon the contradictory views of the scholars and researchers in favor of as well as against the misconception that the Biblical tales have sought inspirations from their social, political and religious environment, and depicted the same thoughtfulness existed at the eve of the revelation of the Scripture in Mesopotamia and Egypt (29-31). Thus, worldview presents the opinions of various authors regarding the origin and development of Hebrew Bible. The author has included major literary works of ANE is Part II of the book under-analysis, which draw out the social condition and literary development of the near east in ancient times. Walton has also included the religious cult, rituals, concept of gods and goddesses and prevailing mythology in the regions (89) in order to present a comprehensive picture of the traditions followed by the populations belonging to ANE in order to make a comparative analysis of monotheist Judaism with the pluralist Egyptian and Babylonian faiths of that era (113-15). Part III of Walton’s work encompasses the religious values and basic concepts of the faith followed by the people of ANE. This part of the book actually presents the strong contradiction and denial of the claim that the Hebrew Bible seeks inspirations from the society that constructed the sculptors and statues of several gods and goddesses and worshipped them with great religious fervor and spiritual enthusiasm (117). Since Hebrew Bible vehemently lays stress upon the worshipping of One God, the indigenous faiths of ANE do not have any comparison with that followed by the Israelites (88-90). The author has discussed cosmos and universal phenomena (166) in Part IV of his volume. He has described the physical and natural environment and its relationship with humans in a powerful manner in the pretext of the Biblical concept of genesis or creation, and human arrival on the earth in the wake of it. The Old Testament elucidates the creation of heavens and earth in six days, the birth of first humans and their stay in Eden Garden (Genesis 1)1, and their expulsion from their peaceful abode to reside on the face of the earth till the appointed time. Walton experiences the footprints of human arrival in the world in the background of the comparative study of Bible existing at the era when the ANE civilization was at its full swing. This part of his volume reflects the author’ ...Show more


…………………. UNIVERSITY Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament By John H. Walton (SUMMARY) A RESEARCH-REPORT SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF THE DIVISION OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES IN CANDIDACY FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF THEOLOGY Module title: Module ID: Submission date: Brief Summary of the Book: Published in 2006, the book under examination with the title Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament serves as a remarkable historical research volume by John W…
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Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, John H. Walton
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