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Paganism
THE OLD ONES IN THE OLD BOOK
Pagan Roots of the Hebrew Old Testament
By Philip West

The Hebrew Old Testament, which contains some of the world's most ancient religious texts, was written and repeatedly re-edited over the course of several centuries from about 1000 BCE. It reached its final form at the hands of editors who were monotheists. They believed that their god Yahweh was the only true God, and that he had been worshipped exclusively by their ancestors from the time of Abraham. They edited their sources to reflect this belief.

However we can strip away this veneer of later monotheism to view the ancient stories themselves. These bear witness to Israelite religion as practised before 600 BCE. Far from being monotheistic, this religion was a fascinating polytheistic paganism, close to the religion of the surrounding Canaanites. In this religion the worship of Yahweh was only one element, and Yahweh himself, far from being God as understood by modern western monotheism, was a distinctive tribal deity.

This book will be of particular interest to the large numbers of western people who come from a broadly Christian or Jewish background but have left those faiths behind to explore spirituality in Paganism or the New Age.

About the author:
Philip West studied Theology at London and Cambridge Universities and was formerly Head of Religious Studies at Westminster Under School. A member of The Pagan Federation, he lives in north London.

Reviews and Endorsements:
"West has excelled in making academic standard research into a fascinating and exciting read. This book should be of interest to Jews, Christians, Pagans and readers generally interested in the development of spiritual paths, and become a handy reference source for years to come." - Pete Jennings, past President of The Pagan Federation and author of Pagan Paths

"Much of what we thought we knew about the Old Testament is here challenged in a most interesting and provocative way." - Richard Coggins, formerly Senior Lecturer in Old Testament Studies at King's College London, and author of Introducing the Old Testament

"With a style that's a pleasure to read, Philip West shares the best of Old Testament scholarship revealing what is common knowledge in academia but largely unknown in the public arena - the profound influence of the pagan Canaanite religion on the evolution, practices and sacred writings of Judaism and Christianity. Reasoned and revolutionary, an important book and a must read." - Phyllis Curott, author of Book of Shadows

"Readers will find in Phil West's very readable book a distillation of a century of scholarship on the different ways in which the beliefs of surrounding cultures played a key part in the emergence of what we now know as the Hebrew Bible." - Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford



ISBN: 9781780991719
Binding: Paperback
Size: 214 x 139 mm
Extent: 128 pages
Illus: Maps and line drawings

UK - PURCHASE DIRECT FROM AMAZON.CO.UK
 

 
Moon Books
June 2012


Sponsored by the author, Philip West
    
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