The Bible among the Myths Book
The author, John N. Oswalt, attended Asbury Theological Seminary for his undergraduate studies. He attended Brandeis University in the Mediterranean Studies Department for his graduate degree. Mr. Oswalt has taught at Asbury Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity, and Wesley Biblical Seminary.
According to Oswalt, serious questions about the evolutionary paradigm inherent in the philosophy of Idealism were the result of the economic depression in the late 40’s. Since there was little separation from Idealism and the standard higher critical views of Old Testament that had prevailed for the past fifty years, there was ...view middle of the document...
The author’s focal point of this book is the issue of differences and similarities. The discussion will be further focused in two areas: myth and history. This author points out several areas of discussion: the Bible does not agree with the definition of “myth” if it is defined by its common characteristics.; once a culture adopts the idea that the world is all there is, certain things follows; a comparison of the characteristics of biblical historical narrative and the ancient Near Eastern approaches to the past.
Ultimately, Oswalt writes that while there are similarities among the above-mentioned religion, those similarities should not obscure the much more significant differences that affect every interpretation of the similarities. Evidence supporting the Bible’s claims to have been revealed should be given the attention it deserves and arguments supporting a disbelief in this philosophy should not be given a privileged place in this discussion.
Chapter One (The Bible in its World)
The Western World has been founded on certain way of looking at reality. The Bible is the single most important contributor of how we see reality. The bible’s outlook was integrated with the contributions of Greek philosophy by Augustine and Aquinas. These thinkers showed that the transcendent monotheism of the Bible provided the metaphysical foundation for Greek thought, while Greek thought provided a means of logically organizing observations about reality found in biblical narratives
Greek Thought. “This is a “universe” and not a “polyverse,” was the central belief of Greek philosophers of the seventh through the third centuries BC. They believed that there must be a single unifying principle in the cosmos. They also believed that this is a real world in which its effects are the result of observable causes and that these causes and effects were able to be discovered through rational thought. Something cannot be something and be something at the same time. Thus, the conflict between the Greek philosophers and the dominant thought of the world up until that time—that this is a “polyverse” where existence is the result of conflict between many different forces. This thought made way for the possibility that something be something and not be something at the same time. This conflict was won by culture—the world of myth. The Greek playwright, Euripides, in his play The Bacchae and the eventual devastating outcome, portrays this struggle. The ultimate point is that rational thought is finally unable to compete with the mysterious world of affective experience. The play, one of the last great dramas, seemed to be a historical statement admitting that the attempt to integrate the two opposing views had failed and that the old antirational way had won.
Hebrew Thought. Between 625 BC and 400 BC, the Israelites went through the crisis of their faith. The crisis was prompted by the rise of, first, the Assyrian and then the Babylonian...