The Bible Among the Myths

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By scuba317
Words 4749
Pages 19

Book Summary

Submitted to Dr. Erik Mitchell, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of the course

OBST 510-D10
Introduction to the Old Testament


Stephen Corbett
November 10, 2013

Table of Contents Introduction 1 The Bible and Myth 2 The Bible in Its World The Bible and Myth: A Problem of Definition Continuity: The Basis of Mythical Thinking Transcendence: Basis of Biblical Thinking The Bible verses Myth The Bible and History 9 The Bible and History: A Problem of Definition Is the Bible Truly Historical? The Problem of History (1) Does it Matter Whether the Bible Is Historical? The Problem of History (2) Origins of the Biblical Worldview: Alternatives Conclusion 15

Introduction “The Bible Among the Myths” begins with the author, John N. Oswalt, establishing his credibility on the topic discussed. Following his studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and Brandeis University, Oswald went on to teach courses at multiple seminaries on the subject of the Old Testament. Due to his years of teaching, he followed the current thought in the scholarly world in reference to the Bible and the subject of myth. In a sixty year gap, scholarly thought went from a popular view of the Israelite thought being completely separate and unconnected to the ancient near eastern thought to currently seeing Israelite religion as simply one more of the complex West Semitic religions. Scholars shifted to view the Israelite religion as a result of evolutionary change where the religion developed from the effects of time and a similar worldview to the world around. The introduction brings up the discovery of such evidence as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the texts found at Ugarit. Oswald…...

Similar Documents

The Bible Among the Myths.” Anglican Theological Review

...Book Review Summary of Oswalt, John, N.“ The Bible Among the Myths.” Anglican Theological Review (Spring 2003): 341-360. OBST 590 LUO (Summer 2013) Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary Lee B Yarbrough (ID# L5943213) June 2, 2013 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 PART I. The Bible and Myth Chapter 1. The Bible in Its World 2 Chapter 2. The Bible and Myths: A problem of Definition 3 Chapter 3. Continuity: The basis of Mythical Thinking 4 Chapter 4. Transcendence: Basis of Biblical Thinking 5 Chapter 5. The Bible Versus Myth 6 PART II. The Bible and History Chapter 6. The Bible and History: A Problem of Defition 7 Chapter 7. Is the Bible Truly Historical? The Problem of History (1) 8 Chapter 8. Does It Matter Whether the Bible is Historical? The Problem of History (2) 9 Chapter 9. Origins of the Biblical Worldview: Alternatives 10 Conclusions 11 Introduction Oswalt starts with a concise and well-written introduction that is compelling reading.   He shares some very revealing personal information dating back to the 1960s, when he attended Asbury Theological Seminary.  Oswalt quickly points out that one of the main points the book will focus on is determining if “the religion of the Old Testament [is] essentially similar to, or essentially different from, the religions of its......

Words: 3230 - Pages: 13

Bible Among the Myths

...1. What is the dry adiabatic lapse rate (give a number with units)? The cooling and warming of unsaturated air of 10C every 1000 meters or about 5.5F for every 1000 feet. The rate of change of any meteorological factor with altitude, esp atmospheric temperature, which usually decreases at a rate of 0.6°C per 100 metres (environmental lapse rate). Unsaturated air loses about 1°C per 100 m (dry adiabatic lapse rate), whereas saturated air loses an average 0.5°C per 100 m (saturated adiabatic lapse rate) 2. Is the moist adiabatic rate greater than or less than the dry adiabatic lapse rate? Less .During saturated ascent, the release of latent heat via condensation partly offsets the conversion of thermal energy into work as parcels expand, reducing the cooling rate of the parcel to less than the dry adiabatic lapse rate (that observed for unsaturated parcels.) The saturated adiabatic lapse rate is 6 degrees per 1,000 meters. The dry adiabatic rate is 10 degrees per 1,000 meters. When a mass of saturated air rises in the atmosphere adiabatically,its temperature falls with height at a rate which is considerably less than the dry adiabatic lapse rate on account of continuous addition of the latent heat of condensation that accompanies the adiabatic cooling of saturated air and the consequent separating out of excess water vapour in the form of drops of liquid water. 3. A parcel of air becomes cooler than its environment if lifted. Is this a stable or unstable condition?...

Words: 2158 - Pages: 9

Bible Among Myths

...Topic: In The Bible Among the Myths, Oswalt states, “If the historical basis on which the supposed revelation [the Bible] rested was false, then why should we give any special credence to the ideas resting on that basis” (p. 31). Please post a 400-word response to Oswalt’s statement. Seek to answer whether or not one could trust a historically false document to be theologically accurate? If not, why? If so, how? Randall Terry DB Forum 1 When one hears the word “myth,” It is hard to connect it with the Bible in any way. The definition of a Myth is; “a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.” [] The Bible is in no way a myth. It is the Holy Spirit inspired, infallible Word of God and if any part of the Bible were to be false or a myth it would shake the very foundation of Christian faith to its core. The Bibles beginning has no association with human understanding other than the authors who were human but, driven by the very Spirit of God. Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit clarifies and teaches wisdom and knowledge to us. 1Corinthians 2:13 says “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” [] In order for someone to understand the......

Words: 522 - Pages: 3


...BRAIN POWER Myth #1 Most People Use Only 10% of Their Brain Power Myth #2 Some People Are Left-Brained, Others Are Right-Brained Myth #3 Extrasensory Perception (ESP) Is a Well-Established Scientific Phenomenon Myth #4 Visual Perceptions Are Accompanied by Tiny Emissions from the Eyes Myth #5 Subliminal Messages Can Persuade People to Purchase Products 2 FROM WOMB TO TOMB Myth #6 Playing Mozart’s Music to Infants Boosts Their Intelligence Myth #7 Adolescence Is Inevitably a Time of Psychological Turmoil Myth #8 Most People Experience a Midlife Crisis in | 8 Their 40s or Early 50s Myth #9 Old Age Is Typically Associated with Increased Dissatisfaction and Senility Myth #10 When Dying, People Pass through a Universal Series of Psychological Stages 3 A REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST Myth #11 Human Memory Works like a Tape Recorder or Video Camera, and Accurate Events We’ve Experienced Myth #12 Hypnosis Is Useful for Retrieving Memories of Forgotten Events Myth #13 Individuals Commonly Repress the Memories of Traumatic Experiences Myth #14 Most People with Amnesia Forget All Details of Their Earlier Lives 4 TEACHING OLD DOGS NEW TRICKS Myth #15 Intelligence (IQ) Tests Are Biased against Certain Groups of People My th #16 If You’re Unsure of Your Answer When Taking a Test, It’s Best to Stick with Your Initial Hunch Myth #17 The Defining Feature of Dyslexia Is Reversing Letters Myth #18 Students Learn Best When Teaching Styles Are Matched to Their Learning Styles 5 ALTERED STATES Myth......

Words: 130018 - Pages: 521

Is the Bible a Myth?

...In The Bible Among the Myths, Oswalt states the question “If the historical basis on which the supposed revelation [the Bible] rested was false, then why should we give any special credence to the ideas resting on that basis” (p. 31). Living in a society today where proof and validity is at the core of all judgments it is detrimental to our Theological beliefs that there is no factual discrepancy in our doctrine. It there was any credible source to disclaim any historical facts that is in the Bible it would cause to question everything in the Bible and the Christian religion itself. For example, a fact cannot be fully true if there is a little lie. If there is a lie, then it puts to question all of the truths. That is why the Bible, the whole Bible is the true and nothing in it is falsely written or even put into question about its actuality. Over the past 2000 years the God breathed Word has been put to trial. Religions from all over the world has been dissecting the Bible word by word and book by book. Still there is no factual claims that the Bible has any discrepancy in time or events. In 2 Timothy 3:16 it says that “All scriptures are God Breathed” and in John 10:35 “the Scriptures cannot be broken” reminding us that everything in the Bible is true in facts and has no discrepancy of any kind. God has spoken to many prophets in the Old Testament and clearly has fulfilled them throughout the New Testament such as: 1. The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem -......

Words: 442 - Pages: 2

The Beauty Myth

...JoAnn Ross Mr. Shaw Sociology 11 March 2014 The Origin of the Beauty Myth The origin of the beauty myth is an age old question. Some have said that it was around the 1830’s that this myth came to fruition. Some will argue that it has been around since the beginning of time. The beauty myth as we know is predicate around several sociological behaviors; work, culture, and religion to name a few. The main reason as we will see is that the beauty myth is not about how a woman looks, but man’ institution and power. So if the beauty myth is not based on evolution, sex, gender, aesthetics or God on what is it based? It claims to be about intimacy and sex and life a celebration of women. It is actually composed of emotion distance, politics, finance and sexual repression. The beauty myth tells a story: The quality called “beauty” objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to possess women who embody it. This embodiment is an imperative for women and not for men, which situation is necessary and natural because it is biological, sexual, and evolutionary: Strong men battle for beautiful women, and beautiful women are more reproductively successful. Women’s beauty must correlate to their fertility, and since this system is based on sexual selection, it is inevitable and Changeless. None of this is true. “Beauty” is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West...

Words: 1283 - Pages: 6

Book Summary: the Bible Among the Myths

...Introduction: The Bible Among The Myths by John N. Oswalt The author Oswalt spent much time studying the subject of the ANE (Ancient Near East). This book will investigate the Idealism, history, culture and how they related to the relevance of the critical worldview of the Old Testament and the Hebrew belief as compared to the surrounding ANE. Oswalt’s views, thinking and direction have changed completely over his 50 years studying the ANE and the Bible. This book will show the similarities and differences in thought between the Hebrew Old Testament and the ANE. Oswalt will define what a myth is and argue why the Old Testament is not and cannot be considered a myth. The Bible, when compared to ANE literature, has a completely different understanding of creation and how the spiritual and natural realms interact and exist. There is not a continuous existence that just repeats itself over and over, but rather a series of single events that lead to a greater purpose. It is Oswalt’s position that the Bible is an accurate historical account of a people who received their relevance of belief from a single living transcendent God. The historical basis is important as God reveals himself through humans, in non-recurring human-historical events, to impose God’s will and direction to affect the will of humans. Chapter 1: The Bible In Its World In this chapter Oswalt addresses different beliefs on the existence of the world. Specifically how the Israelites and Greeks viewed......

Words: 10327 - Pages: 42

The Bible Myth

...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 differentiates the Bible from a myth. He then describes the different between the worldview of the Ancient Near East and continuity is different from the Bible’s transcendence. The second half of the book, “The Bible and History,” examines several philosophical thoughts proposed by others that attempt to explain the Bible’s relevance separate from historical validity. Oswalt provides excellent arguments against the new age philosophies. Oswalt provides an articulate argument for the veracity of the Bible’s history and theology by providing several convincing points to affirm the Bibles varicity.   Introduction John N. Oswalt, in his book The Bible Among the Myths, provides the reader with a brief, yet comprehensive view of the differences and......

Words: 498 - Pages: 2


...Comparative Religions Mr.Lydy September 5, 2014 The Earth’s Creation Myths….Similar or Different? When you look at all of the earth’s creation myths that have emerged throughout the different cultures/ religions, you will see that there are multiple myths as to how the earth was created. For example the myth of Phan Ku the creator which is a story of a space aged mythological creature who uses a chisel to carve earth; which is a major difference from the myth of Earth Starter the creator which is a story of a mythical being that created the world by using mud from earth. I feel that the earth’s creation myths are distinctly different based on the creation of the earth, the creation of mankind, and the relationship between the creator and its/ their creations. When looking at the creation of the earth, there are many factor that come into play to determine that the earth’s creation myths are different. While reading “In The Beginning” a book written by Virginia Hamilton, there were creation myths that was referenced one titled Phan Ku the creator, and the other tilted Earth Starter the creator. In the creation myth of Phan Ku, the earth was created by a being chiseled/carved out by Phan Ku. The creation of the earth that is displayed in the story of Phan Ku differs from the earth’s creation myth of Earth Starter the creator. The creation of earth in the myth of Earth Starter was displaying that the earths was created by taking mud from under some sort of river/ and or......

Words: 615 - Pages: 3

The Bible Among Myths by John Oswalt

...LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY Dr. Daniel Warner of the requirements for the completion of the course OBST 510 Old Testament – Introduction to Old Testament by Sheniece Wallace September , 2014 Introduction John N. Oswalt, curiosity about the study of the Bible and theological questions was influenced in the 1960s, during his graduate studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. Followed by further education in Theology, triggered a facet of questions during his time at Harvard Divinity. William F. Albright, a scholar proposed the questions the Israelites of the Old Testament and their reasoning about there beliefs. The radical Prolegomena for Oswalts, book sprung up a multitude of questions for him to consider answering his and humanity questions about the godly ideology in religion culture. His statements questions godly character whether it was wrong , right, or believable. He mentions his hypothesis of revelation: as humans we couldn’t possibly be in control of our own purpose and that we need a higher power to sustain us. Comparison is made between religions of Israelite the and ancient near east; the worship of their deity. The thought of serving one deity, then, why were so many other religions evolved? Subliminally, in my words, questions the Biblical integrity and purpose being accredited to for humans to believe as......

Words: 3505 - Pages: 15


...the world and the Untied States, but can be stopped with people that care about life and what it means to be human. A question that needs to be answered when talking about life and death is what is the meaning to life. The bible makes it very clear as to what the meaning of life is. Man is to seek after God always and keep his commandments as it says in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 ,”I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”. God did not bring us into this world for no reason, every person has a purpose in this world and by killing humans that have no choice does not allow them to fulfill Gods man. It is morally wrong to do this. Every man is made in the image of God and deserves a chance in this world. The bible says in Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” We are to act Christ like and show his glory through us. By aborting babies, we are not......

Words: 877 - Pages: 4


...After reading the chapters and analyzing them the word myth is defined in my words as some type a story, maybe even a special story that concerns early history of some people or some type of explaining of a social or natural phenomenon. In my opinion it involves supernatural things or events. So, the statement "It's a myth" can mean different things to different people. To me it means something that is maybe unexplainable or not real, but to other it may mean some type of historic event that were told when they were children and to this day believe it is true. If I were to describe "myths" in my own words I will say that myths is something that we grow up with. Where I am from they taught me about "El chupacabra", this in Puerto Rico means some kind of animal that lives in the woods and eats cows. In some other understanding I will say it sometimes means history of our ancestors that many times we find them hard to believe. In the world we live in today we have so many different sets of minds and different ways of thinking. Culture is one pf the main factors for this. For example, the Thai, Japanese, Koreans and the Chinese all have traditions of a rabbit in the moon. They all differ about what the rabbit is doing. The answer to the most common mythological themes would probably be ranging from apocalypse to animals, and to World Tree (Axis mundi) to Underworld. It is kind of obvious the way different cultures address myths similar themes. The world revolves around things......

Words: 1057 - Pages: 5


...Academia Adventista del Oeste Is Jesus really just a copy of pagan myths? Andres D. Laboy Bible Class September 2, 2015 Introduction A lot of people criticize the Bible, Jesus and Christians, they speak blasphemies and every one of those people are wrong. I’ll be here saying what I think of the video, I’ll do it because it’s sad that they don’t accept the truth and look for other things. They twist things around. Body So is Jesus really just a copy of pagan Myths? No, of course not, Jesus is the real thing. There is history, there is proof that he existed. Pagan myths are myths for a reason. Myths aren’t real. People relate Jesus with pagan myths because they are similar but they aren’t accurate, they are not real. Like one of the pagan gods that people relate to Jesus is Krishna. The myth goes that Krishna was born of a virgin, but her parents had children before her and so the myth goes on. These myths just contradict themselves and different cultures have different views of them. Not like Jesus, Jesus is seen like himself, like a true person. Another pagan god that is similarised with Jesus is Horus. Saying that Horus has the same story, that he was born from a virgin and was baptized. That he became savior of humanity. Horus story maybe similar to Jesus but, its just not real; again myths are myths for as reason. There isn’t any proof he actually existed, there isn’t any actual evidence, but Jesus does.......

Words: 364 - Pages: 2


...Cosmic Creation Myths Across Cultures Arthil Valena Hum 105 May 23, 2016 David Hudson Cosmic Creation Myths Across Cultures There are many creation myths that originate from different cultures. Every culture has its own unique myth that explains creation and how the world and life came to be (Leonard & McClure, 2004). Although each culture has a different way of explaining the story of creation, there are some similarities and differences among them. Two of the myths that are more divergent in content are the Edda creation myth from Norse culture and the Genesis creation myth from Hebrew culture. Although both creation stories have more than one realm, they differ in how they break each area down. Both creation myths also have a god or gods as the beginning creators. All cultures have their own creation myths and it is interesting to see the similarities and differences between Monotheistic and Polytheistic There are many worlds or realms to take into consideration when discussing the Norse creation myth. In the beginning there was a realm called Muspell which was made of fire, and a realm called Niflheim which was made of ice (Leonard & McClure, 2004). Between both of these realms was a sea of emptiness called Ginnungagap (Leonard & McClure, 2004). All three of the realms were not considered to be part of the heavens or the earth but rather before earth. These realms were the beginning or pre-worlds of the Norse creation myths. ......

Words: 930 - Pages: 4

Myths Rithuals

...Name: Laura Blumberg Class: ENG 101 Professor: Kristin Sheldon Date: 06/10/2012 Audience Paragraph The audience for this essay: “Some aspects of myths, rituals, and religious beliefs of Orthodox and Baptist communities” is addressed to the people who are educated, and often meet to discuss approaches in regards to similar, yet different things. Most of these people, men and women of differing ages, have at least finished high school, while a great majority went to college. They are from all social classes, and through education, they have achieved good knowledge and understanding of the topic. Their beliefs and religious practices show that they share the same ideas, however, some differences can be found among them. Some aspects of myths, rituals, and religious beliefs of Orthodox and Baptist communities It is said that mythology is different from religion, because mythology has prepared the appearance of religion or other forms of culture and, unlike religion, mythology remains an anonymous work. From the begging, the church spread quickly its influence throughout most of the Roman Empire, despite much of the opposition. The Orthodox churches revert back to what was seen as original forms of worship, while the Baptist church, on the other hand, had a much slower path of evolution. It is important to make a distinction between three short words: mythology, religion, and Christianity....

Words: 826 - Pages: 4