Peoples of an Almighty God: Competing Religions in the Ancient World by Jonathan A. GoldsteinSome ancient civilizations, notably the Babylonians and the Israelites, held fast to the belief that their particular god (or gods) were stronger than all other heavenly powers and gods combined, supremely able to protect their well-being and success as a nation. This belief (which resounds in the modern-day rallying cry God is on our side) led to some foolhardy and rash decisions, particularly when it came to war. For a nation defeated or conquered by a foreign power inevitably faced the profound, perplexing question: Why did our God, who has sworn to protect us, allow this to happen?
Jonathan A. Goldstein turns to the religious literature of these ancient peoples to discover how they reconciled their beliefs with the realities of history. In a magnificent blend of several academic disciples (literary criticism, political theory, biblical and classical history), he compares and contrasts the responses of different eras and nations–from the Israelites, Babylonians, and Egyptians to the Zoroastrians, Iranians, and Persians under Alexander the Great. Goldstein’s close readings of literature written following such devastating events as the fall of the Israelites to the Assyrians and the Babylonians demonstrate that theology, far from being a static and unchanging set of beliefs, evolves with the course of history. Revealing how each defeat helped to shape and define the religious beliefs of the conquered, Peoples of an Almighty God clearly demonstrates that no belief can remain unchanged or untouched by the beliefs of other people.
From the Hardcover edition.
Peoples of an Almighty God
Start at:. God was incarnated as Almighty God , expressing the truth to judge and purify man. Now God has gained victory over the forces of Satan, God has conquered and gained a group of people. Praise God , almighty and wise, He has defeated Satan. Utterances of Christ. Gospel Movies. Variety Show Series.
According to Goldstein 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees , the Hebrews weren't the only ancient people who believed that a powerful god, superior to all other foreign deities, created and protected them. The Babylonians and the Egyptians, he contends, were also "peoples of an almighty god" whose history and literature reflects their quasi-monotheistic belief. Using historical detail that is rich, exhaustive and often overwhelming, Goldstein demonstrates that Hebrew literature, from the Torah to the Prophets, chronicles the people's belief in Yahweh's sovereignty—even when Yahweh seems to suffer defeat at the hands of another almighty god, Marduk of Babylon, and the Babylonians drive the Jews into exile.
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Competing Religions in the Ancient World
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