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The Origins of Biblical Monotheism – Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts

Mark S. Smith


As the Bible tells us, ancient Israel's neighbors worshipped a wide variety of Gods. It is now widely accepted that the Israelites’ God, Yahweh, must have originated as among these many, before assuming the role of the one true God of monotheism. Mark Smith seeks in this book to discover more precisely what was meant by “divinity” in the ancient Near East and how these concepts apply to Yahweh. Part I, The Structures of Divinity, offers a detailed examination of the deities of ancient Ugarit (Middle East), known to us from the large surviving group of relevant extra-biblical texts. In Part II, ... More

Keywords: Bible, divinity, Israel, monotheism, origins, religious history, Ugaritic deities, Ugaritic texts, Yahweh

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780195134803
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/019513480X.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Mark S. Smith, author
University of Pennsylvania
Author Webpage