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TH. C. VRIEZEN, The study of the Old Testament and the History of Religion

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Chapter Summary

The study of the history of religion, based on the results of archaeology and Semitic linguistics, has helped considerably to modify our views concerning Israel and the Old Testament. The major impulse to the study of comparative religion was given by the challenge of the re-discovery of Babylonian culture to the students of the Bible. It is clear that the Old Testament scholar is faced with special difficulties arising from complex relations. The investigation of the new material ran more or less the same course as the study of the earlier Babylonian world. A survey has made it clear that the Old Testament studies have often halted between historico-religious methods. The indissoluble connection of three main religious-elements impart the unique character to Israels faith, over against the other great religions of the Ancient Eastern world, though also there, to a certain extent, each of the elements may be met with.

Keywords: ancient Eastern world; archaeology; Babylonian culture; Bible; historico-religious methods; history of religion; Israel; Old Testament; Semitic linguistics



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