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H. RINGGREN, Israel's place among the Religions of the Ancient Near East

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Chapter Summary

Since the discovery and decipherment of the hieroglyphic and cuneiform documents, it has been known that there are many points of close similarity between Biblical religion and the religions of the ancient Near East. The parallelism between two myths can be explained in various ways. They might reflect the same ritual background, that is, the death and resurrection of the fertility god. Or they might be literary variations of a basic motif, the origin of which we cannot trace. The religions which have "influenced" the religion of Israel fall into two main categories according to the nature of the contact which has taken place between them. To the first category belong Mesopotamian and Egyptian religion, and the second category is formed by Canaanite religion.

Keywords: Ancient near East; Canaanite religion; Egyptian religion; Israel; Mesopotamian religion

10.1163/9789004275461_002
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