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Where Has Yahweh Gone? Reclaiming Unsavory Images of God in New Testament Studies

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

It is argued that recent publications in New Testament Studies, including those deploying its most progressive reading strategies, betray a strong predilection for an omnibenevolent, just, compassionate deity who does not offend our sensibilities. Given the rich, variegated profusion of alternative representations of the deity in the Hebrew Bible, a primary intertext for scholars constructing God in the New Testament writings, it is surprising that so few of these portraits are ever invoked or seriously engaged, which suggests a proclivity to religionism in the discipline. After delineating several benefits of the Bible's unsavory portrayals of God and disadvantages to today's fashionable deity of love, mercy, and justice, it is proposed that a broadening of our intertextual repertoire to include unflattering representations of the divine might open up new avenues in our hermeneutical explorations.

Affiliations: 1: Luther College, Decorah, IA, USA


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