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Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking$
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Michael Fishbane

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198267331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0198267339.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
1 Introduction
Source:
Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking
Author(s):

MICHAEL FISHBANE

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198267339.003.0002

This chapter discusses myth and mythmaking in the Hebrew Bible on the basis of two thematic constellations: with reference to a paradigmatic divine action, specifically to a divine battle against the sea, adduced or invoked in conjunction with origin of the world or subsequent acts of divine power; and on the divine personalities themselves who provide sustenance, protection, or military assistance to their faithful subjects. It is argued that the logos model of creation marks a mythic perspective different from the one that views God’s suppression of sea monsters in ancient days a paradigm of His power to destroy the historical enemies of Israel, or otherwise bring salvation. Such a combative model gives a different type of hope to the faithful while showing a theological parallelism between a formative act of origins and ongoing expressions of divine sovereignty.

Keywords:   myth, mythmaking, biblical myths, Hebrew Bible, logos model, creation, God

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