Chapter

Alternative Gods

James L. Crenshaw

in Defending God

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140026
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835607 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195140028.003.0003
 Alternative Gods

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The polytheistic environment of ancient Israel offered a convenient response to evil’s persistence. Psalm 82 endorses this view of a pantheon of gods and points to its fundamental weakness, the inability of the gods to assure justice on earth. The indictment of these derelict deities by a single heavenly being, Elohim, marks the first truly revolutionary moment in biblical thought: the death of the gods and ensuing monotheism. Still, this revolution is not without a certain irony, for the remaining Elohim must be implored to establish justice.

Keywords: polytheistic; Israel; evil; Psalms; pantheon; justice; Elohim; revolution; monotheism; death

Chapter.  4066 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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