Chapter

What kind of Religion?

P. R. Ackroyd and G. N. Stanton

in Introducing the Old Testament

Published in print March 1990 | ISBN: 9780192132543
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192132543.003.0011

Series: Oxford Bible Series

What kind of Religion?

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This chapter looks at some developments in the study of the religion of ancient Israel itself and its impact on the modern study of Israelite religious beliefs. Israel and Judah were two of the small nation-states which occupied a particular part of the territory which is called Syria-Palestine. What has come down to us in the Old Testament represents a kind of official version of religion. Priesthood and religious beliefs were the most significant divisions in Israelite society though priesthood in Israel never established itself as a sacred caste. Besides the priest, the king claimed to be the vital intermediary between the god and the community. According to the books of Kings it is clear that the king was the effective head of state and no mere figurehead and his control extended to the area of religious practice.

Keywords: Israelite religious beliefs; Israel; Syria-Palestine; Priesthood; Old Testament; King

Chapter.  6064 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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