Bible Review 13:3, June 1997

Bible Books

Unorthodox Judaisms

The Triumph of Elohim: From Yahwisms to Judaisms

Diana Vikander Edelman, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1996) 262 pp., $25 (paper)

The study of Israelite religion has undergone a transformation in recent years as old orthodoxies have been criticized and rejected and new orthodoxies jostle to take their place. One new view that has become dominant in some circles is that everything in the Hebrew Bible is late and post-exilic (after 586 B.C.), dating to the Persian or Hellenistic periods.a The late-daters generally maintain that we have no reliable historical information about Israel in the pre-exilic period, since all biblical writings are late fictions. Moreover, they claim that Israelite religion in the pre-exilic period was indistinguishable from other varieties of Canaanite and West Semitic religion in this period. The present volume represents a fleshing out of this position by a group of scholars who, the editor explains, “do not espouse standard views.” She promises “a set of challenging ideas and proposals that are not easily dismissed.”

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