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Origin Myths and Holy Places in the Old Testament: A Study of Aetiological Narratives (Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano) Hardcover Book, (Acumen Publishing, 2011) 9781845533342


Title: Origin Myths and Holy Places in the Old Testament: A Study of Aetiological Narratives

Author: Niesiolowski-Spano, Lukas

Publisher: Acumen Publishing; Publication Date: 2011

Hardcover; ISBN: 9781845533342

Volumes: 1; Pages: 314

List Price in Hardcover: $110.00 Our price: $89.99

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The book examines biblical narratives describing the origins of holy places other than Jerusalem. The accounts are examined with three main questions in mind: 1. are there any common features in biblical accounts about the foundations of places of worship; 2. are there any particular elements in the aetiological stories that can show anything about the 'real' mythology and/or rituals of the sanctuary; and 3. what were the circumstances of the creation of such narratives?

The answer for the first question is positive, i.e., the stories of the origins of holy places contain the elements relevant to local cult and rituals, e.g.: the grave, altar, sacrifice practice, tree, etc. Answering the second question revealed possible reconstructions of a few cult practices (e.g.: in Beer-Sheba, Hebron and Shechem). The third question, about the possible dates of the narratives, provided some new insights. The assumption was made that the stories of the origins of holy places could have been created only when the sanctuary existed. If so, the archaeological data point to the 10th--9th century B.C.E. and the 3rd -2nd century B.C.E. as possible points of origin. Such possibilities incline the author to advance the hypothesis of Hellenistic origins or redaction of most of the examined aetiological narratives.

Contents

1. Introduction

2. Beer-sheba

3. Bethel

4. Dan

5. Hebron, Mamre

6. Ophrah

7. Shechem

8. Holy Places in Transjordan

9. Conclusions and Summary

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