Cover image for Forming God: Divine Anthropomorphism in the Pentateuch By Anne K. Knafl

Forming God

Divine Anthropomorphism in the Pentateuch

Anne K. Knafl

BUY

$54.50 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-316-4

328 pages
6" × 9"
2014

Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures

Forming God

Divine Anthropomorphism in the Pentateuch

Anne K. Knafl

This volume examines divine anthropomorphism in the Hebrew Bible, a study characterized by disagreement and contradiction. Discussions of anthropomorphism in the Hebrew Bible are typically found in three areas of inquiry: ancient Israelite religion, as reflected by the compositions of the Pentateuch; comparisons with ancient Near Eastern religions; and comparison with ancient translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. Contradictory arguments exist, both within each area of study and between them, about the intent of biblical writers, with respect to a theology of anthropomorphism. In this work, Knafl asserts that biblical studies has reached this impasse, largely due to its approach to the study of the phenomenon. The prevailing method has been to study divine anthropomorphism within an assumed framework of polemic and by associating it with a theological system. By contrast, Knafl analyzes divine anthropomorphism as a literary-contextual phenomenon and seeks to build a typology, from which secondary arguments regarding theology or history of religion may be built. This typology will provide scholars of biblical studies, history of religion, and (systematic) theology with a means of evaluating divine anthropomorphisms and their relation to human-divine interactions, as a biblical phenomenon.

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
This volume examines divine anthropomorphism in the Hebrew Bible, a study characterized by disagreement and contradiction. Discussions of anthropomorphism in the Hebrew Bible are typically found in three areas of inquiry: ancient Israelite religion, as reflected by the compositions of the Pentateuch; comparisons with ancient Near Eastern religions; and comparison with ancient translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. Contradictory arguments exist, both within each area of study and between them, about the intent of biblical writers, with respect to a theology of anthropomorphism. In this work, Knafl asserts that biblical studies has reached this impasse, largely due to its approach to the study of the phenomenon. The prevailing method has been to study divine anthropomorphism within an assumed framework of polemic and by associating it with a theological system. By contrast, Knafl analyzes divine anthropomorphism as a literary-contextual phenomenon and seeks to build a typology, from which secondary arguments regarding theology or history of religion may be built. This typology will provide scholars of biblical studies, history of religion, and (systematic) theology with a means of evaluating divine anthropomorphisms and their relation to human-divine interactions, as a biblical phenomenon.

Chapter 1. Introduction

The Topic and History of Scholarship The Relevance of a New Study

The Approach of This Study Structure and Argument

Chapter 2 Methodology and a Test Case

Methodology

Creation and Divine Anthropomorphism: A Test Case (Genesis 1:1–2:4a)

Anthropomorphic Features of God in Genesis 1:1–2:4a A Preliminary Typology

Chapter 3 The Divine Body

Definition

God’s Bodies: Full- and Small-Scale Manifestation

Mental Activity: Bodily Idiom and the Inner Life of the Deity

Chapter 4 Divine Location

Definition

Theophany: Earthly Presence Divine Mobility

Sustained Presence

Chapter 5 Divine Action and Interaction

Definition

A Survey of Divine Action in the Sources Divine Action with Direct or Indirect Interaction

Chapter 6 Conclusion

A Typology of Divine Anthropomorphism in the Pentateuch

Divine Anthropomorphism in the Pentateuchal Sources

Implications of this Study and Future Avenues of Research

Bibliography

Index of Authors

Index of Scripture

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