Cover image for Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes Edited by Collin Cornell

Divine Doppelgängers

YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes

Edited by Collin Cornell

BUY

$99.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-744-5

280 pages
6" × 9"
8 b&w illustrations
2020

Divine Doppelgängers

YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes

Edited by Collin Cornell

“A thoughtful book that addresses the strong similarities and differences between Israel's main deity, Yahweh, and other deities in ancient Israel and beyond (especially the Moabite god Chemosh). Readers will benefit from glimpsing the volume's authors attempting to treat the fraught question of Yahweh's apparent lack of uniqueness. The volume additionally discusses a number of related theological problems, including Christian supersessionism. A rich work.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
The Bible says that YHWH alone is God and that there is none like him—but texts and artwork from antiquity show that many gods looked very similar. In this volume, scholars of the Hebrew Bible and its historical contexts address the problem of YHWH’s ancient look-alikes, providing recommendations for how Jews and Christians can think theologically about this challenge.

Sooner or later, whether in a religion class or a seminary course, students bump up against the fact that God—the biblical God—was one among other, comparable gods. The ancient world was full of gods, including great gods of conquering empires, dynastic gods of petty kingdoms, goddesses of fertility, and personal spirit guardians. And in various ways, these gods look like the biblical God. Like the God of the Bible, they, too, controlled the fates of nations, chose kings, bestowed fecundity and blessing, and cared for their individual human charges. They spoke and acted. They experienced wrath and delight. They inspired praise. All of this leaves Jews and Christians in a bind: how can they confess that the God named YHWH was (and is) the true and living God, in view of this God’s profound similarities to all these others?

The essays in this volume address the theological challenge these parallels create, providing reflections on how Jews and Christians can keep faith in YHWH as God while acknowledging the reality of YHWH’s divine doppelgängers. It will be welcomed by undergraduates studying religion; seminarians and graduate students of Bible, theology, and the ancient world; and adult education classes.

“A thoughtful book that addresses the strong similarities and differences between Israel's main deity, Yahweh, and other deities in ancient Israel and beyond (especially the Moabite god Chemosh). Readers will benefit from glimpsing the volume's authors attempting to treat the fraught question of Yahweh's apparent lack of uniqueness. The volume additionally discusses a number of related theological problems, including Christian supersessionism. A rich work.”

Collin Cornell is Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South. He is the author of Divine Aggression in Psalms and Inscriptions: Vengeful Gods and Loyal Kings.

Editor’s Preface

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Part 1. The Problem at Large

Chapter 1. God and the Gods: History of Religion as an Approach and Context for Biblical Theology

Patrick D. Miller Jr.

Chapter 2. Canaan—Israel—Christianity:The Case for a Vertical Ecumenism

Othmar Keel, translated by Armin Siedlecki

Chapter 3. More Than One God? Three Models for Construing the Relations Between YHWH and the Other Gods

Bob Becking

Chapter 4. Who Is Like You Among the Gods? Some Observations on Configuring YHWH in the Old Testament

J. Andrew Dearman

Chapter 5. Why Should the Look-Alikes Be a Problem?

Robert Goldenberg

Part 2. Chemosh as a Case Study

Chapter 6. Theological Approaches to the Problem of God’s Ancient Look-Alikes

Collin Cornell

Chapter 7. Chemosh Looks Like YHWH, but That’s Okay

Josey Bridges Snyder

Chapter 8. YHWH and Chemosh: An Investigation of Look-Alike Gods Using the Moral Foundations Theory

M. Patrick Graham

Chapter 9. YHWH, Chemosh, and the Rule of Faith

Brent A. Strawn

Chapter 10. Is There a Counterpart in the Hebrew Bible to New Testament Anti-Semitism?

Jon D. Levenson

Part 3. Other Case Studies

Chapter 11. Miqreh and YHWH: Fate, Chance, Simultaneity, and Providence

Stephen B. Chapman

Chapter 12. “Can a Woman Forget Her Nursing Child?” Divine Breastfeeding and the God of Israel

Christopher B. Hays

Chapter 13. Bulls and Horses, Gods and Goddesses: The Religious Iconography of Israel’s Neighbors

P. M. Michèle Daviau

List of Contributors

Index of Authors

Index of Scripture

Subject Index