The Bible Among The Myths:
Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature?
OBST 510: Old Testament Introduction
July 6, 2014
The author, a research professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary by the name of John N. Oswalt, attempts to explain the similarities and differences of the Holy Scripture and its teachings from that of the neighboring Ancient Near East beliefs. Moreover, he attempts to answer the question of how scholarly opinions of the disagreements found between Genesis and Babylonian accounts of the origins of the world.
He points out how the modern-day scholars are now comparing the Bible to other religious documents and considering it as just another mythical belief. Oswalt credits this world-view change to a study of similarities between the Bible and like Near Eastern writings rather than before when perhaps more interest was placed on viewing the differences. These studies are explained in the first half of this publication and sub-titled The Bible and Myth.
Within the second part of the book sub-titled The Bible and History, he solicits the reader to ask questions about the authenticity of the Old Testament, or is it even important that the Bible be historically accurate? Even if those inaccuracies are proven, does it hold any significance in the theological beliefs presented within? To summarize the book’s overall theme, Oswalt desires that his reader gives any evidence of accuracy the credit it is due. Not to be swayed by unsubstantiated conjectures that might diminish the focus of what is fundamentally true. His is not a request for us to look past the inaccuracies or to take a stance that if the Bible says it’s so then that’s all there is to it. Mr. Oswalt asks the reader to allow the possibility of ‘harmonization’ and not jump to any conclusions without allowing for the truth to reveal itself in the scripture.
The Bible and Myth