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Book Review: The Bible Among The Myths

Book Review: "The Bible Among The Myths" by John N. Oswalt


It is quite common to hear or see people include the Bible as just another piece of ancient near east mythology that may be rejected as having no applicability to reality. John Oswalt decided to investigate this claim and address it directly in his book The Bible Among The Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature? (Kindle, softcover, promo video). This book comes to me by recommendation of several people, and the introduction alone sparked great excitement to dig in quickly and deeply. This review will be a chapter-by-chapter summary and will include some of my concluding thoughts.

Part 1: The Bible and Myth

Chapter 1: The Bible In Its World

Oswalt begins by providing the historical context. He takes the reader quickly through Greek philosophy, which was based on the idea that something cannot be and not be at the same time (the law of non-contradiction). The Greek philosophers struggled (and lost) for acceptance of this radical idea in their culture. At roughly the same time the Hebrew idea of a single God, who created the universe, (an idea also unique among cultures of the time) was under attack in the mind of the very people who carried the tradition because of the rising military powers, which affirmed contradicting theologies, that eventually overtook the nature of Israel. However, this "set the stage" for Jesus Christ to come on the scene and bring these two culturally independent yet correct understandings of reality together into one consistent worldview that is now known as "Christianity." A single God, who created the universe, is the metaphysical foundation for the law of non-contradiction that his creation (and the rest of reality, for that matter) adheres to. The Christian worldview was necessary for logic and science to fully develop and fully function (seemingly) independently.