Who Wrote the Bible? - Chapter 8 The World That Produced the Bible: 587-400 B.C. Summary & Analysis

Richard Elliott Friedman
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Chapter 8 The World That Produced the Bible: 587-400 B.C. Summary and Analysis

This period of history is difficult to understand because there is very little written history in the Bible and virtually no archaeological evidence as to what happened to the Jews in Egypt and Babylon. Friedman speculates that the nature of the Jewish religion acted to hold the Jews together, even while outcasts in foreign countries. The monotheistic nature of the religion makes it unique among the pagan religions of the day, in which deities interchange easily. This exchange among pagan people makes little difference to the core ideas that the deities represent, such as natural forces.

Regarding what living in exile is like for the Jews, mention of the hardships and guilt are found in Psalm 137, the book of Lamentations, Ezekiel, and the...

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