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The Problem of Myth in the Hebrew Bible

LECTURE IN HONOR OF RICHARD J. CLIFFORD, S.J.

03/14/12
Peter Machinist

Lecture on March 14, 2012

Presenter:
Peter Machinist

Sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry with the generous support of the Kitz Family, in honor of Richard J. Clifford, S.J.

The word “myth” has been used in many different ways, sometimes positively, but more often, and especially recently, negatively.  Many would argue that it has no relevance for the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, indeed would be expressly rejected by the biblical writers.  But is this correct?  The answer, this lecture will argue, is no – that, in fact, myth is a word and a set of concepts which can lead to a deep and varied understanding of the Hebrew Bible, set against the broader ancient Near Eastern world from which it comes. 

Peter Machinist is the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages at Harvard University.

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