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One of Harvard's most popular teachers has assembled evidence within the Bible that the earliest Israelites did not see God the way we do--as a ...Show synopsisOne of Harvard's most popular teachers has assembled evidence within the Bible that the earliest Israelites did not see God the way we do--as a distant, omnipotent being. Instead, their God was nearby and human in appearance; He inhabited a spiritual world that existed in parallel with the physical world, just out of sight.Hide synopsis
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Description:Very Good. Octavo in dust jacket, xvi, 271 pp., bibliographical...Very Good. Octavo in dust jacket, xvi, 271 pp., bibliographical and other notes, indexes. Our notion of God today--all-powerful, invisible, and omnipresent--is not the same as the God of the Hebrew Bible. So who is this "God of Old? " And what is His place in the modern spiritual world? James Kugel is renowned for his investigations into the history of the biblical era, a time beginning more than three thousand years ago, when the Bible's earliest parts first took shape. With The God of Old, Kugel goes even deeper, attempting to enter the pages of the Old Testament and see God as the Israelites first encountered him. The God of Old appeared to people unexpectedly; He was not sought out. Often He was not even recognized, at first mistaken for an ordinary human being. The realm of the divine was not as it is today--a spiritual dimension set off from the material world. The spiritual and the material overlapped, and the realm of the dead was a real domain just beyond the world of the living. Ordinary reality was in constant danger of sliding into something else, something stark but oddly familiar. And God was always standing just behind the curtain of the everyday world. In this groundbreaking study, Kugel suggests that this alternative spirituality is not simply an archaic relic, replaced by a "better" understanding. Kugel's picture of the God of Old has much to tell us about God's very nature, and about the encounter between Him and human beings in today's world. from flap copy.
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