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Article

The Hebrew Bible as Mythic “Vocabulary”: Towards a New Comparative Mythology

Department of Religious Studies, William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187, USA
Religions 2020, 11(9), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090459
Received: 23 July 2020 / Revised: 26 August 2020 / Accepted: 4 September 2020 / Published: 8 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Myth-Making in the Hebrew Bible)
In this article, I argue that the history of the study of myth in the Hebrew Bible has been, and continues to be, shaped in negative ways by an essentially Romantic Nationalist understanding of the relationship between a people and their traditions. I then argue that more appropriate ways of modeling the construction of the Bible’s myths, combined with new investigations into the historical development of biblical traditions themselves, reveals a surprising continuity between the myth-making activity of biblical authors and editors and that of all those who retell and adapt biblical traditions in extrabiblical materials. I conclude that the existence of large-scale continuities between the adaptation of biblical traditions in different periods allows for a new kind of comparative investigation. By studying the use of biblical traditions in biblical literature, extrabiblical literature, and art, on approximately equal terms, we can gain new insights about the construction of biblical myths themselves, while connecting the study of the Hebrew Bible far more closely to the study of other bodies of tradition, elsewhere and later on. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hebrew Bible; myth; myth theory; romantic nationalism; comparative mythology Hebrew Bible; myth; myth theory; romantic nationalism; comparative mythology
MDPI and ACS Style

Tobolowsky, A. The Hebrew Bible as Mythic “Vocabulary”: Towards a New Comparative Mythology. Religions 2020, 11, 459. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090459

AMA Style

Tobolowsky A. The Hebrew Bible as Mythic “Vocabulary”: Towards a New Comparative Mythology. Religions. 2020; 11(9):459. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090459

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tobolowsky, Andrew. 2020. "The Hebrew Bible as Mythic “Vocabulary”: Towards a New Comparative Mythology" Religions 11, no. 9: 459. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11090459

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