Sixty years ago, biblical scholars typically maintained that Israel's religion was unique, that it stood in marked contrast to the faiths of its ancient Near Eastern neighbors. But nowadays it is widely affirmed that Israelite religion mirrors that of other West Semitic societies. What accounts for this radical change, and what are its implications for our understanding of the Old Testament? Dr. John N. Oswalt says theological and philosophical convictions account for this new attitude among scholars, rather than a revision to the data itself. Its roots lie in the Western world's increasing hostility to the idea of revelation. Revelation, which presupposes a reality that transcends the world of the senses, is objectionable to people because it assumes the existence of a realm over which they have no control. Oswalt makes a detailed comparison of the Old Testament and the other ancient Near Eastern religions. While not advocating a ""the Bible says it, and I believe it, and that settles it"" point of view, he asserts convincingly that the Bible's historical claims cannot be disassociated from its theological claims. - Publisher.