Bible as Ancient Literature

Go with Gilgamesh, but lose the animal livers.

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Perhaps the overarching theme of the Bible is the tension between God's will and man's: between what should be (God's demands) and what actually is (man's failure, on the whole, to respond adequately to the divine expectations). As a result, the basic theological conceptions of sin and faith, holiness and redemption, justice and repentance are reworked and given new significance.

The following article is reprinted from Jewish People, Jewish Thought, published by Prentice-Hall.

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Robert M. Seltzer

Robert Seltzer is a Professor of History at Hunter College (CUNY).