The Secret Bible: A Secular Approach
Sts. Jude imPress, 2006 - 192 pages
The basic thesis of The Secret Bible: A Secular Approach to the Bible is that the traditions which comprise the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) were in their original form secular. It was only later when the existence of the Jewish people was threatened that the texts that made up the Bible were religionized, that is, God was made the center of the stories and histories and was seen as the single, all-powerful deity who had a special relationship to the Jewish people. Before the Bible was religionized, Israelite society was much like the others in the ancient Middle East with a secular government and sacrificial cult centered on altars in various temples. Many of the laws found in the legal codes of the first fivebooks of the Bible are secular. The stories of the first Hebrew found in the Pentateuch are essentially secular accounts of families and their problems. Religious elements were later added. The secular nature of the Bible will make it more accessible to those readers who do not accept God as the author of history and in control of nature.
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Abraham appears army Assyria Babylonia become Biblical blessing bring brothers brought called central century chapters clear commandments concerned conquest continued cult David death defeated destroyed Deuteronomy developed Ecclesiastes Egypt enemies essentially established Esther evil exile Exodus faith father forces future Genesis give given God's gods hand heart Hebrew Bible human ideology idolatry included indicate Isaac Israel Israelites Jacob Jeremiah Jerusalem Jewish Jews Jonathan Joseph Judaea Judah Judges justice killed king kingdom land later laws leaders live major means military monarchy Moses nature offerings period Persian person Philistines political presented priests promised prophets punishment reality reign religious remained role rule sacred Samuel Saul says the Lord secular seen sent servant served society Solomon sons story success Temple took traditions tribes turned worship Yahweh