Ahriman: From the Lord of Darkness in Zoroastrianism to the Devil in Christianity

He is thought to have influenced supernatural entities in later religions such as Satan in Judaism, the devil in Christianity, and Iblis in Islam. Introduction Ahriman is the evil spirit in Early Iranian Religion, Zoroastrianism, and Zorvanism, Lord of Darkness and Chaos, and the source of human confusion, disappointment, and strife. He is also known[…]

Jewish Cosmology in its Ancient Near Eastern Context

Considering the spread of Judaism from the viewpoint of other cultures in the Ancient Near East. Introduction The cosmology of the Hebrew Bible is basic not only to Judaism but also to Christianity, and its central features are accordingly well known to all of us. Our familiarity with the subject has a drawback, however. It necessarily makes us[…]

Global Monotheism: The Contribution of the Israelite Prophets

Examining the transitions from “selective polytheism” to henotheism and subsequently, from henotheism to global monotheism. Introduction In his recent book, The Post-American World (2008), Fareed Zakaria explains that after the end of the Cold War there was a brief “American interlude,” when the United States enjoyed a uni-polar status of unrivaled dominance, but that this phase has[…]

Palaeography: Medieval Scribes and the Transmission of Hebrew Scientific Works

Before the age of printing, the texts and layouts of Hebrew works were not standardised. This is because the transmission of works was out of the hands of their authors and in the hands of scribes. Dr Israel Sandman considers the intervention of scribes when copying Hebrew scientific works. When transmitting Hebrew works, scribes were[…]

How Translation Obscured the Music and Wordplay of the Bible

Translators of the Bible have rarely understood the need or made the effort to convey the literary dimension of the Hebrew works. An essential fact about the Hebrew Bible is that most of its narrative prose as well as its poetry manifests a high order of sophisticated literary fashioning. This means that any translation that[…]