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Politics and the Bible

Politics and the Bible REVIEW ARTICLE POLITICS AND THE BIBLE Professor Thomas L. Thompson Professor Emeritus, Department of Biblical Exegesis University of Copenhagen DK-1150 Copenhagen K, Denmark tlt@teol.ku.dk Michael Nathanson offers a dramatic allegory to open his recently published book, Between Myth and Mandate,1 an opening which vividly confirms Nur Masalha's understanding of Israeli Zionism's use of the Bible to invent a tradition.2 Nathanson presents his allegory by publishing a letter, which had been written by David Ben-Gurion in 1954 and addressed to Nathanson and a colleague. It is a simple letter, reflecting an obvious everyday promotion of the personal politics of Israel's first prime minister (p. x). The letter expresses a revealing self-identification with the Bible's figure of the Messiah, one whose destiny is ever divinely revealed `at the appointed time.' This stereotypical literary trope of the ancient Near East's messianic tradition, claiming divine guidance and patronage, long antecedes even the Bible. Its royal ideology has its literary roots in the fictional self-biographies of kings from at least the time of Sargon of Akkad in the third millennium BCE,3 Ben Gurion's use of this ancient stream of propaganda is, nevertheless, centered in the figure of David as Messiah in the Bible, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Holy Land Studies Edinburgh University Press

Politics and the Bible

Holy Land Studies , Volume 13 (2): 223 – Nov 1, 2014

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Holy Land Studies, 2014
Subject
Review Articles; Islamic Studies
ISSN
1474-9475
eISSN
1750-0125
DOI
10.3366/hls.2014.0091
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

REVIEW ARTICLE POLITICS AND THE BIBLE Professor Thomas L. Thompson Professor Emeritus, Department of Biblical Exegesis University of Copenhagen DK-1150 Copenhagen K, Denmark tlt@teol.ku.dk Michael Nathanson offers a dramatic allegory to open his recently published book, Between Myth and Mandate,1 an opening which vividly confirms Nur Masalha's understanding of Israeli Zionism's use of the Bible to invent a tradition.2 Nathanson presents his allegory by publishing a letter, which had been written by David Ben-Gurion in 1954 and addressed to Nathanson and a colleague. It is a simple letter, reflecting an obvious everyday promotion of the personal politics of Israel's first prime minister (p. x). The letter expresses a revealing self-identification with the Bible's figure of the Messiah, one whose destiny is ever divinely revealed `at the appointed time.' This stereotypical literary trope of the ancient Near East's messianic tradition, claiming divine guidance and patronage, long antecedes even the Bible. Its royal ideology has its literary roots in the fictional self-biographies of kings from at least the time of Sargon of Akkad in the third millennium BCE,3 Ben Gurion's use of this ancient stream of propaganda is, nevertheless, centered in the figure of David as Messiah in the Bible,

Journal

Holy Land StudiesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2014

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