Friday, March 24, 2023

Spirit phenomena in the Hebrew Bible?

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: Are Possession and Other Spirit Phenomena Depicted in the Hebrew Bible? (Reed Carlson).
In short, possession and other spirit experiences are common phenomena in human religious practice, and we should not be surprised to see evidence of their cultivation in antiquity. The inability of interpreters to recognize such phenomena in the Hebrew Bible says more about the expectations of modern biblical scholars than it does about the literature itself.
Lots to think about in this essay. And it doesn't even touch on angels or ritual divination, both of which are important in some Second Temple Jewish works, notably the Books of Daniel and 4 Ezra. See, for example, here, here, and here.

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