Before moving on to the prophets, I want to recommend two excellent resources for further reading on the topics I discussed in my recent video on the advent of monotheism:
- Thomas Cahill’s wonderful book The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels is a very approachable explanation of the history contained in the Hebrew Bible. He includes many of the ideas current in scholarship on these topics, but writes for a popular audience and makes these ideas accessible to those who are new to the history of the Ancient Near East. I highly recommend this book as a great place to start.
- Yale Open Courses, a wonderful program itself, offers a terrific class on the Hebrew Bible by Professor Christine Hayes. This is far more academic than Cahill’s treatment and much more in depth, but similarly, as an introductory course, very approachable. For the full effect, I suggest reading the assigned texts along with following the lectures for the class.