The Bible is harshly opposed to participation by Israelites in
the worship of other nations' gods. Was this strict command to the
nation of Israel not to worship other deities extended to other
nations? Or was it legitimate and acceptable for other nations to
worship their own gods just as Israel worshipped the God of the
In The Nations That Know Thee Not, Robert Goldenberg takes a
historical look at attitudes towards foreign religions that are
found in Israel's scriptures and in post-Biblical Judaism, and he
traces an ambivalent attitude toward foreign religions as it
developed through the history of Judaism. How did Jewish outlooks
on gentile religions vary so much over time? As Jewish acceptance
of paganism grew under rabbinic leadership, did Christianity become
heir to other, harsher biblical attitudes toward other
Systematically covering the entire range of Jewish literature of
antiquity from the Bible through the rabbinic canons, Goldenberg
sheds light on the ways in which ancient Jews understood the
religious worlds in which they lived.
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