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Download Gods in the Desert: Religions of the Ancient Near East epub

by Glenn S. Holland

Gods in the Desert explores the fascinating religious cultures of the ancient Near East. From the mysterious pyramids, tombs, and temples of Egypt to the powerful heroes, gods, and legends of Mesopotamia, Glenn Holland guides readers through the early religions that are the root of many of today's major faiths. Holland compares the religions of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syria-Palestine, including Israel and Judah, from the Neolithic era through the conquest of Alexander the Great. He provides a historical survey of each region, then discusses the gods, the rulers, the afterlife, and the worship rituals. This accessible overview makes clear how these religions converged and diverged, and are intimately connected to many of the religions we recognize today, sometimes in surprising ways.
Download Gods in the Desert: Religions of the Ancient Near East epub
ISBN: 0742562271
ISBN13: 978-0742562271
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: Glenn S. Holland
Language: English
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Reprint edition (October 16, 2010)
Pages: 340 pages
ePUB size: 1179 kb
FB2 size: 1425 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 191
Other Formats: lrf lit docx txt

This is an interesting read but the sentences repeat themselves. By this I mean it's the same thing just different wording and it's almost over kill.

It has good information on the gods but it's almost scattered and will give a small amount of information then say it will get back to it later.
In trying to understand the situation of societies as they applied to the Bible, I picked up
several political and religious books, this book being one of them. I gained a better view
of what the Word of God was up against in those times.
Best West
Gods of the Desert
Have you ever wondered where it all began with the Giza Pyramids? Or how did the ancient Egyptians start their civilization? Glenn S. Holland explains the beautiful works of hieroglyphics, pyramids, temples, and gods. This book tells us everything about the historical background from the beginning of civilization in Egyptian dynasties to the end, and evolution of their religion.
In the book, “God of the Deserts: Religions of the Ancient Near East” written by Glenn S. Holland who writes the historic record of how modern religions were influenced by ancient religions around the world. For example, Egyptians started their religions with gods and goddess, which influenced Mesopotamian religion, then into Syrian religion, and so forth. But we are going to focus on understanding the Egyptians civil lives. First, the kings believed that they were born to be a “god”. Supposedly, they were part of the god of Horus, but the kings also were part of the god of Seth. Why is that? Well, it all depended where they mainly lived. The kings had two palaces, and two combined crowns. They controlled Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The two crowns symbolized the two different territories. Holland describes the crown by saying, “The kings sometimes wore a double crown combining the white crown of Upper Egypt (the hedjet, like a fat bowling pin) with the upswept red crown that represents Lower Egypt (the deshret)” (pg.4).
From ruling the two areas of Egypt, the greatest kings start to begin their burial temples. For example, King Aha, came from the Archaic Period, and he built his tombs for himself in Lower Egypt near Saqqara and another in Abydos, which is in Upper Egypt. The Old Kingdom, which begins with the third dynasty to the sixth dynasty, is set apart from the Archaic Period by an artistic and architectural innovation. A famous king named Djoser (2667-2648 BCE) began a new practice to build pyramids over tombs. Apparently, the first pyramids were designed to replicate the mound of earth on which the creator god stood while doing the work of creation. Holland illustrates that, “The pyramids may have also developed from the primeval mound of earth or pile of mud bricks place over an underground tomb.” (pg.5). The building projects of Khufu (2589-2566 BCE) was the creation of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world to survive to the present day. This began to change ideas of kings’ fate in the afterlife. Khufu’s successor Djedefra (2566-2558 BCE) was the first king to incorporate the divine name of Ra into his royal name and to use the title as the “Son of Ra”. Djedefra’s successor Khafra created the Great Sphinx of Giza. Then his successor Menkaura built a small model, in large part using granite in place of limestone. Menkaura began to see a long period of decline in royal authority that also produced a number of religious innovations.
Egyptian mythology works in mysterious ways. For example, in the Old Kingdom, their story of Heliopolis creation begins by Atum, a god of creation, who simply looks like a modern ancient civil Egyptian. In this myth, Atum stood on a mound of nothingness. In the midst of Nun, goddess of sky, Atum stood on the Benben, which is a shaped like square-based pyramid. Atum himself is described as “self-generated”, meaning his existence is dependent on nothing other than itself. Atum releases the divine life-essence within himself although how this is accomplished varies in the different sources. Supposedly, Holland finds evidence in the Pyramids Text from the Old Kingdom that explains, “Atum released the divine life-essence through masturbation, when he employs his semen to bring order to the undifferentiated mass of Nun” (pg.33). The version of creation forms a complement to the story of Ptah, who spat out creation through speech. Now, religion started to change for the Egyptians. In the Middle Kingdom, the story of Hermopolis creation, describes that Thoth (Amun) was the creator of creation. For instance, Thoth created the Ogdoad, which coupled god and goddesses, who are responsible for creation of all other gods, elements, human beings, and creatures. As for other gods, they are coupled in the Ogdoad, such as, Huh and Hauhet, whom represent formlessness, the force of the flood. Then, from the Middle Kingdom to the New Kingdom, Amun became the dominant god of Egypt during the first five hundred years. Therefore, Holland emphasizes, “Amun is ‘self-generated’ as Atum is also said to be, and he is active in creation as the initiator of the first act, as the impulse of creative energy of prompting the Ogdoad into action” (pg.35). This story again indicates the traditional nature of Egyptian religion.
In conclusion, Ancient Egyptian history and their religion had always had an interest to me. There are many mysteries still being solved by hieroglyphics and destroyed statues that tell how the Egyptians lived, and these artifacts are still being discovered. Scientists, archeologists, and historians have theories to solve the mysteries with the evidence they have. People lived thousands of years ago with a survived civilization by trade, conquering lands by winning wars, and of course influencing other religions.