The issue of how to represent God is a concern both ancient and contemporary. In this wide-ranging and authoritative study, renowned biblical scholar Mark Smith investigates the symbols, meanings, and narratives in the Hebrew Bible, Ugaritic texts, and ancient iconography, which attempt to describe deities in relation to humans. Smith uses a novel approach to show how the Bible depicts God in human and animal forms-and sometimes both together. Mediating between the ancients' theories and the work of modern thinkers, Smith's boldly original work uncovers the foundational understandings of deities and space.
Mark S. Smith is Skirball Professor of Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Early History of God; The Pilgrimage Pattern in Exodus (with contributions by the archaeologist Elizabeth Bloch-Smith); The Origins of Biblical Monotheism; God in Translation; Poetic Heroes; and How Human Is God? Seven Questions about God and Humanity in the Bible.