Sometimes it is good to read people whose theology you do not share.
I recently found an online version of an article I had read long ago. The first thing I noticed was that as a believer in some version of inerrancy the author, John N. Oswalt, was very defensive and reacted with some negative backlash toward biblical criticism.
But then, in the body of the article (John N. Oswalt, “The Golden Calves and the Egyptian Concept of Deity,” Evangelical Quarterly 45.1 (January-March 1973): 13-20 linked on this page), he made a very interesting proposal.
The problem he takes on is that of the Golden Calf, both in the Pentateuch story about how Aaron made a calf icon for the people to worship in the wilderness and the calf images at Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:28-29, Hosea 8:5, 13:2) in the Northern Kingdom.
Since he disliked biblical criticism…
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