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Ugaritic Studies and Their Impact on the Study of the Old Testament

조상열 1

1복음신학대학원대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper introduces a short history of Ugaritic studies and their impact on Old Testament studies. From the first archaeological discoveries in the late 1920s, Ugaritic studies have revised the modern biblical scholars' understanding of the Old Testament. In this paper, the methodological trends of the major Ugaritic and biblical scholars are analyzed. Thus, it focuses on three major issues, including linguistic, literary, and religious relationships between Ugaritic and Hebrew. For the linguistic impact of Ugaritic to Hebrew, it emphasizes Ugaritic evidence cited in several important dictionaries of biblical Hebrew and the use of Ugaritic studies in some biblical commentary series, especially on the work of M. Dahood. The Ugaritic-Hebrew literary study is exampled in works of two representatives: S. B. Parker and Y. Avishur. The relationship between the Ugaritic religion and the ancient Hebrew religious tradition is one of the most interesting topics in the recent Old Testament studies. After surveying some important works producted by several contributors in this field, the research focuses on the theological discussion of two significant scholarly figures: M. S. Smith and J. C. de Moor. From these comparative studies, the research makes a conclusion that ancient Hebrew religious tradition have shared the same idea of deities with the Ugaritic religion. Ugaritology became an interest in the area of biblical studies as Assyriology had been so before 1929. The paper presents the fact that Ugaritic studies will keep its importance in regard to the comparative study with Hebrew, as it has been so. With this fact, the Ugaritic texts deserve a deeper concern of biblical scholars. For this reason, it is necessary to have the fundamental peruse of the Ugaritic cuneiform texts with a disciplined skill and the historical research on the text. Then it can be established through archaeological evidence which may enhance confidence in numerous affinities between the two religious texts of Ugaritic and Hebrew.

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