A scholarly approach to sixty-one stories from the book of Genesis, following in the lucid format of Graves' canonical The Greek Myths
An exhaustive study of sixty-one stories from the Old Testament and the Torah, as well as pre-biblical texts censored for centuries, that nuance, extend, and complete the book of Genesis. Graves and Patai, renowned scholars of Greco-Roman and Hebrew mythology, transcend the Christian biblical and Judaic versions of these narratives, in order to redefine myth. Myths are reconceived as dramatic stories that form a sacred charter either authorizing the continuance or the alteration of religious beliefs. Authorized biblical texts are interpreted against the grain to expose folk tales, apocryphal texts, midrashes, and other little-known documents that the Old Testament and the Torah exclude. Thus, the mythological component underlying the theological component is revealed. This is a useful companion to Graves' The Greek Myths, as it puts forth the thesis that the Hebrews, unlike the Greeks, used myth to sermonize on national history and destiny. Though the authors were true intellectuals, they were considered mavericks by the mainstream academy.