MYTH, LEGEND, AND CUSTOM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT by Theodor H. Gaster

MYTH, LEGEND, AND CUSTOM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This massive compendium bears the subtitle, ""A comparative study with chapters from Folklore in the Old Testament by J. G. Frazer."" The subtitle explains both the origin and the character of the work. Begun as a projected updating of Sir James Frazier's pioneer study, Dr. Gaster found himself forced to go beyond the rather disjointed compilation that Frazier had put together on various aspects of folklore. He proceeded verse by verse through the Old Testament to discover anything which might be further illuminated by comparative folklore. Stories, songs, customs, institutions, idioms, used or alluded to in the Old Testament were collated with similar materials to be found in the folklore of other peoples and religions, a procedure in which the accumulations of Frazier served well. The result is and impressive resource and work of reference covering a field that, strangely, has been little worked by scholars in our time. The methodology used by Dr. Gaster enables the student to consult any particular passage in the Old Testament quickly and to find important and instructive information readily available. This should be a reference work of indispensable character.

Pub Date: June 4th, 1969
Publisher: Harper & Row