Divine Imagery in the Biblical World

Dr. Taylor Gray, Lecturer in Biblical and Near Eastern Studies

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Audio lessons

Course Info

Have you ever wondered what God looks like? What about Adam or Eve or angels? Well, you are not alone. For thousands of years, populations of the Near East have also wondered about the divine realm and imagined it. They left us with many depictions. When the Bible came to be, it came into a world already full of spiritual ideas and visions, a world of many gods and their legends. We have seals, statues, frescoes, jewelry, and sometimes entire structures that try to depict the divine. Whether these images have any truth to them or not is a separate question, but there is no doubt the people depicted in the biblical stories knew about these depictions of the divine. Perhaps some messages in the Bible are even related to the images of the gods. Dr. Taylor Gray invites you to take a fascinating journey with him through the iconography of the Near East as he considers how it can help us to understand the Bible and its world better.

About Author

Dr. Taylor Gray

Lecturer in Biblical and Near Eastern Studies

Taylor Gray is currently an instructor of biblical Hebrew and Aramaic for the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies. He also is a Research Assistant at The Pennsylvania State University. Taylor received his Ph.D. from the University of St Andrews where his research focused on the epithet “Rock” (צור) for the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, as well as its appearance elsewhere in ancient Near Eastern texts. His research interests include ancient Near Eastern religion, iconography, linguistics, and poetics. Taylor is also an avid golfer and enjoys reading fantasy novels.

Taylor currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife.

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  • Lecture Notes for this Course
  • Plain Text Notes for this Course

Audio lessons

  • 02. Intro to the Study of Images 18:09
  • 03. The Study of Ancient Images 15:28
  • 04. Reliefs, Ivory, Seals and Figurines 12:44
  • 05. Image Symbols and Reality 12:02
  • 06. Iconography and the Bible 14:00
  • 07. The Context of Ancient Imagery 15:59
  • 08. Three Spheres of the Ancient World (Part 1) 18:19
  • 09. Three Spheres of the Ancient World (Part 2) 12:27
  • 10. Images of The Divine 18:11
  • 11. Horns and Wings 14:14
  • 12. YHWH's Mighty Arm 23:33
  • 13. Descriptions of YHWH 20:17
  • 14. Images of YHWH? (Part 1) 18:01
  • 15. Images of YHWH? (Part 2) 16:07
  • 16. Images of YHWH? (Part 3) 15:04
  • 17. Rethinking the Images of YHWH 07:18
  • 18. YHWH in the Bible and Iconography (Part 1) 17:39
  • 19. YHWH in the Bible and Iconography (Part 2) 20:56
  • 20. YHWH in the Bible and Iconography (Part 3) 15:03
  • 21. Depictions of goddesses in the Bible 19:59
  • 22. Asherah and Queen of Heaven? 14:39
  • 23. Divine Council 16:00
  • 24. Seraphim and Cherubim 14:53
  • 25. YHWH and The Leviathan 16:41

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