Suggested Reading Re: Ninth Century BCE
From this map of the Ancient Middle East, you can see that the stage for the writing of the Old Testament was surrounded by ideas already prevalent in the civilizations around Canaan. It is my belief that these ideas were incorporated into Israel's national story. If you're new to the blog, look at Posts for the last couple of weeks.
I would like to suggest a couple of very interesting books to check out. The Book of J by David Rosenberg and Harold Bloom is a great insight from the perspective of Jews on the authorship of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. It's a good stretching exercise for Christians who suffer from acute dogmatism. It can be purchased at Amazon.com: The Book of J . Also, The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong discusses the ninth century BCE when "four distinct regions of the civilized world created the religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to nourish humanity to the present day." It can be purchased also from Amazon.com: The Great Transformation . If you don't want to get the books, I do quote a couple of my favorite passages in my soon-to-be-released book.
I got my copy of The Book of J at a garage sale many years ago. It caught my eye. I didn't read it for years. When I finally did, it was an eyeopener. Now, could it have been providential that I picked that book up at the garage sale? Ha. You decide.
Have some fun: Vote in the P0ll in the column on the right. :-)