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Fall 1990 · Vol. 19 No. 2 · pp. 120–23 

Current Research

Elmer A. Martens


Toews, Wesley Irwin. Monarchy and Religious Institution in Israel Under Jeroboam I, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1990, (Doctor of Philosophy, Old Testament). Advisor: Dr. Katharine Doob-Sakenfeld.

The newly emerged Israelite state under Jeroboam I will have required new political and religious institutions suited for its administration as an independent state. The official religious institutions as sponsored by Jeroboam I constitute the subject of this investigation.

The Deuteronomistic historian, of course, emphatically denounces Jeroboam for having led Israel to sin through the cult which he established. However, on the basis of a critical inquiry that gathers evidence from pertinent biblical texts interpreted with reference to ancient Near Eastern material remains and especially with reference to Canaanite epigraphic sources, this investigation concludes that Jeroboam’s policies for religion maintained significant continuity with the ancient religious traditions of his subjects.

Thus, under Jeroboam, Israel continued to revere El-Yahweh, using traditional Israelite calf iconography, worshipping at ancient and venerable sanctuaries such as Bethel and Dan, and celebrating traditional Israelite festivals under the leadership of respected and established Israelite priests. The changes Jeroboam introduced were such as were required by the new political realities. Jeroboam raised some sanctuaries such as Bethel and Dan to the status of royal sanctuaries. Changes in the priesthood probably amounted to several appointments to new top level positions in his administration and also to positions formerly held by priests who remained loyal to the Davidic dynasty in Jerusalem and therefore left their posts.

The investigation of four texts (1 Kings 13:1-32, 14:1-18, Judg. 17-18, and Exod. 32) in which various scholars have detected criticism of Jeroboam’s cult from sources contemporary or near contemporary with him yields the result that such criticism actually stems only from the period after the fall of Samaria (722 B.C.E.). This result helps to confirm the conclusion that Jeroboam maintained the ancient religious traditions of his subjects. If he had innovated in significant ways {121} one could expect to find clear evidence of opposition by his contemporaries in the biblical record.

Having reached this conclusion, the inquiry seeks an explanation for the origins of the Deuteronomistic historian’s iconoclastic zeal. It appears that Hosea’s reproach against the tangible and sensible cult that had become the focus of Israelite piety may have provided the initial impetus.


Block, Kevin. “The Grace of the Lord Jesus in the Apocalypse” 125 pages

Thiessen, Evangeline Willms. “A Conceptual Model of Individual Maturation Within Community: An Integrated Approach”


Bergen, Walter. “A Biblical Warrant For Counseling” (Proverbs 1:5; 27:9; 19:20)

Blanchette, Sonia. “God, May I Have This Dance With You? A Biblical and Ethical Approach to Dance in Worship in Today’s Believers’ Church” (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

Block, John I. “Urgency and Style in Evangelism” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

Broome, James. “The Spiritual Discipline of Fasting” (Matthew 6:16-18)

Buhler, Tim. “Covenant Connection and the Hermeneutics of Hebrews” (Hebrews 8:6-10:39)

Buscio, Mario. “Thou Shalt Not Make Unto Thee Any Graven Image” (Deuteronomy 4:15-19; 5:7-10)

Carlson, Dwight A. “Personal Testimony is Effective Christian Evangelism” (John 4:27-42) {122}

Devens, Robert. “The Ministry of the Divorced and Remarried” (1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9)

Enns, Janet. “The Stranger in Our Midst, A Faith Response to the Refugee”

Falk, Steven R. “Conversion: A Worldview Transformation” (John 4:4-42)

Godard, Trever. “Disciple-Making by Jesus” (Matthew)

Gray, Kathleen. “Incest: The Hidden Secret—The Desolate Woman” (2 Samuel 13:1-22)

Hallman, Craig A. “If You Love Me, Tend My Trees: A Concern for the Environment Based in the Christology of Colossians 1:15-20” (Colossians 1:15-20)

Hjalmarson, Len. “Learning the M(Other) Tongue: The Imago Dei and God-Images”

Laurie, Peter Albert. “Biblical Guidelines for Leadership Authority in the Church and Its Implications for Leadership Patterns Today” (Luke 22:24-30; Acts 6:1-7)

Martin, Bryan. “Normal Christian Marriage: An Empowering Covenant Model” (Ephesians 5:21-33)

Pederson, Stuart Miles. “Unity and Change in Church Leadership” (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)

Peters, Audrey. “Forgiveness: The Reconciling Link” (Matthew 6:9-15)

Reimer, Hugo. “Ministry To Alcoholics: Galatians 5:25-6:10 As a Paradigm” (Galatians 5:26-6:1.0)

Ribera, Mitch. “You Shall By My Witnesses” (Acts 1:1-8)

Schmidt, Greg. “Facing an Entitlement-Oriented Society: How Should the Church Respond” (Luke 9:18-27)

Schroeder, Steve. “Accountability of Church Leaders” (1 Timothy 5:17-20)

Stipe, Michael. “Pour A Cup Of Coffee—A Study of the Servant Paradigm of Jesus” (Mark 10:35-45) {123}

Suess, Rod. “Shadows or Reality?: Developing a Christian Perspective Toward the Visual Entertainment Media” (Colossians 2:6-23)

Sullivan, Tim. “A Model for Dealing with Theological Diversity” (1 John 2:18-27)

Wall, Johan. “Marriage as a Covenant” (Malachi 2:10-16)

Warkentin, Brent. “Motivating God’s People to Godliness” (Titus 2:11-15)

* Theses (100-120 pp) and Senior Seminar Essays (30-35 pp) were completed to meet M.A. and M.Div requirements at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (1990), and are catalogued in Hiebert Library.

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