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Christiansen, Birgit (2013): Reinheitsvorstellungen und Entsühnungsriten bei den Hethitern und ihr möglicher Einfluss auf die biblische Überlieferung. In: Biblische Notizen / Neue Folge, No. 156: pp. 131-153




On the basis of relevant textual passages and lexicographical research this article focuses on the meaning of purity in everyday life and cult as well as the rules referring to it. Furthermore, it deals with a more complex concept of purity which comprises the physical body as well as the mind and the soul. Apparently, it was understood as a state of social and religious integrity which is endangered by violating social and religious rules and thus be turned into impurity. In order to avert impurity and to restore the state of purity the Hittites had many rituals at their disposal. The fact that some of these rituals contain a rite quite simliar to the biblical scapegoat ritual made some scholars think of a common origin while others refer to these similarities as mere structural paralells. On the basis of a comparative analysis in which also related rituals of the Syro-Mesopotamian area are included several explanations for the similarities are evaluated.