Justice for All
Take notice. Jeremiah Unterman has written a major book that expertly documents the supremacy of the ethical in the Hebrew Bible. It will affect not only how you understand the Bible, but how you live your life.Dennis Prager, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and bestselling author of 6 books, including The Ten Commandments: Still the Greatest Moral Code
Why It Connects with Hebraic Thought
Though Jeremiah Unterman might not think of this as a work of Hebraic philosophy, his task aims at a similar goal: showing the unique developments of ethics in the Hebrew Bible absent in the ancient Near East. Though Egyptian and Mesopotamian literature has similar legal material, the Hebraic ethics idealized across the Old Testament are demonstrably radical in comparison. Unterman argues for a few key principles that when worked out across the biblical texts, emerge to create significant ethical innovations from all neighboring traditions. What’s more, the ethical traditions of the West adhere much closer to these central Hebraic ideas than Hellenist ethics: the treatment of aliens, repentance, labor laws, fair treatment, protections for the vulnerable, and more.
Justice for All demonstrates that the Jewish Bible, by radically changing the course of ethical thought, came to exercise enormous influence on Jewish thought and law and also laid the basis for Christian ethics and the broader development of modern Western civilization.
Jeremiah Unterman shows us persuasively that the ethics of the Jewish Bible represents a significant moral advance over Ancient Near East cultures. Moreover, he elucidates how the Bible’s unique conception of ethical monotheism, innovative understanding of covenantal law, and revolutionary messages from the prophets form the foundation of many Western civilization ideals. Justice for All connects these timeless biblical texts to the persistent themes of our times: immigration policy, forgiveness and reconciliation, care for the less privileged, and attaining hope for the future despite destruction and exile in this world.