Is There Philosophy in the Hebrew Bible?


This article discusses a selection of the most recent examples from both biblical scholarship and Jewish philosophy of the construction of the Hebrew Bible as a philosophical resource. By way of a descriptive overview of the relevant ideas in the writings of exemplars such as Davies, Hazony, Gericke, Glouberman and Sekine, the study reveals a neglected albeit radical trend in the contemporary attempted return of philosophy to Hebrew Bible interpretation and vice-versa. These new developments of philosophy in the Bible are labelled “philosophical maximalism,” involving as they do the classification of the entire corpus of the Hebrew Bible as philosophical literature, in one sense or another.

Jaco Gericke, “Is there philosophy in the Hebrew Bible? Some recent affirmative perspectives,” Journal for Semitics 23/2i (2014): 583-598. 

Dr. Gericke is Associate Research Professor of Theology and Philosophy at North-West University, South Africa. He is the author of What is a God?: Philosophical Perspectives on Divine Essence in the Hebrew Bible (Bloomsbury) and The Hebrew Bible and Philosophy of Religion (SBL Press).

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