New Book: CHT Fellow Dr. Jeffrey P. García’s On Human Nature in Early Judaism

The CHT is excited to announce that our academic fellow Dr. Jeffrey P. Garcia has published a book analyzing early Jewish thought on the universal characteristics of human nature and how they represent humanity’s relationship to God.

Dr. Garcia, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Second Temple Literature at Nyack College, NYC, explores these thinkers’ discussions in his On Human Nature in Early Judaism: Creation, Composition and Condition, published by Brill in ebook format on October 26, 2020. The hardback version will be released on November 16, 2020.

The topic of his book

was developed from my adjacent work on charity and Jesus’ focus in his ministry on taking care of the poor. . . . The two themes, human nature and charity, may seem unrelated. But the logic is simple: Jesus’ views on taking care of those in need was founded on the idea that humanity was created in the image of God. 

Quoted from

Though Jewish thinkers in the Greco-Roman period tended to focus on the characteristics of their community, Dr. Garcia uncovers within their discussions some broader ideas about human nature generally. These emerged from Jewish discourse on the creation story and addressed questions of soul-body dualism, free will, human lowliness, and sin.