Introducing Dr. Jeremiah Unterman (CHT Fellow)

The philosophical system of ethics in the Bible is unparalleled in any other ancient text. Although believers and skeptics alike often raise objections to some of the difficult passages in the Hebrew Bible, they often draw on the principles of the Biblical tradition as the source of these critiques. Dr. Jeremiah Unterman is someone who emphasizes the distinctions, nuances, and value of the Biblical ethical tradition for the modern world.

In this episode, Dr. Dru Johnson introduces Dr. Unterman as a new fellow for the CHT. They discuss Dr. Unterman’s college years during the war in Israel, studying with Jacob Milgrom for his Ph.D., and his most recent work on the unique contribution of ethics in the Bible to the ancient world. Plus, Dr. Unterman recalls his odd sighting while at UC Berkeley in the ’70s.


  • 0:00 Dr. Jeremiah Unterman’s college experience in Israel during the Six-Day War
  • 5:02 Why Dr. Unterman began doing biblical studies
  • 8:10 Dr. Unterman’s work with Jacob Milgrom at Berkeley in the ’70s
  • 11:29 Ethics in the Bible, difficult passages
  • 15:35 Justice and compassion in the Hebrew Bible
  • 18:19 Comparison of ethics in the Bible with Hammurabi
  • 20:55 COVID-19 in Israel

Mentioned works:
Justice for All: How the Hebrew Bible Revolutionized Ethics
Jacob Milgrom’s Commentary on Leviticus (Part 1) (Part 2)

Show notes by Micah Long.

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