A Philosophical Theology of the Old Testament (Dr. Jaco Gericke)

How should we read the Old Testament? Is there only one valid interpretation or a plurality of interpretations? If the latter, then how do we maintain intellectual humility and find valid methods for addressing the texts of Scripture?

For a first-ever joint episode with OnScript, Dru talks to Dr. Jaco Gericke of North-West University, South Africa about his journey to philosophical theology, and some of his current research, particularly his recent book, A Philosophical Theology of the Old Testament: A historical, experimental, comparative and analytic perspective. Along the way, they discuss atheism, the necessity of bringing a philosophical perspective to biblical studies, developing reliable methods for reading Scripture, and even some terrible jokes.


  • 1:18 Introducing Dr. Jaco Gericke and his research
  • 8:06 Why Dr. Gericke doesn’t like to call himself an atheist and why he still studies the Old Testament
  • 13:41 The difficult with the terms “biblical theology” and “philosophical theology”
  • 24:55 The necessity of humility and openness to a plurality of interpretations for understanding scripture
  • 30:06 James Barr and the renewed philology movement
  • 35:20 Ways to do philosophical theology in the Old Testament
  • 46:32 How philosophical theology prevents us from reading our own philosophical categories into the text
  • 50:43 Speed Round
    • Favorite holiday
    • Have you ever made a student cry?
    • What professional obligation do you most dread?
    • Thoughts on Robert Alter
    • The most important book in biblical scholarship of the last 50 years
    •  …and more!

Show notes by Micah Long.

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