The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture

Overview

What if the Hebrew Bible wasn't meant to be read as “revelation”? What if it's not really about miracles or the afterlife – but about how to lead our lives in this world? The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture proposes a new framework for reading the Bible. It shows how biblical authors used narrative and prophetic oratory to advance universal arguments about ethics, political philosophy, and metaphysics. It offers bold new studies of biblical narratives and prophetic poetry, transforming forever our understanding of...
See more details below
Hardcover
$73.95
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$78.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $49.95   
  • New (6) from $63.74   
  • Used (4) from $49.95   
Sending request ...

Overview

What if the Hebrew Bible wasn't meant to be read as “revelation”? What if it's not really about miracles or the afterlife – but about how to lead our lives in this world? The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture proposes a new framework for reading the Bible. It shows how biblical authors used narrative and prophetic oratory to advance universal arguments about ethics, political philosophy, and metaphysics. It offers bold new studies of biblical narratives and prophetic poetry, transforming forever our understanding of what the stories of Abel, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and David, and the speeches of Isaiah and Jeremiah, were meant to teach. The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture assumes no belief in God or other religious commitment. It assumes no previous background in Bible. It is free of disciplinary jargon. Open the door to a book you never knew existed. You'll never read the Bible the same way again.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Concerns about how secular education ignores the Hebrew Bible because of misunderstandings about the Bible drive this book. Readers who share that concern may not necessarily share Hazony's assessment of why this has happened. Hazony (The Dawn: Political Teachings of the Book of Esther), provost of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, has written for a number of popular publications, so his desire to make this book reach beyond its primary academic audience seems realistic. Yet this is heavy going for general readers. The introduction alone has 58 footnotes. His argument is, however, provocative: the Hebrew Bible does not conform to the commonly accepted dichotomy of reason versus revelation (and is therefore dismissible as revelation), but can be appreciated for the sophisticated philosophy that it contains. Having quarreled with that distinction, Hazony nonetheless proceeds to accept it and then spends the bulk of the book arguing for the Hebrew Bible as a work of reason. His book is most accessible when examining particular biblical passages and ideas, such as "The Ethics of a Shepherd" and "Truth and Being in the Hebrew Bible." It's slow going but rewarding for biblical studies or philosophy insiders who are receptive to new ideas. (Aug. 28)
From the Publisher
Advance Praise: “A deep and lucid investigation of the connections between the two chief strands of our intellectual history. A great achievement.” --Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of How the Mind Works and The Better Angels of our Nature

“A paradigm-shifting work of immense significance.” --Lord Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth

"Hazony is on a mission to put the greatest book on earth at the heart of academic study ... [He] is a modern-day Jerusalem shepherd who is challenging authority — and has no idea how things will turn out." --David Suissa, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

“His argument is… provocative: The Hebrew Bible does not conform to the commonly accepted dichotomy of reason versus revelation… Rewarding for biblical studies or philosophy insiders who are receptive to new ideas.” --Publishers Weekly

"...a bracing intellectual adventure." --Alan Mittleman, The Jewish Theological Seminary

"Hazony does not write simply to persuade us to agree or disagree with his interpretation of any particular story. Reviewers who think so do him an injustice. Instead, Hazony wants to persuade us that to read the Bible is to engage in a necessary argument over how to build a good society." --Diana Muir Appelbaum, Jewish Ideas Daily

Library Journal
The Hebrew Bible is a work of reason, writes Hazony (philosophy, political theory & religion, Shalem Ctr., Jerusalem). A false "reason-revelation dichotomy," reinforced by the Church, the Enlightenment, and the Academy prevents scholars from understanding the Hebrew Bible as a work of philosophy, meant to "establish political, moral, and metaphysical truths of a general nature." Hazony explores recent scholarship that understands "the Bible as a work of reason" and "examines the philosophical interests of the authors of the Bible." To that end, he states that the Hebrew Bible is structured as a "History of Israel," written as a "consistent political philosophy." Later chapters address the philosophical staples of ethics, epistemology, the nature of truth, and faith. Hazony defines "reason" in an appendix intended for scholars. VERDICT A fascinating exploration of its subject that will nevertheless leave some readers unconvinced. Although written, per the author, with the hope of reaching interested readers beyond its natural audience of specialists, this is primarily a work of scholarship for scholars and those with grounding in the Old Testament. Recommended primarily for philosophers, political theorists, and biblical scholars.—Matt Rice, Philadelphia
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107003170
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/30/2012
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 441,256
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Yoram Hazony is Provost of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and a Senior Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, Political Theory and Religion (PPR). Hazony's previous books include The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul and The Dawn: Political Teachings of the Book of Esther. His essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Commentary, Azure and Ha'aretz, among other publications. He is author of a regular blog on philosophy, Judaism, Israel and higher education called Jerusalem Letters. Hazony received a BA from Princeton University in East Asian Studies and a PhD from Rutgers University in Political Theory.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: beyond reason and revelation; Part I: Reading Hebrew Scripture: 2. The structure of the Hebrew Bible; 3. What is the purpose of the Hebrew Bible?; 4. How does the Bible make arguments of a general nature?; Part II: The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture: Five Studies: 5. The ethics of a shepherd; 6. The history of Israel, Genesis-Kings: a political philosophy; 7. Jeremiah and the problem of knowing; 8. Truth and being in Hebrew scripture; 9. Jerusalem and Carthage; Part III: Conclusion: 10. God's speech after reason and revelation.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)