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The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture [Format Kindle]

Yoram Hazony

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of Hazony's splendid work. This bold attempt to distil the intellectual essence of biblical wisdom deserves the widest possible audience and the most careful attention, regardless of religious denomination or lack of it, from philosophers.' Standpoint Magazine

'Not only is The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture a must for philosophy scholars, but also for every thinking Jew who wants to understand and appreciate the Torah from an intellectual perspective. Written in an accessible style, it casts new light on biblical characters and narrative, encouraging us to use our minds to understand its psychological and philosophical complexity.' Doreen Wachmann, Jewish Telegraph

'As an approach to the Old Testament as philosophy, worthy to be placed alongside any 'reasoned' later work it is something of a masterpiece.' Church Times

'First, Hazony's work is an important contribution to understanding the dynamic of the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Second, Hazony's argument is important for understanding not just Genesis 4 but as a radical critique of the general understanding of the entire Hebrew Bible.' Steven D. Ealy, Books and Culture

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1942 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 393 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0521176670
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Jusqu'à 4 appareils simultanés, selon les limites de l'éditeur
  • Editeur : Cambridge University Press (16 juillet 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0096BCVPG
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°21.567 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  69 commentaires
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Sustains the Unexpected 23 août 2012
Par Olaf Sakkers - Publié sur Amazon.com
These are the most important things about this book:
- Hazony tries to collapse the dichotomy between reason and revelation (which you probably intuitively subscribe to) by suggesting that we read the Bible as a work of reason (i.e. as making defensible claims that we can verify through experience, rather than claims that must be accepted because they are God-given). This is quite an ambitious (and perhaps unexpected) goal, but it is also an exciting project because it forces you to think of the Hebrew Bible in a completely different way. The first section of the book is dedicated to defending this approach and offering tools for reading the Hebrew Bible in this way.
- The second section of the book offers demonstrations of this argument in practice, presenting five novel and diverse readings of sections of the Hebrew Bible (with particular focus on Genesis, Samuel and Jeremiah) that give insight into the implications of the main argument and a profoundly different understanding of many Biblical passages.
- In the process, Hazony challenges many long-held dogmas about the nature of God - such as His omnipotence. Similarly, he argues that the Hebrew Bible holds that God's Law should be understand within the framework of Natural Law (that the laws are good because they outline how man can live the best life he can) rather than the within the framework of Divine Command Theory (that they're good because God gave them to us). He also proposes a radically different (and rather compelling) understanding of the nature of truth.
- Hazony has a clear and compelling writing style that makes complex concepts discernible.
- Finally, Hazony's arguments represent and carry with them a sense of deep investment, love of and excitement for the Hebrew Bible (which also comes across when he speaks). This gives weight to his writing and is also a little contagious.

The book is not without shortcomings:
- In some arguments that Hazony makes there remain unanswered questions and vulnerabilities to certain challenges. For instance, in his first case study, if what the Bible is celebrating is the shepherd's defiance demonstrated in the story of Cain and Abel, why is that the story is set up by the punishment for Adam and Eve's defiance of authority? Alternately, Cain also seems to be rewarded for defying God and building a city (rather than becoming a restless wonderer) and the name he gives his son is from the same root as education - does that mean God loves farmers too? And ultimately, Israel's laws are written for an agrarian rather than a nomadic society.
- Along the same lines, there are other ways of interpreting the stories and it is hard to definitively feel that Hazony's interpretation is the right one (or that there is only a single right one).
- That the Hebrew Bible is "philosophy" is not apparent (at least according to what we understand the word philosophy to mean) and some interpretations feel somewhat forced into the text (Hazony acknowledges this by the end and does correct for it).

Some of these challenges arise because the Hebrew Bible is a multifaceted text that is malleable to different interpretations and hard to pin down to a single message. Indeed, these challenges are symptoms of the type of project Hazony is trying to begin. There is not nearly enough space (or other perspectives for that matter) to flesh out the many dimensions of the Hebrew Bible read in the way that Hazony wishes it to be read. The dichotomy of farmers and shepherds has many layers and while the primary apposition between the two suggests that the one is favoured and the other is not, this is only a first approach that must be deepened. Nevertheless such a first approach must necessarily seem flatter than demonstrated in the text in order to bring it to light.

While some might quickly get caught up in such argument about details, I think it is important to recognize that they are only of secondary importance to Hazony's work. While he probably feels that he is correct in his interpretations, we have already accepted the merit of his main argument by the time we're arguing about these details. These are after all case studies demonstrating the argument he makes in the first section of the book. The essential question is whether we think that the Bible is in fact making arguments of the type Hazony outlines in these case studies. Indeed, the arguments that one is tempted to have when one reads the book are exactly the types of arguments that Hazony is encouraging and to miss this is to misunderstand the purpose - and importance - of the book.

It is Hazony's deep commitment to an alternative approach to the Bible to which has been committed serious thought and energy that succeeds in carving out a viable (though not necessarily perfect) portal onto how the Hebrew Bible might otherwise be read and thereby sustains the unexpected. Ultimately, the book delivers (both in theory and in practice) a fundamentally different way of approaching these texts - one that can endure under the exacting light of academic criticism and come away not just intact, but with something new and serious to offer - and this is a great achievement.
33 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Shredding Cliches and Caricatures of Scripture 15 novembre 2012
Par Bror Erickson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Yoram takes shreds the tired clichés of scripture, and challenges some cherished ideas and beliefs held by atheists, Christians, and Jewish believers. I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but I absolutely loved the introduction and first chapter and have been delighted by insights into the scripture that he brings in every chapter since.
I'm a pastor. I have read the Bible through cover to cover quite a few times. The first time I did so I was sixteen. Ever since that day I have been absolutely fascinated with scripture and what it has to say. I have often wondered why it isn't given more serious consideration than it is in philosophical circles, and Yoram's book is a challenge to just such circles to read it and take it more seriously than the caricatures of it often given to it.
The first thing he does is challenge the notion that because it presents itself as a revelation it cannot be read as a book of reason, even though if read carefully it shows itself to be quite reasonable. At one point he even shows how the collapse of the anarchic state and the rise of a kingdom shown in the Bible were instrumental in Rousseau's idea of the social contract. He challenges both the notions that scripture treats revelation as something that should just be believed, and that faith is supposed to be antithetical to reason. This is something I find myself as a pastor often having to overcome in the lives of my parishioners. I am thankful that Yoram has written a helpful book dealing with these subjects.
As a Christian we might see things differently, that perhaps the unifying idea of the Old Testament isn't the shepherd ethic vs. Civilized farmer ethic motif, but Christ himself. A person might debate him as far as his considerations concerning what salvation means, and what the blessing of Abraham for all nations is. Yoram argues for a law, a sort of natural law, guiding the nations to social justice being the salvation and blessing in the promise of Abraham. And I might add he does a very good job arguing this position. It just falls short, it is hard to see how this could be salvation for the world. There is perhaps somewhat of a blessing in it, and western Civ. Has benefited greatly from the ideas of scripture concerning social justice even if it has largely forgotten the basis of its approach to social justice. But this can hardly be salvation, and as a blessing it does seem to fall a little short, as everyone who tries to follow this law falls short of that mark.
Nevertheless, it is an extremely well written book, and if you are at all interested in scripture and understanding it, you will gain incredible insight from this book.
33 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must read for Bible "enthusiasts" 1 août 2012
Par AndiArnovitz - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have been a fan of Yoram Hazony's writing for years, but this book has been the most fascinating to me. I am not an academic by any means, but have always enjoyed Bible/Tanach commentary and Yoram simply reads the Bible in a way that I have not seen anywhere else. I have only a layman's philosophy background, so the background material that Yoram writes that allows a layperson to understand his theories is clear and accessible. His "horizontal" reading of the Bible, carrying themes and identifying concepts across wide swathes of the stories and narratives, opened my eyes to concepts and ideas that were both challenging and exciting.

I can't recommend this book highly enough - both for the incredibly original insights (so many "aha- why didn't I think of that?" moments), his exquisite writing, and his ability to strip away the Jewish medieval interpreters, the Christian theologians, and the Greek philosophers and expose the intent and meaning of the original Biblical Author/author/authors (your choice). It's a great reference for the philosophy department, the new Tanach school of learning, Bible scholars and amateurs of any religion, and the Shabbat table.

Agree or disagree with the book's contents, this is a terrific read.
14 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Fascinating, and Useful, Read 22 août 2012
Par Ariel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Yoram Hazony's The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture provides readers with a philosophical reading of Old Testament texts. Whether one studies the Bible daily or is interested in learning about the first Bible for the first time, Hazony's book will be a worthwhile purchase. The book is clear, informative, and thought-provoking and will enhance its readers' understanding of the Old Testament.

While the logic of many philosophy books can be hard for some readers to follow and understand, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture is a well-organized and clearly argued text. Yoram Hazony's introduction is particularly demonstrative of the book's clarity. At the beginning of the introduction, Hazony clearly identifies the problem he aims to address. He maintains that the Old Testament (which he calls the Hebrew Bible) has historically been viewed as a book of "revelation," that presents God's instructions as they are understood by his messengers, instead of as a book of "reason" that presents philosophical arguments about the nature of life and ethical behavior. Hazony then provides a preliminary (but not fully comprehensive) set of examples to demonstrate why the approach reading the Bible as a work of "revelation" is flawed and how it developed. Only after providing this background does Hazony "pivot" and flesh out his argument. He goes on to explain why he believes that scholars and non-scholars alike should begin to interpret and study the Hebrew Bible as a work of "reason." He then provides case-studies to legitimate his claims.

Novices and experts will not only appreciate the book's clarity, but will also find it highly informative. Hazony primarily presents his own reading of the Hebrew Bible. Yet, he couches his analysis within the framework of the thoughts and opinions of others that can help one understand and interpret the Bible. For example, he references Aristotle's definition of the word "truth" to argue that the Old Testament presents its own, contrasting, definition of what it means for something to be "true." Similarly, Hazony references the belief of early Christian Theologian Tertullian (who opined that there is no connection between "Athens and Jerusalem," or the beliefs of the Greek philosophers and the ideas advocated by the Bible) when making his own claim that there should be a connection between the philosophy of the Hebrew Bible and the works of later philosophers. Hazony's use of the works and thoughts of others enhances one's appreciation for the context within which the Hebrew Scriptures have been, and can be, interpreted.

Readers will also find that the book is thought-provoking and will push them to read the Bible in new ways. Hazony makes it clear that he does not attempt to give the reader a comprehensive framework for understanding the Hebrew Bible. Yet, his attempts to: compare and contrast biblical type characters (who model certain behaviors or fill common Biblical professions such as shepherds), deconstruct Biblical stories with similar plot-lines, and interpret the repetition of words within Biblical stories in order to understand the philosophical arguments of the Old Testament may not adhere with common interpretations of the Bible and yield surprising conclusions. For example, Hazony suggests that the behavior of the archetype shepherd Abel, whom he believes challenges God's will, is also reflected by Joseph as he challenges various leaders in Egypt. Yet, Joseph never served as a shepherd. Further, while Hazony says that Joseph challenges leadership, the Biblical text says that Joseph successfully served his master. One could suggest that the text's emphasis on Jospeh's master's success would be a sign of obedience instead of disobedience.

The reader will also be pushed when reading the philosophical conclusions that Hazony reaches. Hazony ultimately suggests that there are clear similarities between Joseph and Abel. He claims that this can lead one to conclude that the Hebrew Bible advocates going against authority when necessary. However, one could also argue that these stories are not inherently related or that other Biblical texts praise following authority. Nevertheless, Hazony's attempts to bring Biblical stories together, including the dramas of Joseph and Abel, will push the reader to look at multiple readings of the Bible.

Hazony's conclusion invites readers to join a "new conversation that revolves around reading the Bible as a work of reason and philosophy. I found that I was able to accept Hazony's invitation. After reading The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, and applying its methods of interpretation to my own Bible study, I was able to approach the Bible's texts from a more reasoned and philosophical perspective. The book's ability to prepare readers to join the debate over Biblical interpretation makes it an even more worthwhile read. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to understand and interpret and the Old Testament.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Turn it over and over again, for everything is contained in it 7 août 2012
Par Plekhanov - Publié sur Amazon.com
One would think that after over two millennia of exegesis, commentary, hermeneutics, homiletics, lower criticism, higher criticism, literary interpretation and the like, nothing new would be left to say about the Bible. And in the case of most of what passes for Biblical study in our time, one would be right: academic scholars albeit on occasion shed new light, but for the most part on minor, severely focused subjects, and "laypersons" generally rework tired old theses about the Book of Books, often without even knowing it. The great Zionist philosopher Ahad HaAm once averred that one can make the Bible say practically anything, but of late the Good Word has been all but mute, at least as far as proffering wisdom for our individual and collective lives is concerned.

Yoram Hazony's new book breaks the relative silence and shouts from the rooftops, offering a whole new and highly compelling take on the purport of the Tanakh. I say "shouts from the rooftops" even though the argumentation proceeds in a measured, painstaking fashion, because the overall feeling the reader gets is one that does not fall far short of prophetic revelation. You will have the proverbial "scales falling from your eyes" experience, a sense of new understanding that dawns on one with increasing intensity page after page until it crescendoes and one finds it hard to supress a "Eureka!"

Hazony has a long history of surprising us with novel angles on aspects and sections of the Biblical text, from his bold and groundbreaking first book on Esther, The Dawn, and through his many articles in the Azure periodical and elsewhere. But never has he been so ambitious, and never has he achieved his goals so thoroughly as in this latest masterpiece. I say this as a reader who has been for his entire adult life deeply disinclined to philosophical or political-philosophical interpretations of the Bible. I fought the author tooth and nail all the way through chapter five, at which point I was quite simply TKO'ed (chapter 5 is worth ten times the price of the entire book).

Hazony does not deal in elusive nuance or tinker timidly with perspective (or change the designations of things as if this changed the things themselves) -- as do so many of our thinkers in the present period. One comes away from their books at most with the sense that well, yes, I suppose that the proper reading might be adjusted several degrees in the direction the writer is suggesting, or maybe this new configuration s/he suggests can be "instructive" for purposes of inching forward in our collective attempt to parse the Bible properly. Hazony has never set his sights so low, and after reading *The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture* the reader will find himself in a whole new place vis a vis the Tanakh.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough: read it or lose out!

Professor Z. Maghen, Bar-Ilan University
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