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The Inescapable Personhood of God

If philosophers are to read the Bible properly, they need a philosophical model that is not embarrassed by the living God who is considered to act in history.

From Landscape with Moses and the Burning Bush by Domenichino, 1616. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From Landscape with Moses and the Burning Bush by Domenichino, 1616. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Last Word
Jan. 30 2017
About the author

Jon D. Levenson is the Albert A. List professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University and the author, most recently, of The Love of God: Divine Gift, Human Gratitude, and Mutual Faithfulness in Judaism (Library of Jewish Ideas; Princeton University Press).


I’m grateful to Joshua Berman, R. R. Reno, and James Diamond for their learned and thoughtful responses to my essay, “Is the Torah a Work of Philosophy?,” in which I mainly addressed myself to Kenneth Seeskin’s new book, Thinking about the Torah. In replying now to their observations and criticisms, I hope to shed further light on the challenges and pitfalls confronting anyone who would try to view the Bible through the lens of philosophy—and, in the process, to clear up some misunderstandings that my essay may have created.

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