By Philippe Wajdenbaum
'Argonauts of the desolate tract' offers a progressive new remark at the Bible and its origins, arguing that almost all biblical tales and legislation have been encouraged by way of Greek literature. From Genesis to Kings, the books of the Bible can have been written through a unmarried writer, a Hellenized Judean pupil who used Plato's perfect country within the legislation as a first-rate resource. As such, biblical Israel is a game of that twelve tribes kingdom and the tales surrounding the beginning, lifestyles and dying of that country have been encouraged via Greek epics. each one bankruptcy provides the biblical fabric and compares this to the Greek or Roman equivalents, discussing similarities and transformations.
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Extra info for Argonauts of the Desert: Structural Analysis of the Hebrew Bible
For Römer, Wellhausen had been inÀuenced by the uni¿cation of Germany by 38. G. von Rad, Théologie de l’Ancien Testament, Geneva: Labor et Fidès, 1972. 39. Thomas Römer, ‘La formation du Pentateuque selon l’exégèse historicocritique’, in Introduction à l’Ancien Testament, Geneva: Labor et Fidès, 2004, 67-84. 40 Wellhausen’s aversion to legalist and religious aspects reÀected his liberal Protestantism, and the idea that the ‘decadence’ of the ‘true’ Jewish religion had prepared for the advent of Jesus, prophet and reformer, who would reinstate the ethical principles of ‘true Judaism’.
In Spinoza’s Theological and Political Treatise, Spinoza wonders how Moses could have written about his own death in Deuteronomy. According to Spinoza, the biblical author would have used previous documents that he may have compiled. Biblical scholarship sees Spinoza as one of its patrons; however, it seems that the details of Spinoza’s arguments were often disregarded. Spinoza thought that the books from Genesis to Kings (including Ruth) were the continuation of one another and had all been written by one single ‘historian’ using previous ‘documents’.
Voltaire wrote several times in his Dictionnaire philosophique58 (a serious parody of bishop Dom Calmet’s Dictionnaire biblique59) that the Greeks and Romans had inspired biblical fables, surely not the other way around. The anonymous eighteenth-century author of The Treatise of the Three Impostors claimed in Chapter 9 that both the Old and the New Testaments had robbed Plato. These thinkers have not been heard, although they are still admired and commented upon. Jacques Cazeaux I will refer frequently in what follows to the works of Jacques Cazeaux,60 a philologist specialising in Plato, Philo and the Bible.