Friday, October 05, 2018

Review of Gmirkin, Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible

Review of Russell E. Gmirkin, Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible

The author proposes that the Laws of Plato constitute a new hermeneutical key for the ideology not only of the Pentateuch but the whole of the Bible

By Stéphanie Anthonioz[1]
Professor of Literatures and Comparative Religions of the Ancient Near East
Université Catholique de Lille, France
October 2018
I noted the book when it was published here. I commented a bit there. I have still not read it, nor do I plan to.

Nevertheless, the author's thesis is pretty clear from the summaries and this review. The review flags the question of language, which seems to me to be a serious concern:
This methodological question invites us to note an aberration that the author does not mention, that of language. If the Septuagint really copies the Greek laws in the Greek scholarly milieu of the Great Library of Alexandria, how can one explain why no Greek lexical or stylistic borrowing is in Hebrew? It is indeed in general the Greek translation known as the Septuagint that one credits with “hebraisms," not the opposite. The whole of these points attenuates, it seems to me, the strength of the theory of the author.
But read the whole thing, because the reviewer has a lot more to say, both positive and negative.

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