Biblical Philosophy

In Biblical Philosophy, Dru Johnson examines how the texts of Christian Scripture argue philosophically with ancient and modern readers alike. He demonstrates how biblical literature bears the distinct markers of a philosophical style in its use of literary and philosophical strategies to reason about the nature of reality and our place within it. Johnson questions traditional definitions of philosophy and compares the Hebraic style of philosophy with the intellectual projects of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Hellenism. Identifying the genetic features of the Hebraic philosophical style, Johnson traces its development from its hybridization in Hellenistic Judaism to its retrieval by the New Testament authors. He also shows how the Gospels and letters of Paul exhibit the same genetic markers, modes of argument, particular argument forms, and philosophical convictions that define the Hebraic style, while they engaged with Hellenistic rhetoric. His volume offers a model for thinking about philosophical styles in comparative philosophical discussions.

Table of Contents

A Case for Retrieving Hebraic Philosophy

Part I. Philosophical Styles:

1. What counts as philosophy

2. Philosophy before the Greeks: the Ancient Near Eastern intellectual context

Part II. Hebraic Philosophy: The Hebraic Philosophical Style:

3. The Hebraic philosophical style

4. Mapping philosophy in story, law, and poetry

Part III. Persistence in Hellenistic Judaism:

5. The philosophical styles of Hellenistic Judaism

6. Hebraic philosophical style in the Gospels

7. Paul in stoic garments

Part IV: Prototypes of Hebraic Philosophical Argument:

8. Hebraic and scientific epistemology

9. Biblical truth and human logic

10. Pictures of justification.

Ending with a Beginning