« A Further note On the Trigger Warnings Controversy | Main | On Meaning More Than Is Intended (on Plantinga, Hazony, and Prophecy) »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Yoram Hazony

Thank you for taking the time to think and respond to my essay Eric. I'm very pleased that you are supportive of my continuity thesis on the Bible being a forerunner and a family relation of later philosophy and science! A couple of quick responses:

First, on the substantive point you raise: I don't see any reason to think that Bilam has to be regarded as a false prophet. As I wrote in a footnote, the Bible and Jewish tradition accept that there can be non-Jewish prophets. Bilam does not always act as a friend to Israel. But he is unwilling to speak other than what he truly sees, and so far as we know, he does indeed see truly in the famous passages reported in Scripture (Numbers 24.4f). If this is so, then he is a true prophet.

Second, I have to dissent from the headline suggesting that the philosophical position that I am challenging is properly labeled "analytic theology." Michael Rea and others who are at the forefront of the analytic theology movement have also been very active in promoting my work on the philosophy of the Hebrew Bible. In fact, the essay to which you are responding is excerpted from a long essay of mine that appeared in the Journal of Analytic Theology. It is a response to four extremely respectful and also overall quite favorable essays about my work that this journal had already published. My impression is that analytic theology does not see itself as being limited to traditional Greek and Christian modes of doing theology, and that on the whole they want to see Jewish and biblical philosophical theology contributing to their movement. In other words, if there's a clash it doesn't seem to be with "analytic theology" in general, but with specific prominent positions within analytic theology.

Eric Schliesser

I am not objecting to the idea that there could be true prophets who are non-Jewish, Yoram. Rather, I am objecting to the idea that accurate prediction is sufficient for true prophecy. For, the Hebrew Bible also insists on a content restriction in one's evaluation of a prophet/prophecy. I suggested that the content restriction is sensible because (a) it accords with the Biblical text and (b) without it, it turns even immoral scientists into true prophets. The problem, as I see it, is that the content description may seem to have its source in a suspect (from Hazony's perspective) epistemic source (e.g., faith or tradition, etc.)

I did not offer a full endorsement of Hazony's continuity thesis. I have to reflect more fully on it; I am inclined to agree on the continuity between the Hebrew Bible and philosophy (in lots of dimensions), but less so between the Hebrew Bible and science. (The previous sentence is, itself, a contextually sensitive claim consequent the split(s) between philosophy and science.)

On Balaam, I think he is presented more ambiguously than you allow, but about that some other time, perhaps.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


Blog powered by Typepad