Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and PoliticsThe Theologico-Political Treatise$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susan James

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199698127

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698127.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 January 2019

Putting the Interpretative Method to Work

Putting the Interpretative Method to Work

(p.161) Chapter 7 Putting the Interpretative Method to Work
Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics

Susan James

Oxford University Press

Before Spinoza can use his method to explain what the Bible teaches and show that its doctrine is compatible with the freedom to philosophise, he needs to clear away four errors defended by his theological opponents. Against the claim that scriptural doctrine was conveyed to the prophets by supernatural means, Spinoza argues that the Bible is a compilation written by many human authors over a long period of time. Against the view that the Pentateuch was written by Moses, he concludes that Moses was not the author of any surviving texts. Addressing an ongoing debate about the significance of the Masora, he dismisses the suggestion that these biblical annotations convey religious mysteries. Finally, despite appearances, the Apostles did not teach any speculative or philosophical doctrines. Throughout, however, Spinoza's aim is not to undermine the divinity of Scripture, but to separate its true teaching from superstitious misinterpretations.

Keywords:   biblical interpretation, authorship of the Pentateuch, Bible as a historical compilation, Masora, Apostle's teaching, philosophy and theology

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .