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Abstract from Article

Hobbes Confronts Scripture
Elazar, D J

Published: Jewish Political Studies Review, 4:2 (Fall 1992), 3-24.


Thomas Hobbes was foremost among the seventeenth century political philosophers who led the Western world across the fault line separating classical from modern political philosophy. In doing so, he, like his other colleagues, had to confront not only classical political philosophy but the Bible. From the first of his writings to the last he consistently confronted Scripture. Reading Hobbes reveals both the ambiguity and the ambivalence of his confrontation with the Bible. Hobbes wished to assault orthodox or conventional Christian belief but at the same time is drawn to the Hebrew Scriptures, not only because it is necessary for him to confront it for the sake of his argument or because of the Bible's own elemental and compelling power. His struggle foreshadows and is even paradigmatic of that of modern man. This article traces his confrontation with Scripture in Leviathan.

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