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Product Description

The Biblical View of Man argues cogently that the Bible is more about human beings than about God, and insists that in the biblical view, what human beings need is not so much wisdom or grace but rather their own free will to fulfill the obligations that a loving God has bestowed upon them in order to allow them to prove and improve themselves.

While plato thought no man who knew what was right could do wrong, and Paul thought that no man, even if he knew what was right, could do it without the help of divine grace, the Bible – so argues Leo Adler – is realistic enough to know that people can sin knowingly, but also optimistic enough to teach that God has given them both the choice and the ability to do right. According to Adler, the exercise of such free will requires a firm commitment to God: “The Bible’s recognition of the inner uncertainty of man’s being makes the divine a necessity, pure belief in God something taken for granted, and faithfulness to God the highest human virtue.”

About the Author:

Rabbi Dr. Leo Adler (1915–1978), whom the upheavals of the twentieth century took from seminary studies in Germany to study in the Mir Yeshiva in Lithuania and then in Shanghai, spent the last quarter-century of his life as rabbi of the Jewish community of Basel, Switzerland. During that period he also earned a doctoral degree in modern philosophy and wrote several books in German on Jewish tradition and religious thought. The Biblical View of Man brings together perspectives that were nurtured by Jewish culture, by philosophical inquiry, by his own study of the Bible, and by his manifold experiences in a troubled world.

Daniel R. Schwartz is a professor in the Department of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Shimon Gesundheit is a lecturer in the Department of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Praise for The Biblical View of Man:

"In The Biblical View of Man, the late Rabbi Dr. Leo Adler produced a rare and moving account of how the Hebrew Bible views the human condition under the sovereignty of God. Erudite, profound and inspiring, it is marvelous that this work is now available to an English readership through the superb translation of Professor Daniel Schwartz. Adler reminds us compellingly that the Bible is not man’s book of God but God’s book of mankind. This is a work that deserves to be widely read by Jew and non-Jew alike."
–Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth

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