Making Room for Japheth – A Hellenistic Bible?

This is the introductory chapter of a new book, edited by Thomas L. Thompson and Philippe Wajdenbaum, entitled The Bible and Hellenism: Greek Influence on Jewish and Early Christian Literature, in the Copenhagen International Seminar series (Durham: Acumen Publishing, 2014).

By Thomas L. Thompson and Philippe Wajdenbaum
May 2014

To read this article in its entirety, we have presented it here in PDF format.

Comments (6)

I have just learned that Acumen Publishing has been sold this week to Routledge Publishing House and therefore this book, The Bible and Hellenism, is now being marketed by them

Thomas L. Thompson
Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

#1 - Thomas L. Thompson - 05/15/2014 - 15:18

The two passages cited do indicate Hellenistic activity in the biblical corpus but it could be editors/scribes "updating" passages rather than wholesale Hellenistic authorship. How do we divine which is true? I priced the text on Amazon and have to really think about dropping that kind of cash to read the rest of the essays to see if the essayists argue convincingly for Hellenistic authorship rather than redaction.

#2 - Edward Mills - 05/19/2014 - 23:48

Dear Edward Mills,
I am puzzled about your remark that we cite only two passages. That was just in the first paragraph of our introduction. In the introduction there are many, many more--certainly enough to open up the issues we raise concerning the implications of such comparisons. Do not dismiss a book before reading the rest of the introduction.
I sympathize with your concern about the price of the book and sincerely hope that a library in your area will have a copy soon.


Thomas L. Thompson
Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

#3 - Thomas L. Thompson - 05/22/2014 - 14:03

Let me re-read it and see if I have erred! Alas, not much chance that a local library will have it. I still may purchase it because I have some sympathy with your views.

#4 - Edward Mills - 05/22/2014 - 21:42


page 5, 2nd to last line

19th --> 19th century

#5 - Reader Tom - 05/26/2014 - 18:36

My question still stands. I read the whole, very good, essay twice(once before I wrote my question originally). I still do not know how we know whether the two texts in question were part of the ongoing editorial process that we know the MT underwent, or original to the text? It may well be that significant parts of the MT come from the Hellenistic period. I believe that the Persian period was too poor and disorganized to have produced much literature. The other evidence adduced in the essay is compelling, but my original question was a simple question of detail about the two texts in question. It would have been irresponsible on my part to have judged the entire essay by two texts. But I am curious about them. So...

#6 - Edward Mills - 05/29/2014 - 20:58

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