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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919


GERICKE, Jaco. A fourth paradigm? Some thoughts on atheism in Old Testament scholarship. Old testam. essays [online]. 2012, vol.25, n.3, pp.518-533. ISSN 2312-3621.

In recent decades, OT scholarship has witnessed the emergence of undercurrents of what may be called a fourth paradigm. In contrast to the three familiar faith-based "paradigms, " this one is essentially atheistic. Scholars working in the fourth paradigm do not believe that the Bible is the Word of God, God's Word in human speech, or human words about God. On this view, the texts are just human words and have no transcendental signified. In addition, a plurality of atheistic approaches to the text is operative within the varieties of atheism that can be distinguished. Ultimately though, this paradigm too has its pros and cons, both of which have implications with regard to future prospects for local atheist OT scholars. This article aims to present only a brief, personal, and introductory take on a controversial subject.

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