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Old Testament Essays

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

Old testam. essays vol.21 no.2 Pretoria  2008


Why is there something rather than nothing? Biblical ontology and the mystery of existence



J. W. Gericke

University of North-West





In metaphysics, perhaps the most fascinating but also the most commonly misunderstood problem presents itself in the question, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' This is the mystery of existence and it has proved to be insoluble as long as it is properly understood. One popular misconception with regard to the problem includes the belief that biblical ontology was concerned with a similar query, in response to which it supposedly offered the 'god-hypothesis' as a pre-philosophical solution to the riddle of the Real. In this paper, these assumptions are critically evaluated and shown to be both anachronistic and presumptuous. Protological aetiologies in the Hebrew Bible show no trace of familiarity with the problem of Being and the assumed deity-reality relation was never intended as a solution to the mystery of why things are the way they are, or why they are at all.



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Dr. J. W. (Jaco) Gericke
Post-doctoral research fellow, Subject Group Theology
North-West University
Vaal Triangle Campus, P.O. Box 1174, Vanderbijlpark, 1900

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