Why Old Testament prophecy is philosophically interesting

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 5
  • Abstract:

    Comparative philosophical perspectives on Old Testament predictive prophecy are rare. Yet whilst the Old Testament is not explicit in its views on the relation between God and time, its narratives do contain implicit metaphysical assumptions regarding the nature of divine foreknowledge. In this article the author listed a standard variety of possible perspectives on how one might construe the way in which YHWH as depicted in Genesis 15:12–16 was thought of with regard to his knowledge of the future, if any. Not opting for any particular view on the matter, especially given that most are anachronistic, the implications and problems of each are noted to show why Old Testament prophecy can also be philosophically interesting. The desire for ‘freedom of will’ in the superlative, metaphysical sense, such as still holds sway, unfortunately, in the minds of the half-educated, the desire to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for one’s actions oneself, and to absolve God, the world, ancestors, chance, and society therefrom, involves nothing less than to be precisely this causa sui, and, with more than Munchausen daring, to pull oneself up into existence by the hair, out of the slough of nothingness. (Nietzsche 2002:42)