Monthly Archives: June 2015

Jaco Gericke, “Theological Why-Questions in the Hebrew Bible”

jaco_gerickeJaco Gericke has made his paper from our SBL session available for download (San Diego, 2015). Here is the abstract and a teaser:


This article provides an introductory overview of a selection of philosophical perspectives on theological why-questions in the Hebrew Bible. Why-questions put to Yhwh in all the various sections of the canon are clarified philosophically via ancient views on causation, the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and the philosophy of language. Comparative philosophy of religion is also utilized to argue that while most theological why-questions in the Hebrew Bible are asked in the context of suffering, assumptions related to the deity differ from those of modern philosophical theologies.

From the conclusion:
“Mostly the questions themselves dissolve amidst divine silence, leaving the audience only with a dead-end analogous to that found in the following mystical inversion of the why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road joke:

The crossing is within.

There is no other side.”