The following essay is presented as part of a long-term project concerned with the theory and practice of modern Jewish thinkers as interpreters of the Bible. The recent Bible commentaries of Eliezer Schweid, who is one of the foremost Jewish scholars and theologians active in Israel today, are analyzed in comparison with parallel interpretations of Martin Buber, with special reference to the first chapters of Genesis. Their respective analyses of Biblical narrative reveal notable similarities in their treatment of the literary “body” of the text as the key to its theological significance. Nonetheless, Buber articulates religious experience largely “from the human side,” striving to mediate Biblical consciousness to the contemporary humanistic mindset, while Schweid positions himself more as the clarion of the “prophetic writers” for whom the fear of God, no less than the love of God, must inform an authentic religious sensibility. Schweid’s more theocentric perspective has great import for contemporary issues such as the universal covetousness engendered by the violation of our ecological covenant with the Earth.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited