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"Horrible And Blasphemous": Isaac La Peyrère, Isaac Vossius, And The Emergence Of Radical Biblical Criticism In The Dutch Republic

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Chapter Summary

The orthodox party, as well as many later historians, viewed the growth of radical biblical criticism in the Dutch Republic as essentially the result of an external force called philosophy. Isaac la Peyrère certainly was not a great scholar. The French biblical critic Richard Simon (1638?1712) immediately noted la Peyrère?s inability to read Hebrew and Greek. What prompted la Peyrère to publish his book in 1655 is not entirely clear. It has been suggested that Queen Christina of Sweden financed the project. Isaac Vossius (1616?1689) was the only surviving son of the great classical scholar, philologist, and theologian Gerardus Johannes Vossius (1577?1649). In his monumental Radical Enlightenment, Jonathan Israel has underlined the importance of the emergence of radical biblical criticism in the Dutch Republic.

Keywords: Dutch Republic; Greek; Hebrew; Isaac la Peyrère; Isaac Vossius; Queen Christina; radical biblical criticism



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