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On the Biblical Notion of the "Fear of God" as a Condition for Human Existence

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This article examines the biblical notion of "fear of God" as a fundamental normative category for all human beings. First, the Hebrew word for "fear" is examined in correspondence with the word for "knowledge," for they oftentimes appear as synonyms in the Bible. Fear of God is thereby identified as a particular state of mind that directs one's perception of the world and the self and qualifies, essentially, one's existence as human. This study is part of a work-in-progress that explores the conceptual world of ancient Israel.

Affiliations: 1: The Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization, New York University School of Law; jojindo@nyu. edu


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