Kingdom of Priests

For those who were wondering about my immediately previous entry: When the classical Torah commentator Abraham ibn Ezra spoke of a “heretic” who challenges the simple in faith about God’s existence, but who gets an adequate response only from the discerning Jew who contemplates nature’s intelligent design, the word that Ibn Ezra uses for “heretic” is apikoros. In rabbinic Hebrew, there are other terms that convey different shades of heresy. You’ll find the original Hebrew here in an online version of Mikraot Gedolot on Exodus, 6 lines up from the bottom of Ibn Ezra’s section on the page.

If you recall, I told you last week that another great medieval sage, Yehudah Ha’Levi, clearly defined an apikoros as someone who rejects intelligent design. So too does Ibn Ezra. Perhaps they were secretly closet Evangelical Christians, suborned by the Discovery Institute, just like me, since we all know that all true Jews reject intelligent design. Don’t forget to add other rabbinic greats, MaimonidesRabbeinu BachyaMoshe Chaim Luzzatto, and Samson Raphael Hirsch, to your list of secret Christians.

Did I mention that Ibn Ezra, despite being a medieval rabbinic scholar, was hardly a stereotypical “frummie” black-hat type? Among other things he was the favorite rabbi of a later proto-modernist and skeptic, Baruch Spinoza.
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