New book claims the Old Testament drew extensively on Plato’s writings

New book claims the Old Testament drew extensively on Plato’s writings and other texts from the Great Library of Alexandria in 270 BC.

Religion News Service reports September 21, 2016gmirkin-routledge-771x838

NEW YORK–LONDON — Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible, from academic publisher Routledge Press, proposes a provocative new theory regarding when, where and why the Old Testament was written. According to the author, Russell Gmirkin, the idea for the earliest Bible came out of Plato’s Laws, which proposed a new form of government with divinely inspired laws and a carefully approved ethical national literature. Plato said that if the ruling class of priests and educators could persuade the populace that their new laws and literature were both ancient and inspired, the new nation could last forever. Gmirkin’s book proposes that the Jewish nation and its Bible were the first and only implementation of Plato’s Laws in antiquity.

Russell Gmirkin, a biblical scholar and lecturer living in Portland, OR, has written extensively on the biblical use of Greek sources from the Great Library of Alexandria. Gmirkin’s 2006 book called Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus is listed by Logos Bible Software as one of the ten most important recent books on the Pentateuch. In that study, Gmirkin presented evidence that the Books of Moses were written by Jewish scholars around 270 BC at the Great Library of Alexandria in Egypt using various Greek sources found there. His new book identifies Plato’s writings as the most important of those Greek sources and the inspiration for Jewish monotheism, theocracy, and divine laws. Gmirkin systematically compares biblical, Greek and Ancient Near Eastern laws for the first time, showing that the Mosaic laws and constitution often most closely resemble those of Athens and those found in Plato’s Laws in particular.

As Gmirkin notes, “Jewish, Christian and pagan authors since ancient times commented on the close relationship between the Bible and Plato’s writings. Both contained similar ideas about a single supreme creator God, divine laws, universal education using inspired texts, national rule under priestly guidance, and even the division of the nation into twelve tribes. It is now becoming clear that the Bible’s authors borrowed these ideas from Plato.”


Additional information about Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible is available at

Categories: Bible, History

8 replies

  1. OK this article is silly on so many levels.

    If he can write that I’m gonna write a book proposing the OT was written by aliens..


    • I’m warming to the notion. The OT, as presented today, is not exclusively the ‘Word of God’. There’s quite a lot of human input and it may well be this that has been drawn from Plato’s, and others’, works, .


    • Musa
      None of Plato’s works even exist in his own time, the Biblical manuscripts are much earlier than Plato’s works. The same argument could be spun the other way and said to be that Plato’s works drew extensively from the Bible.


  2. Oops
    Plato is just one in a long line of thinkers going back eons. His thinking was not revolutionary; he inherited much. We give Thales this attribute of uniqueness, but are we certain there were no others before him? Perhaps the debate between monotheism and mythological polytheism continually produced break away sects who consequently developed new myths to explain their new predicament.


    • Independent,
      Yeah I agree with you there.

      This guys book reminds me of when Western scholars tend to say that the Renaissance was revolutionary as though the Arabs, Indians, Africans, Mayans and many more simply did not contribute to anything.


  3. There are serious problems in the conclusions that Mirkin draws in his earlier book.

    Please see


  4. As salamu alaykum Paul and others. I’ve been lingering on your blog looking for some posts on this: “is the god-inspiredness (sadly I can’t say a more accurate word for that term in English) of the Bible just a void late theory of the Church fathers or something actually backed up by the Biblical verses itself?” If you had any discussion about that or nearly, or there are any relevant links shareable, I would be thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: