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Edited by Jonathan Israel
Edited by Michael Silverthorne
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2007
Online Publication Date:June 2012
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511815720.004
The present translation was first made by Michael Silverthorne and scrutinized by Desmond Clarke, then extensively revised by Jonathan Israel in close collaboration with the translator.
Spinozawrote his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus in Latin, and although some scholars regard it as quite likely that he also had some hand in the subsequent French (1678) translation, it is not certain that he did. Hence the Latin version, anonymously and clandestinely published and distributed in Amsterdamby Jan Rieuwertsz, ostensibly in 1670 (but in fact in 1669), is the original and only defnitely authentic version of the text. Despite its clandestine nature and the fact that it was widely banned, copies of the book surviving in libraries today are surprisingly numerous. This seems to have been mainly due to the brisk demand for copies all over Europe during the late seventeenth century and Rieuwertsz's ruse of issuing several unnoticed new editions through the 1670s, retaining what looked like the original title-page bearing the original false date and place of publication “Hamburg, 1670”
Until quite recently the best modern critical edition of the original text was that prepared by Carl Gebhardt and published atHeidelberg in 1925, in the third volume of his complete edition of Spinoza's works. An improved critical edition prepared by the expert Dutch Latinist, Fokke Akkerman, was published in a bilingual Latin–French version by the PressesUniversitaires de France, in Paris, in 1999.
8 - In which it is shown that the Pentateuch and the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel and Kings were not written by the persons after whom they are named. The question is then asked whether they were written by several authors or by one, and who they were :
12 - On the true original text of the divine law, and why Holy Scripture is so called, and why it is called the word of God, and a demonstration that, in so far as it contains the word of God, it has come down to us uncorrupted :
13 - Where it is shown that the teachings of Scripture are very simple, and aim only to promote obedience, and tell us nothing about the divine nature beyond what men may emulate by a certain manner of life :
17 - Where it is shown that no one can transfer all things to the sovereign power, and that it is not necessary to do so; on the character of the Hebrew state in the time of Moses, and in the period after his death before the appointment of the kings; on its excellence, and on the reasons why this divine state could perish, and why it could scarcely exist without sedition :
19 - Where is shown that authority in sacred matters belongs wholly to the sovereign powers and that the external cult of religion must be consistent with the stability of the state if we wish to obey God rightly :