Biblical scholars by and large remain unaware of the history of their own discipline. This present volume seeks to remedy that situation by exploring the early history of modern biblical criticism in the seventeenth century prior to the time of the Enlightenment when the birth of modern biblical criticism is usually dated. After surveying the earlier medieval origins of modern biblical criticism, the essays in this book focus on the more skeptical works of Isaac La Peyrere, Thomas Hobbes, and Baruch Spinoza, whose biblical interpretation laid the foundation for what would emerge in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as modern biblical criticism. ""No other analysis has pursued the historical roots of biblical criticism in the sixteenth century so brilliantly as Jeffrey L. Morrow's Three Skeptics and the Bible. He persuasively argues that the Thirty Years' War influenced La Peyrere, Hobbes, and Spinoza to develop methods of analyzing Scripture to promote their political agendas. Morrow's erudite and persuasive study exposes the fallacy of regarding biblical criticism as an 'objective' approach to the Bible."" --Edwin M. Yamauchi, Professor of History Emeritus, Miami University ""In Three Skeptics and the Bible, Morrow digs deeply into the seventeenth-century works of Isaac La Peyere, Thomas Hobbes, and Baruch Spinoza. He lays bare the tangled early modern political roots of contemporary historical approaches to the Bible. Anyone who cares about retrieving liturgical and spiritual-theological approaches to the Bible, without sacrificing the considerable contributions of historical criticism, will welcome this timely and painstakingly documented book."" --William L. Portier, Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Catholic Theology, University of Dayton ""Recently I heard someone ask an eminent biblical scholar why he was willing to give up the 'objectivity' of historical-critical scholarship for the 'subjectivity' of theological interpretation. Answering that he was not in fact willing to give up either mode of exegesis, the biblical scholar pointed out that neither mode enjoys a purely scientific 'objectivity.' Professor Morrow's erudite and readable study of politics and exegesis in the seventeenth century makes this crucial point clear once and for all, particularly in his masterful retrieval of Isaac La Peyrere, whose significance might otherwise remain unknown. This book is a must-read for anyone who seeks to employ historical-critical scholarship today in a historically contextualized way--as the method itself demands."" --Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry, Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary ""Dr. Jeffrey Morrow has taken up the task that should have been inevitable: the historical criticism of historical criticism. His book is a thorough, fair, dispassionate intellectual history of three key seventeenth-century figures. The culmination of long years of research--tested by publication--this book demonstrates that the roots of biblical criticism are not in religiously neutral empirical science but in a particular agenda that is essentially theo-political."" --Scott W. Hahn, Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville; coauthor, Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture Jeffrey L. Morrow (PhD, University of Dayton) is Associate Professor of Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University and is a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.