Some of the most insightful treatments of biblical texts and themes come from scholars whose area of specialization lies beyond the Bible. Examples include students of literature like Erich Auerbach, Meir Sternberg, and Robert Alter. Anthropologists like Mary Douglas. Philosophers like Soren Kierkegaard and Emmanuel Levinas.
Then there is Abraham Joshua Heschel. To my mind Heschel is the most important example of a philosopher and theologian who was conversant with the entire tradition, Jewish and non-Jewish, philosophical and devotional, and found it within himself to set aside Maimonides and all the others in an attempt to reclaim the God of the Bible from the viselike grip in which philosophers and tradition have held him. This works itself out with riproaring intensity in his treatment of divine anger and divine pathos as absolutely essential features of the experience of God vouchsafed to ancient Israel and to Israel’s prophets in particular. Key quotes: