PREFACE TO THE SECOND REVISED EDITION
Joshua Hermelin has provided a very significant service in transcribing three of my lectures. The material presented is complex and controversial. Relying on verbal transmission is not ideal for careful perusal. Having a written version which can be read at one's own pace, reviewed, consulted repeatedly, and used to compare different sections simultaneously, is a great benefit. I hope to have it distributed when the lectures are presented in the future.
It must be recognized that this is the transcription of material presented verbally. Were I writing this material, the text would be substantially different. There is much repetition, reformulation, and use of nearly equivalent but somewhat different expression. In a written text more attention would be paid to precision, verbal consistency and economy. More important, certain matters receive very curtailed treatment due to the limitations of the particular audience to which the lectures were given. For example, the mention of Pascal's argument (and game theory in general) needs much more elaborate treatment (which I have done privately, but not presented in lecture). Similarly, the treatment of archeology needs great expansion. Thus the reader should not regard this "text" as a complete argument, but rather as an outline of how the argument goes. He can assess its internal logic and try to anticipate how it will be finished, but the whole scope of the argument is not yet present. (Work is underway to put it in written form.)
In spite of these limitations, the availability of the version of the lectures is a great step forward in making this material available to the thoughtful "quest for truth" as Joshua puts it. If the lectures continue to have an impact it will be due in significant measure to his efforts.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge comments of these
who read this material, especially Professor David Wierderker
and Dr. Yisroel Asher. I am especially indebted to Rabbi Eliezer
Shapiro for his patience and expert help in preparing the manuscript.
Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5754
© 1997 Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb All Rights Reserved.
Printed In Israel
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