or, The Religious Philosophy of the Hebrews
by Adolphe Franck
translated by I. Sossnitz
[1926, not renewed]
This is a scholarly study of the origin and evolution of the Kabbalah.
Originally published in French in 1843, with a second
French edition in 1889, this book traces the origins
of the philosophical concepts of the Kabbalah to the ancient
Franck goes into fascinating detail about the doctrine of the Kabbalah,
as expressed in the Sepher Yetzirah and the Zohar.
He uses internal evidence to trace the origins of these texts
many centuries prior to their first
known publication in the thirteenth century C.E.
Franck carefully compares the philosophy of the Kabbalah with
Greek philosophy, the Alexandrians, Philo, and the Gnostics, and
concludes that, although there are similarities, none of them can claim
to be the source of the Kabbalah.
However, he does find many more similarities with the ancient
By this process of elimination, he comes to the conclusion that
the doctrines of the Kabbalah had their origin during the
Babylonian exile circa 500 B.C.E., which was also the
time when Zoroaster was active in the same geographical region.
This thesis is worth considering, and potentially adds more weight to the
already numerous contributions of
Zoroastrianism to world culture.
--John Bruno Hare
This text has extensive quotes in Hebrew and Greek.
Viewing the Hebrew and Greek
text requires that your browser be set up correctly to view
Unicode: for more information, please refer to
the Unicode instruction page.
In particular, please follow the instructions on that page
before firing off an email to me that the file is defective: it isn't,
if you can't see the Hebrew or Greek text,
the problem is your browser.
Diagram of the Sephiroth
Summary of Contents
Preface to the English Translation
Preface to the German Translation of the First French Edition
Foreword to the Second French Edition
Preface of the Author
Chapter I. The Antiquity of the Kabbalah
Chapter II. The Kabbalistic Books. Authenticity of the Sefer Yetzirah
Chapter III. The Authenticity of the Zohar
Chapter I. The Doctrine Contained in the Kabbalistic Books. Analysis of the Sefer Yetzirah
Chapter II. Analysis of the Zohar. Allegorical Method Of The Kabbalists
Chapter III. Analysis of the Zohar. The Kabbalists' Conception of the Nature of God
Chapter IV. Analysis of the Zohar. The Kabbalists' View Of The World
Chapter V. Analysis of the Zohar. View of the Kabbalists on the Human Soul
Chapter I. Systems Which Offer Some Resemblance to the Kabbalah. Relation of the Kabbalah to the Philosophy of Plato
Chapter II. Relation of the Kabbalah to the Alexandrian School
Chapter III. Relation of the Kabbalah to the Doctrine of Philo
Chapter IV. Relation of the Kabbalah to Christianity
Chapter V. Relation of the Kabbalah to the Religion of the Chaldeans and Persians