Salomon Til, van

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Til, van
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Van Til is said to have questioned Spinoza about his doctrines, and in Het voor-hof der heydenen he quotes from a letter reporting about that interview (Van Til, 1690, pp. 5–6; Steenbakkers, 2010b, p. 31). For Van Til: NNBW, vol. 10, cols 10279; BLGNP, vol. 4, p. 424–8.

Pierre Bayle suggests that Spinoza actually wrote a Spanish vindication of his departure from the ‘Israelite Nation’ and of the the charges put against him (Revah, 1959, p. 40). Bayle says:

He composed an apology in Spanish on his departure from the synagogue. This work has never been published. It is however known that he put many things in it which later appeared in his ‘Tractatus theologico-politicus’, published in Amsterdam in 1670.

Bayle, 1697, Vol. 2, p. 1085.

Evidently, the source of Bayle’s account was a work by Salomon van Til published in 1694. The latter author writes in Het voor-hof der heydenen that much of the material in Spinoza’s apology finally ended up in a more ‘shrewd and concise’ manner in Tractatus theologico-politicus, thus even superseding the fabled early treatise:

He had heaped such objections of this kind in a Spanish treatise against the Old Testament in detail, under the title of ‘Vindication’ of his rejection of Judaism. But, on the advice of friends, he kept this piece of writing behind, and undertook to introduce these ideas somewhat more skilfully and concisely in another work, which he published under the title ‘Tractatus theologico-politicus’, that is ‘Theological-Political Treatise’, in 1670.

Van Til, 1690, p. 6.


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Johannes Coccejus