This paper is written by Michael Carasik. He is a Jewish scholar and adjunct assistant professor of biblical Hebrew.
From the author (p. 2):
"What I wish to suggest here is that, as in so many other instances, on this question the Hebrew Bible is of two minds. It includes texts which pre-suppose the notion that God has direct access to what human beings are thinking and other texts which presuppose that God does not know directly what goes on in the human mind"
This is a scholarly paper, written with respect to the Biblical text itself. It offers good biblical theology but not-so-good “liberal” systematic theology. The systematic interpretation which the author offers is a common understanding. This (understanding) is not respectful to the Biblical text and contains flaws in my opinion. In other words: I disagree with the documentary hypothesis and other forms of higher criticism.
I agree that many text in the Bible teach that God has to test the hearts and mind before knowing what is in there, while others (seem) to teach that He already knows this. In the end of this essay, the author provides us with some ways of how to interpret this [apparent] contradiction. This would bring us to systematic theology. In this area, the reader should come up with a logical conclusion by himself. 😉
The essay misses an introduction, but that is fine, because it immediately brings the essay to the interesting part, which is the whole essay. 😉
Whether you agree with certain parts of this essay or not, it is definitely food for thought. This makes the paper a useful read for people who are interested in biblical theology.
Note: I disagree, for example, with the idea that God lied (p. 12), I see God as deceiving in those passages.
You can read the paper here.