The minister, Yaakov Neeman, said the bible contains ''a complete solution to all the things we are dealing with.''
Neeman, an observant Jew, spoke at a rabbinical conference on Monday. He urged that biblical law be restored to its former glory.
His remarks were welcomed by some rabbis but attacked in other circles as antidemocratic. Opposition lawmaker Haim Oron warned of a ''troubling process of Talibanization'' in Israel.
The criticism later prompted his office to start backtracking.
Neeman's office on Tuesday said he only spoke ''broadly and generally'' about ''the importance of Jewish law in the life of the state.''