Hebrew Bible Viewed Through the Term Paper

  • Length: 18 pages
  • Sources: 4
  • Subject: Mythology - Religion
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #31335608

Excerpt from Term Paper :

..formal and temporal purification" and were "under the old law, which provided...for formal, or ritualistic pardon, and restored to human fellowship, sin and transgressions remained, burdening the conscience." (Luther 1483-1546) Therefore, the old law "did not benefit the soul at all, inasmuch as God did not institute it to purify and safeguard the conscience, nor to bestow the Spirit." (Luther 1483-1546) the old law's existence was "merely for the purpose of outward discipline, restraint and correction." (Luther 1483-1546)

Gottwald (1985) notes that use of a marriage metaphor by Hosea in chapter 1-3 and a metaphor relating to a father and son in 11:1-7 and states that these are only:

two of the prominent specimens of a rich stock of metaphors and similes drawn from agriculture, animal life, and family relations. Yahweh is also described as a physician, a fowler, a lion, a leopard, a bereaved she-bear, dew, a luxuriant tree, pus (or moth?), and rottenness. Israel is seen as a sick person, a herd, a flighty dove, a trained but balky heifer, a wandering wild ass, a grapevine and grapes, wine of Lebanon, an early fig, a lily, a woman in labor, an unborn son, an overbaked cake, a slack bow, early morning mist and dew, and blown chaff (Gottwald 1985:359; as cited in McNeeley, nd)

The use of these two metaphors appears to indicate the understanding held by Hosea that God desires to be "...a deity who is attempting to 'win the people by a love that will not forego justice' (Gottwald, 1985:362; in McNeeley, nd) McNeeley holds that the meaning of this statement is that "the theological social reality for Hosea was that while God is just, He desires to have a continuing relationship with His people." (McNeeley, nd) it is from this, that Hosea establishes a theological norm in which he "sets the justice of God as an offended struggling love that is both poignant and terrible." (Gottwald, 1985:361)

The work of John J. Pilch entitled: "The Cultural Dictionary of the Bible" relates that it is reported in several Hebrew Scriptures "instances where God perceived personal dishonor and in true Mediterranean fashion sought vengeance for this disrespect." (1999) Such instances are found in Leviticus 25: 14-39; Deuteronomy 32:39-42; Psalms 94:1-7; Ezekiel 35:12-15, and Micah 5:10-15; as well as others. Pilch states that this is referred to in modern reading as: "...'lese-majests' meaning "a violation of personal honor and a crime of high treason in honor-based culture." (1999)

Anger is evidently connected to Hebrew conceptions of shame vs. honor and this is illustrated in the tendency for Hebrew words which are related to anger many times to be connected to the nostrils and as related in the work of Pilch (1999) "The key word is 'nose' or 'nostrils' in the plural. Of course the nose is the organ of respiration and anger affects both the nose and breathing." Therefore, "a person described literally in Hebrew as 'short of nose' (Prov 14:17) or 'short of breath (Mic 2:7; Exod 6:9) is impatient or angry.' (Pilch, 1999)

Alternatively, an individual described in Hebrew text as 'long of nose' or 'long of breath' "is patient and slow to anger." (Pilch, 1999) for example, Exodus 34:6 reads "the Lord, the Lord, a merciful and gracious, long of nose' which translates to the Lord being one 'slow to anger'. In contrast however, "in anger the nostrils become distended and breathing is hard...often the Hebrew literally speaks of a burning nose...." (Pilch, 1999) Also connected with shame in the area of honor is the word 'outpouring' which stands many times for "unrestrained stream of words" used in the expression of anger in the Hebrew cultural tradition.

The work of Vernon C. Grounds entitled: "God's Perspective on Man" published in the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation in December 1976 states that the Bible "assets that man is God's creature." (1976) Noted by Grounds (1976) is the statement in Genesis 2:1 as follows: "The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." (1976) Not only did man become a living soul, it is related in the Bible that God created man in how own 'image' and 'likeness' thereby vesting the finite human with infinite qualities such as those of God. At the same time, the work of Grounds states that there is a:

miraculous correspondence between the fabrications of a man's mind and the inner design of nature, as evidenced by the applicability of abstract mathematical system to the laws of nature in physics. Both of these quite new perspectives strongly support the contention that man is after all made in the image of God. What we have come to realize is that there is no scientific reason why God cannot create an element of nature from other elements of nature by working within the chances and accidents which provide nature with her indeterminism and her freedom. We also see in a new way that the fact that man is indeed an integral part of nature in no way precludes his bearing the image of the designer of nature." (1976)

The Old Testament, and specifically the Book of Genesis relates that God fashioned man from the dry earth and gave life and animation to the creation of man. The Book of Genesis 1: 1-5 states: "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a might wind swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day." Light is presented as being 'good' in the Old Testament. The response of God to the darkness that was covering the face of the deep was to speak and this brought light into being. Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology states:

Darkness and light are evocative words in Hebrew. Darkness evokes everything that is anti-God: the wicked (Prov 2:13); judgment (Exod 10:21); death (Psalm 88:12). Light is the first of the Creator's works, manifesting the divine operation in a world that is darkness and chaos without it. While light is not itself divine, it is often used metaphorically for life (Psalm 56:13), salvation (Isa 9:2), the commandments (Prov 6:23), and the divine presence of God (Exod 10:23). In the first creative act, "God saw that the light was good" (Gen 1:3)."

Darkness in the Old Testament is represented by the Hebrew word 'hasak' and denotes "everything that is anti-God, the wicked (Prov 2:13-14, I Thess 5:4-7) in Chapter 34 of Job, verse 22 revealed is that God knows the darkness and where darkness is and furthermore what is contained within darkness. Isaiah 45:7 relates that God created and rules over the darkness and that God uses the darkness and hides himself from the sight of men within the darkness (Psalm 19:11 and I Kings 8:12). God uses the darkness to bring judgment upon those who do evil (Deuteronomy 29:28-29)

When one is tempted to view their personal view as the only one that might be applicable, it is extremely efficient to research deeply into geological studies as well and this is noted in the work of Strange. Therefore, toward this end the theories of Autochony and Allocthony are examined. Autochon is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology to be "one sprung from the soil" or "original inhabitants" of the earth. Therefore Autochthony is an individual which sprung from the soil of the earth and originally. If something is 'autochtonous' then it has been "formed in situ, or on the spot" (the Virtual Pond Dictionary, 2008) however, if something is allochthonous then it is something that has "been formed elsewhere and transported to the site in question." (the Virtual Pond Dictionary, 2008)

These two perspectives in relation to whether the Great Flood actually occurred or not are examined in the work of Joachim Scheven in the work entitled: "Forest - an Extinct Pre-Flood Ecosystem" who relates as follows:

Autochthonists reject the idea that the coal vegetation was rapidly buried on the grounds that to accomplish this the secular subsiding movements of the present are several hundred thousand times too slow. They ignore the revealed mechanism that would allow for a subsidence in the order of kilometers within weeks or months." (1996)

Scheven (1996) goes on to relate that the account of the flood in the Old Testament Book of Genesis has provided the information that the:

greater part of the waters erupted from the fountains of the great deep. A collapse of…

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