Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An internal work

“Repentance and the enduring avoidance of apostasy is therefore secured only by a radical, internal work of Yahweh, which the community in exile will experience (Raitt 1977: 175–84). The mournful cry of Ephraim suggests that this will involve prayer and humility but will rely on Yahweh for its success.

“This new era is also at least marked, if not made possible, by God’s new stance toward the past sin that has been highlighted from the beginning of the book of Jeremiah. Yahweh promises in 31:34 that he will forgive (סלח) their guilt/iniquity (עון) and no longer remember (זכר) their sins (חטאת) and in 33:8 that he will cleanse (טהר Piel) them and forgive (סלח) them of all their guilt/iniquity (עון) by which they sinned (חטא) and rebelled (פשע) against him. This building up of the vocabulary of sin, using all three standard words in Hebrew (Brueggemann 1998: 314), emphasizes the comprehensiveness of this divine act. No basis for this forgiveness and cleansing is given besides the merciful action of Yahweh. Jer 33:8 “seems almost overloaded with its emphasis on this work of God” (Fretheim 2002: 475).”—A Severe Mercy, pages 250-251

<idle musing>
I feel like I'm reading Romans or Galatians, or some other New Testament book. Of course, where did the ideas come from in the first place? After all, the Hebrew Bible/LXX were the early church's Bible.
<idle musing>


That's my 2 cents! said...

This book goes on my reading list. I will never be able to thank you enough for all of the wonderful new resources I've found because of your musings.

I'm going back in for a second read of Keller's Generous Justice.


jps said...


It's a very good book, but it is slow-going. I think you'll enjoy it; just ignore the Hebrew :)