Friday, March 30, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018
The reference to Yahweh as the father of the individual believer is not attested in the Hebrew texts of the Old Testament but is found in the Greek version of Ben Sira from the second century BCE and in a Hebrew text from Qumran. In light of personal names that contain the element -ʾāb-, however, it is clear that Yahweh was also venerated in ancient Israel as “father,” that is, as the personal protector of an individual. [fn. Cf. Joab “Yahweh is [my] father” (1 Sam 26:6); Abijah “My father is Yahweh” (2 Chr 13:20–21).]
According to the Old Testament, the father-son relationship between Yahweh and the Judahite king is based in a historically conditioned choice or adoption, not in a mythical ancestry. Functionally, it characterizes the temporal designation of the king as the representative of God as well as the earthly guarantor of divine order and justice (Ps 2:7, 89:27). The functionality of the father-son metaphor is also reflected in its sapiential use with reference to a wise person who, by showing mercy to the poor, receives the title “son of God/son of the Most High” (Sir 4:10). The earliest profession that Jesus is the Son of God is in line with such a functional understanding (Mark 1:9–11). As a son, Jesus represents divine justice, the kingdom of heaven, and divine Wisdom.—The Development of God in the Old Testament, page 69
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Monday, March 19, 2018
Friday, March 16, 2018
Think Augustine, who knew no Hebrew and a smattering of Greek. He was dependent on the Old Latin translations—which frequently were less accurate than Jerome's Vulgate, which was in the process of being completed while Augustine was alive. Jerome knew Hebrew well and not infrequently chided Augustine about his lack of knowledge of Greek and Hebrew (Jerome could be nasty…).
Thursday, March 15, 2018
[T]hree characteristic elements of the biblical conception of divine and human justice can be identified. (1) Divine justice as communion between God and humanity is unpredictable and elusive but can nevertheless be experienced. (2) The human experience of injustice does not preclude communion with God and does not absolve one of the social responsibility to act justly toward others. This focus by Gen 4 on the explicit question of justice is also reflected in the earliest Jewish and Christian reception of the narrative: the Wisdom of Solomon characterizes Cain as the archetype of the unjust person (ἄδικος, Wis 10:3), and in the New Testament Abel serves as the archetype of the just person (δίκαιος, Matt 23:35 par. Luke 11:51, Heb 11:4). At the same time, the story of Cain and Abel points to the destructive potential of unequal economic relations, which within the Old Testament is further criticized in the prophetic books (cf. Isa 5:8–24, Mic 2:1–3), yet without legitimizing violence on the part of the disadvantaged. (3) As the figure of Noah demonstrates, actions and behaviors befitting communion with God and with fellow humans are not impossible but are the exception.—The Development of God in the Old Testament, page 33<idle musing>
Two things jump out: (1) the destructive potential of economic relations, but without legitimizing violence on the part of the disadvantaged. As I told my kids when they were growing up, "Violence is never an option." It just isn't the Christian way—but neither is complacency. (2) "actions and behaviors befitting communion with God and with fellow humans are not impossible but are the exception." Unfortunately, that's been my experience, too. Including my own actions over the years : (
Let's see what else this little book can tell us…
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
That's the final excerpt from this (long, but good) book. And an appropriate ending, to my way of thinking. Next up: The Development of God in the Old Testament. Stay tuned!
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Thursday, March 08, 2018
If there is one thing people take away from these excerpts, this is it. I find myself repeating this over and over again to people, "God's wrath is not a divine attribute, but an aspect of God's love." It can't be said enough. If you make divine wrath an attribute, as some theologies do, you end up with a distant and untrustworthy god, not the God of the Bible; not the God revealed in Jesus Christ. But, if you remove wrath from an aspect of God's love, you end up with a vending machine god; the god of far too many prosperity preachers.
You can't pick and choose. God is a God of love, but divine jealousy is real and there are repercussions to straying. But, his love continually is drawing us back to him. And he is patient—extremely patient. And he listens to intercession.