Friday, September 08, 2023

Now that's a radical claim!

Humans can make themselves clean or unclean, but holiness is a status that is conferred by God. It cannot be earned or acquired (or lost) through behavior.— The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest, 107

Whoa! That's a radical claim. But they don't stop there:

The actual wording of Leviticus 19:2 bears this out. Most English translations render the statement as an imperative (“make yourselves holy because I am holy”) or at least an admonition (“you ought to, be holy because I am holy”). If holiness is a conferred status, however, these translations are misleading. Fortunately, the Hebrew simply says “you will be holy because I am holy.” The grammatical construction can carry an imperative mood (e.g., 2 Kings 11:8, “ [you will be with] the king,” NIV “stay close to”) but does not necessarily do so. In Deuteronomy 7:14 the same construction is used to say “you will be blessed,” which clearly does not mean “make yourself blessed.”— The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest, 107

<idle musing>
OK. That makes sense. And I find that very freeing, actually. It certainly lines up with the positional statements in Paul's writings: You are seated with Christ; you are saints, etc. Something to bear in mind when you read the rebukes in Galatians and Colossians about those rules and regulations, too.
</idle musing>

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