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2008, Vol.14, No.1

  • 1.

    Family inthe Old Testament through Family Systematic Theory

    Yoo,YoonJong | Malsuk Suk | 2008, 14(1) | pp.10~27 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The Bible is an absolute norm in Christians' lives. Christians consider the Bible as a primary criterion in judging and constructing their lives. Accordingly, the attempts to draw a life model from the Bible can be justified. However, the Bible was formed from 1150 BC to 100 AD in ancient Near East. There is 3000 or 2000 years' and geographical gap gap between the Bible and today. How can we find proper hermeneutics to fill chronological and geographical gap? In addition, systems in the Bible arose from different social, political, and economical background. Can the biblical system give a clear answer to questions raised by 21st century's complicated circumstances? Based upon the aforementioned justification and limitation on getting answer to family problem questioned by modern situation, I will pursue whether the Old Testament provides enough resources from which a model could be established in solving present family problem and give a fruitful answer with analyzing and understanding family in the Old Testament through family systematic theory which is the most popular family therapy theory among present family therapeutic theories. I classified seven categories borrowing from family systematic theory to analyze family in the Old Testament and then applied each category to examples in the Old Testament. Thus, I concluded that the Old Testament emphasized on interdependence among each family member through לאג system and ancient Israelite society in biblical times consisted of very systematic institution from באָ־תי󰔲 to God, thus provided enough examples for getting therapeutic answer from theological viewpoint for modern Christians. There are common features and differences on family in the Old Testament and family systematic theory. Both emphasize interdependence among each family member, but family systematic theory limits a study of object within a family. However, the Old Testament extends family from one individual to entire Israel even up to God. In addition, the Old Testament sees family from God's viewpoint. God's role is considered very important in understanding family in the Old Testament.
  • 2.

    The life of people with disabilities in the Old Testament and an Attempt towards a theology of people with disabilities

    Unha Chai | 2008, 14(1) | pp.28~50 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    This study is to explore the life of people with disabilities in the Old Testament, especially in Leviticus and of the disabled prince, Mephibosheth and to establish a theology of people with disabilities. The people with disabilities in the Old testament times as well as in modern days have been discriminated and oppressed because of their physical or mental disabilities. Surprisingly there were no concrete laws to protect their human rights and social welfare to improve their quality of life in the Old Testament. We hear that it is repeated in the Bible that the social weak like widows, orphans and foreigners including wanderers should be protected and given shelters. The best examples of what the life of people with disabilities were like in the Old Testament are the case of Jonathan's crippled son, Mephibosheth. He was at best an object of charity and sympathy because he was the King David's best friend, Jonathan's son. However, his status, dignity and human rights were never considered while he was alive. The priests with disabilities were neither allowed to perform the animals' sacrifice before God nor to approach towards even their altar. It is the general picture of people with disabilities in the OT. However, we could reread the Old Testament in new prospective with bias and discrimination-free dimension for people with disabilities. Every human beings, whether they are abled or disabled, are given God's image and breath. We hear about Isaiah's suffering servant who atones for the others. We know that Jesus was once disabled for others. This can be used as a new hermeneutical way to reread the Bible in terms of people with disabilities. So far it seems that to establish a theology of people with disabilities has a long way to go because we lack the positive biblical texts for them in our hands. I feel that we need to find out other ancient Near Eastern texts in comparison to the Bible and their social settings to achieve it. This will be the next task to establish a theology of people with disabilities.
  • 3.

    Are Korean churches sources of violences or cities of refuge?

    김지찬 | 2008, 14(1) | pp.51~69 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a few helpful and constructive suggestions for Korean churches who want to fulfill their essential mission as 'cities of refuge.' In the past decades Korean churches have been both victims of violences and doers of violences. Nowadays it is universally admitted that human life, directly or indirectly, cannot be separated from violence. The study of past Korean church history shows us that even churches and Christians have committed violence toward others. Therefore we have to raise serious questions as following: Whether our churches, in stead of becoming 'cities of refuge,' have rather become sources of violence in modern Korean societies or not? If our churches are to fulfill its essential mission as 'cities of refuge,' how could they deal with the victims of violence in Korea? In order to answer these questions we have to do literary analyses on Joshua 20, one of the classical texts on the topic of cities of refuge. The methodology of this paper is a grammatical-historical-theological method. On the basis of this exegetical work we can offer Korean churches following suggestions. In the beginning, Korean churches should not boast that they have not - at least consciously - used violence toward anyone, but should admit the undeniable fact that they have unconsciously done violence to societies and even to other churches because of survival and competition within churches themselves. Secondly, Korean churches should proclaim the good will that churches, as modern version of 'cities of refuge', will always be ready to welcome any victims of violence. The churches should not be satisfied with helping the victims financially and legally. More importantly, worship and sermon should be consciously designed and acted out to help them spiritually and morally. That is because sometimes the preachers unconsciously do violence to the already victimized people by standing beside the strong and the rich while delivering sermons. Finally, Korean churches should develope and establish concrete - social, legal, and financial - systems of helping the victims and provide spaces for counseling and shelter in the church to help them.
  • 4.

    Welfare for Aliens in the Old Testament

    이태훈 | 2008, 14(1) | pp.70~88 | number of Cited : 17
    Abstract PDF
    Korea has become a multi-ethnic country, in which over million foreigners are living. Under this circumstances, it might be a shame that Korea has been commanded by CERD(Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination) to overcome the ethnocentric image. Against this background, this paper attempts to study underlying principles(or spirits) in the welfare system for aliens in the Old Testament mainly by analysing the scriptural references to aliens(ger) in the Old Testament, so as to draw lessons for our society. The Old Testament texts introduce two different kinds of aliens: (1) those who live in the land temporarily, (2) those who try to assimilate themselves to the Israelite way of life. The former are called nokri, and the latter ger. Nokri are portrayed more or less negatively on the ground that the Israelites might be wrongly influenced by them. On the other hand, ger are described sympathetically, partly because they were willing to follow the Israelite religion and culture, partly because they belonged to the needy class. Ger usually did menial works like wood-chopping and water-carrying (Deut 29: 11), otherwise they worked as hired men(Deut 24: 14). However ger were treated as a part of the Israelite people(Lev 18: 26). They were allowed to participate in the Feast of Passover(Exod 12: 48-49) and Unleavened Bread(Exod 12: 19) alongside the Israelites. Ger were taken care of in many ways on the ground that they were regarded as those needed supports as widows and orphans in the Israelite society. For example, at harvest gleaning leftovers were retained for ger, and some grapes or olive fruits were left unpicked for them to collect(Lev 19: 9-10; 23: 22; Deut 24: 19-22). Ger were allowed to reap what grew itself in the Sabbath year(Lev 25: 5-6). Although Israelites were not to eat animals improperly slaughtered, the impoverished ger were able to take them for food(Deut 14: 21). This could be an exceptional case in which life(or humanity) took precedent over the law. Ger were dependent on court justice because they were in vulnerable situation(Deut 1: 16; 24: 17; 27: 19). The Israelites should not hold payment for ger after the sunset(Deut 24: 14-15). The main reason for Israelites to take care of ger was because formerly they were ger in Egypt as well(Exod 22: 21; 23: 9; Lev 19: 34; Deut 10: 19; 23: 7; Ps 105: 23; Isa 52: 4). Israelites were responsible for helping ger, looking back the time when they were in the same situation. There are various principles in the Israelite treatment of ger in the Old Testament. And those principles are to be applied to our present situation because there exist "our ger(foreigners)" in various areas of this land.
  • 5.

    The Theology of promise - A Multicultural Interpretation of the Patriarchal History

    Han, Dong-Gu | 2008, 14(1) | pp.90~112 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    By many specialists so far, the perspective of salvific-history has been applied to the reading of the patriarchal history in the book of Genesis. On the other hand, the present study aims to go beyond the perspective and read the principles of multicultural life in the patriarchal history. The Israelites were living together with the gentiles, who were stronger than them and whom the Israelites were subject to. While the former, the perspective of salvific-history, has mainly concerned what YHWH did on behalf of Israel for her protection, the latter pays attention to what YHWH did for the salvation of both Israel and the gentiles and what Israel did on behalf of the gentiles. The Israelites contrived to survive in the midst of the neighboring gentiles; however, conversely, they also sought the ‘middle’ way in order to live side by side with other nations, even helping their way through. We find three principles of multicultural life in the patriarchal history, especially in Genesis 18: 1-19. First, YHWH, in the likeness of a wandering stranger, appeared before Abraham, another wandering stranger. Though YHWH God’s the (absolute) Other is to be differentiated from the humane Other, he appeared as the Other before those who were yearning for him. Second, God, the Other, gives hope to those who are like wandering strangers. He himself visited the aged couple, who was infertile and hopeless, but left them hopeful. God did not ignore the wandering strangers in despair but opened a hopeful way for them not to be extinct. Third, God’s promise of hope creates a new identity. The promise of a son that God gave to Abraham and Sarah was a seed and a key what played a significant role in the multicultural context of life. The Israelites do not live alone; they live together with other nations and, notably, mediate God’s blessing to them and for them. Investigating ‘the principles of multicultural life’ will open a way for the 21st century Korean churches and society to walk forward, for 'Israel and the gentiles' and 'Korea and other nations' to walk together, and for Korea to walk on as a vital servant of the world. The principles of life in the Bible may develop to be the principles of Korean life and further of global life, ultimately realizing the world of God.
  • 6.

    A Reconstruction of Jewish History in the Persian Period, 458-430 BC, with special reference to Ezra- Nehemiah

    Kyung-jin Min | 2008, 14(1) | pp.113~137 | number of Cited : 14
    Abstract PDF
    This article is an attempt to reconstruct the Jewish history in the Persian period, 458―445 BC with special reference to Ezra-Nehemiah. 458 BC is the date which is arguably agreed as that of Ezra's return to Jerusalem, and 430 BC is the date which is presumed as the end of Nehemiah's whole mission. In order to fulfil this purpose we first discuss controversial issues such as what was the missions given to Ezra and Nehemiah by Artaxerxes, and why Nehemiah came to revisit Jerusalem. On the basis of this discussion we outline the Jewish history of the period 458―430 BC as follows: 1. During a period of revolts elsewhere in Persia, the empire felt a strong need to take a more 'hands-on' approach to its provinces, and to enforce greater compliance with imperial policy. Under these circumstances, Ezra was sent to Yehud in 458 BC. He brought a law, which contained not only traditional laws and customs of Judah, but also aspects of imperial control. 2. Another important mission assigned to Ezra was to inquire about Jerusalem and Yehud (Ezra 7:14). Specifically, he had to assess whether there existed a possibility of rebellion by the priests to whom power had been centralized in the community. Ezra was probably, however, involved in the attempt to build the wall (Ezra 4:7ff), which came to be viewed with suspicion by the Persians, and was prohibited. 3. Nehemiah, who had been in support of the previous attempt to build the wall, learned that the effort had been frustrated, and decided to ask the Persian king for permission to continue the building work. This request was accepted, since the empire thought that it was wiser to give permission: the completion of the wall with Persis's authorization, and under the supervision of a Persian loyalist, would ultimately provide a fort defending an imperial fringe. The empire was aware that the accumulation of power by particular groups in occupied countries was undesirable, as it created an alternative source of authority, and could lead to rebellion. Thus, providing Nehemiah with full support for rebuilding the wall, on the one hand, the empire also required that he should attempt to check the accumulation of power by the priesthood in Yehud, who had previously aroused suspicions of disloyalty, and antagonized other groups locally. 4. During his first term in office, Nehemiah was careful not to neglect this second mission of checking the priests and decentralizing their power. From the outset, he let all the people share in the building work, rather than limiting it to a specific group of people (cf. Neh 3). He was also interested in promoting the status of the common people (cf. Neh 5). Following a brief recall to the court, during which the priesthood took advantage of his absence, Nehemiah took a new and more forceful approach to the problem, by supporting the Levites, who were the only credible alternative to the priests. Upon returning th Jerusalem, he concentrated his efforts on supporting the Levites in various ways, and reported these efforts to the king.
  • 7.

    The Theology of the Chronicler

    최종진 | 2008, 14(1) | pp.138~158 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    That the Chronicler had strong historical and theological motives in writing his work is self-evident. He would not bother to rewrite the history of a period which was already documented to resolve the questions at issue. Several attempts have been made to ascribe the entire book to a single purpose or mood. The Chronicler' aim was to establish his theological purpose on the successive redemptive stream of the redemptive seed from Adam to the seed of the woman which penetrates down in the Old Testament. As you see the historical background of the Chronicler, the exiles had now returned from Babylon and through his work the writer sought to show them the true glory of their nation as theocracy and to show them the rights and importance of the Davidic dynasty and the successive redemptive history through the restored Judaean community. It is because of his purpose that the writer uses his materials in the manner that he does. He could pass over lightly the facts of history, however he rather embellished or interpreted them. For the purpose of his writing, he did by taking hold of the Davidic religious institutions -Jerusalem, the temple, the cultus, the priests, the Levites- through which the people of the Lord could operate as a community once more. The Chronicler sees Jerusalem as the authentic place of worship, the returnees as the legitimate successors of the people of Judah and the cult personnel, and the community established by them as the true Israel. He therefore passes over the history of the northern kingdom practically in silence, and in the life of David he treats principally those events which have to do with the nation's worship on Zion and which are preparatory to the erection of the Temple. For this reason also, in the life of Solomon, he brings onto prominence the formal worship of the theocracy, the Temple singers, the Levites and their functions, and all that had to do with such worship. It certainly is likely that this was done out of any theological interest. These theological interests brought the theology of the Chronicler on the returned Judaean community from Babylon.
  • 8.

    The Significance of Alex. A. Pieters' Contribution to the History of Korean Translation of the Old Testament

    Joong-Eun Kim | 2008, 14(1) | pp.159~182 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    The present article purports to enlighten Alexander Albert Pieters  work and its significance in the history of Korean translation of the Old Testament. Especially his translation of the Psalms, ‘Si Pyeon Chwal Yo’ the Old Version of Korean Translation of the Old Testament (OVKTOT) and the Revised Version of Korean Translation of the Old Testament (RVKTOT), alongside his activities, will be examined in the article. Pieters was born on the 30th of December, 1871, and died on the 29th of June, 1958. He selected 62 psalms, apart from imprecatory ones out of total 150 psalms, and translated them into Korean. Twice in October and November 1898, Methodist Sam Mun Publishing in Seoul printed 2500 copies and published the work, entitled, ‘Si Pyeon Chwal Yo’ It was the very first Korean translation of a book from the Old Testament book ever published, and later OVKTOT (1911 edition) and RVKTOT owed a lot to it. ‘Si Pyeon Chwal Yo’ is written in easy Korean, exhibits poetic rhythm and bears resemblence to the original Hebrew quite closely. Authorized Translation Committee began its Old Testament translation from October 17th, 1904, and published the books of Genesis and Psalms in 1906. The work was assisted by Pieters  helpful ‘Si Pyeon Chwal Yo’ Finally on the 2nd of April, the entire books of the Old Testament was completed (it took 5 years, 5 months and 16 days). On the 9th of March 1911, the very first Korean Holy Bible (the Old and New Testaments combined) was published. It consisted of 2 volumes of the Old Testament and 1 volume of the New Testament, which were the Old Version of Korean Translation of the Holy Bible. Since the use of proper nouns in the 1911 edition of OVKTOT was not consistent, W.D. Reynolds and his Korean assistants, from July 1912, set out constructing a writing system of proper nouns, which was accepted by the committee of the Revised Version of Korean Translation of the Holy Bible in 1913. In March 1936, the RVKTOT was completed. The version was aimed to be made as closely as possible to Ginsburg’s Hebrew Bible, in the principle of literal rendering of the original language. On December 1936, the RVKTOT was published. Pieters, from January 1926, worked as a lifelong member of the committee of the Revised Version of the Old Testament. He, together with Won Mo Lee, worked on tuning the literary style and accuracy of the OT revised translation of 1936, finishing the revision definitely in August 1937. On the 3rd of September 1938, the work was published, in a set with the New Testament, as the Revised Version of the Holy Bible. Undoubtedly Alexander Pieters is a pioneer in the history of Korean translation of the Old Testament; he indeed was an inpotant man in creating the OVKTOT and revising it to give birth to the RVKTOT. It is now clear that OVKTOT is not rendered from any Chinese or English versions of the Bible, but directly translated from the Hebrew texts. Pieters certainly played a central role especially in the translation of the RVKTOT.