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2008, Vol.14, No.4

  • 1.

    Biblical Exegesis and the Ethics of Hermeneutics: In case of Genesis 22

    이영미 | 2008, 14(4) | pp.10~30 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    The present study aims to examine the ethics of hermeneutics in biblical interpretation. It provides various interpretations of Genesis 22 among Jewish and Christian communities as well as my own interpreta- tion of the text. Examples from two canonical communities demonstrate the foundation of hermeneutical ethics, which had been drawn from hermeneutical interests of the community. The study shows that the early canonical writings interpreted Gen 22 in three directions. The text had been adapted to emphasize the faithfulness of Abraham, voluntary sacrifice of Isaac, and the faithfulness of God. The text was also used to argue for the relation between the faith and practice. There are also some interpretations which were not widely accepted when they failed to obtain the support from their hermeneutical communities. Hebrew's use of Gen 12:16 to present God's self-pledge is one of the cases. Different concerns produce different emphasis from the text. Different hermeneutical interests and purposes defined what interpretation the hermenuetical community followed. In this case, hermeneutical commu- nity plays an important role in acceptance of a certain interpretation. However, after the canon was closed, the ethics of hermeneutics could no longer be determined by the interest and support of a hermeneutical community. Instead, the ethics of hermeneutics in biblical interpretation could be possibly obtained from the canon itself when reading it exegetically. It is especially true when a deconstructive reading is made against a traditional understanding. A feminist reading of Gen 22 within the larger literary context of Abraham's narrative serves to demonstrate the relation between biblical exegesis and hermeneutical ethics. The reading, against traditional reading that highlights Abraham's faith from the beginning, asserts that Gen 22 was placed at the end of Abraham's narrative as it shows the final bond between God and Abraham, after he showed his faith to God.
  • 2.

    The Female Abrahams

    Jae Gu Kim | 2008, 14(4) | pp.31~51 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    This paper is intended to find out the distinctive characteristics of Abraham's faith, the contributions of his faith throughout Israel's history, and the reflections of his faith on the people after him, especially, on women. And it wants to reveal the history formed by the voice of the faith of the women who possess the Abrahamic images. For this research, one of the literary approaches, the so-called 'intertextua- lity', is employed by which the close relations of the crucial expressions appearing both in Abraham's story and in the two women's stories are compared in word and theme. Abraham's faith is not just for himself. His faith must be alive in the lives of his descendants. Especially, as a response of God's order, the absolute faith of Abraham which, without a murmur, leaves his country, people and father's household and goes to the land where he has never been before paves the way to give a right identity to his kinsmen and a new identity to the pagans. Now the people who actualize the same faith of Abraham deserve the epithet 'a new Abraham' without regard to men or women, and Jews or pagans. Rebekah never falls short of receiving the epithet 'the first female Abraham.' Since Rebekah is one of Abraham's kinswomen, she emphati- cally proclaims through her Abrahamic life toward other kinswomen that to enjoy God's blessings they need to leave their parents and relatives. And they should unite themselves with the people of God in the Promised Land. The life of Ruth means to other pagan women what it is like having the Israelite identity. That means abandoning their own gods and parents, and forgetting their own lands. Now the God of Israel becomes their own God and the people of Israel become their own people. Those who execute these acts are to be reborn as a new Israelite and to be called 'a female Abraham.' And through them, the Abrahamic blessings will come true in their household and, furthermore, they may change the fate of Israel by building the (Davidic) dynasty. These comparisons clearly proclaim the fact that Rebekah and Ruth can co-exist in spite of their ethnic differences. And through this research, it is contended that in the post-exilic period, Israel did not always demand the ethnic-religious exclusivism, but open the door for the possibility of inclusivism toward those who have the Abrahamic faith.
  • 3.

    Abraham in the Book of Genesis and Jubilees

    오원근 | 2008, 14(4) | pp.52~66 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    The rewritten Bible of the Second Temple period, the content of which to a great extent overlaps with the biblical texts, read the Bible with close attention, noting obscurities, inconsistencies and narrative lacunae, in order to make the biblical texts more vivid, more edifying, and more understandable to the contemporary reader. It is notable that the rewritten Bible paid great attention to Abraham, creating differing portraits of Abraham by interweaving the biblical account with the polemical interests of their own. In this paper, we will draw on Jubilees' account of Abraham. From a literary perspective, Jubilees is most extensive and accurate in rewriting the contents of the Genesis account of Abraham among the so-called rewritten Bible. The features of Abraham in the rewritten Bible support well the generally accepted historical context of the rewritten Bible at the turn of the era as Judeans were subject to foreign powers who were at least interested in blending them into the surrounding culture. In this context, the authors of Jubilees made a fresh reading on Abraham in an attempt not to compromise with the gentile cultures and its erosive effects on the traditional Jewish religious practice and separation by interweaving his polemic interests and the biblical interpretation.
  • 4.

    Abraham Tradition in the Book of Jubilees

    Chong Hun Pae | 2008, 14(4) | pp.67~84 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to explore how the Book of Jubilees understands the Abraham Tradition in Genesis. In the inter-testamental period between the Old Testament and the New Testament, the genre, 'Rewritten Bible' was produced. Its purpose is to rewrite the contents of the Hebrew Bible with intent and purpose of mind under the authority of the Torah. By rewriting the Abraham tradition in Genesis, the Book of Jubilees tries to prove Abraham as an ideal model obeying the Torah. I suggest the features of the Abraham tradition in the Book of Jubilees in three ways. First, the covenant that Abraham kept is the same covenant that Moses is to receive from God at Mt. Sinai. All the covenants merge into the one covenant. The book of Jubilees argues that the Torah was not received first in Mosaic era, but has existed from the creation. Even though Abraham lived in pre-Mosaic period, he knew the same Torah that Moses would receive later. Second, the book of Jubilees idealizes Abraham as the hero who obeyed the Torah by removing ambiguous events and typifying his merits. Since Noah, Abraham is the only person that kept the Shebuot (covenant renewal). Abraham was converted from worshipping idols, and his belief was proved faithful for life through his various deeds. Third, circumcision, the evidence of Jewish identity in the period of the book of Jubilees, derived from Abraham's period. All Jews should be circumcised as a sign of their identity; otherwise, they shall be cut off from their own people. This study could challenge the Korean Old Testament scholarship for their poor interest to the inter-testamental period. The inter-testamen- tal period is not a vacuum of thought but the dynamic period with various streams of thought. It functions as the bridge transferring theological thoughts from the Old Testament to the New Testament. This study of the Book of Jubilees shows how a community attempted to overcome its crisis by newly interpreting their identity in light of Abraham tradition in Genesis.
  • 5.

    Reinterpreting the Meaning of Abraham's Faith in Yahweh's Promise of the Land - Metacommenting on the Interpretation of Hebrews 11: 8-10

    Kim, Sang-Lae | 2008, 14(4) | pp.85~102 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    This paper explores a reinterpretation, i.e. metacommentary of Hebrews 11:8-10 which is already an interpretation of the faith of Abraham in Yahweh's promise of the land. To do this, the Abraham narrative in Genesis will be analyzed on the grounds of the given textual interpreta- tion, then conversely the interpretation of Hebrews 11:8-10 will also be reinterpreted in the light of the Abraham story in the book of Genesis as if Hebrews 11:8-10 did not exist. Through this inquiry, the following conclusions are drawn. Firstly, the text "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going" (NIV, Heb 11:8) must be interpreted as “Abraham went to the land of Canaan by faith without knowing what kind of place it was, even though he hesitated and was worried about his father and nephew whom he would abandon when he was called to leave his country, kindred and his father's house". This case shows the need to reinterpret the interpretation in the book of Hebrews based on the original textual information of the book of Genesis. Secondly, the text "By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise" (NIV, Heb 11:9) provides a basis for understanding the easily-overlooked 'the life dwelling in the tent' in the book of Genesis. This instance of applying a New Testament interpretation to understand the original text in the Old Testament may become an interpretational guide. Thirdly, the text "For he was looking forward to the city with founda- tions, whose architect and builder is God (NIV Heb 11:10)" is a creative vertical-eschatological interpretation in Hebrews, which cannot be found anywhere in the book of Genesis.
  • 6.

    'Son of Abraham'-Christian Reception of a Jewish Concept -

    EunGeol Lyu | 2008, 14(4) | pp.103~124 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    The aim of this essay is to explore the process how the Jewish concept 'son of Abraham' underwent a so-called 'Christianization' in the primi- tive Christianity. The terminology 'sons of Abraham' denotes originally Jews and conveys an ethnic meaning; but it came to refer to Christians as well: 'those who believe in Christ become children of Abraham.' Our concern is to answer the following questions: To whom does this Christian reception go back? What were the issues which are respon- sible for this theological variation? A careful survey of New Testament literature leads us to assume that the origin of the Christian understanding could hardly be traced back to any New Testament writers other than Paul, although we cannot definitely confirm this hypothesis by means of 'Traditionsgeschichte'. We need now to turn to Paul's letters, in order to establish our exegetical view on this matter. It is often maintained that Abraham's sonship provides Paul with a major soteriological concept, which can be deduced mainly from the reading of Rom 4, but we should still ask whether Gal 3 also offers the same line of thought. To facilitate our task, it is advisable to assume what Paul had preached to his Christians, before he wrote to them. We call it 'protokerygma' which converted e. g. Galatians to the Christian belief. The protokerygma is presupposed in the letter, but is not directly accessible to us. If we examine carefully whether Paul used the model of Abraham in the protokerygma, we can answer rather in the negative: the sonship of Abraham was an argument of the opponents and Paul tried to take advantage of the Abraham motif as a counter-example for the justification through faith. This is why Paul contrasts the sonship of Abraham with that of God, which played an important role in the protokerygma. He reluctantly accepts the title 'children of Abraham', in so far as it can be combined with faith (cf. Gal 3:7, 29). To do this, Paul interprets the blessing of Abraham in fact as the justification of Gentiles. The negative view on the sonship of Abraham undergoes a significant change, when Paul proposes Abraham as the forefather of both believing Jews and Gentiles. It was out of the question if Jews are sons of Abraham in the Galatian debate, but Paul needs to state in Romans more precisely how they can be affiliated to Abraham in the Pauline sense (cf. Rom 4:16), whom the apostle once acknowledged as forefa- ther of Gentile Christians. In short, we can draw our conclusion that it is highly plausible that the Christian reception of Abraham's sonship goes back to Paul's Jewish opponents but it was theologically established by him.
  • 7.

    Theological Significance of Animals for the Theme 'Creation and Eschatology'

    하경택 | 2008, 14(4) | pp.126~146 | number of Cited : 5
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the texts relating to the theme of creation and eschatolgy (e.g. Gen 1; Ps 104; Job 38-41; Isa 11) and to find out the theological significances of animals for the theme 'creation and eschatology'. The significances of animals in Gen 1 can be summarized in three points. Firstly, through tannīn the sovereignty and absoluteness of God as the Creator is emphasized. Secondly, ruling over the animals is the purpose of the human creation. The achievement of this commandment would function as to judge the human and the world created. Thirdly, that only grasses are allowed to the animals as food offers the principle and the fundamental rule for the creation world, which should work without shedding of blood just as manifested in Is 11: 6-9. In Ps 104 the theological significances of animals are observed in two points. First, liwjātān, which is identified as sea monster in the Ancient Near East, appears as a sea creature that is simply living in the sea with no threatening nature. It is not a dangerous mythical creature at all in Ps 104. Second, the animal world is described equally with the human world. Animals have their own living sphere just as men have their own. The independence of the animal world is noted as the animals are living their own lives sincerely in harmony with reality of the world. In Job 38-41 God's answers are mentioning about the animal world. In the first answer, describing the five pairs of the animal, it is emphasi- zed that the creation world ist varicolored and seems even contradictory to all the interests of the human beings. In the second answer a pair of the animal, liwjātān and behemoth, are referred. Through these exam- ples God shows us that the creation world contains elements of suffering and chaos, and is the mysterious world which is beyond the understanding and judgement of the human beings. In the above examined texts concerning the creation world, it is clear that the theme 'creation' means not merely the creation of the world or the beginning of the universe but the reign of God. The animals or the animal world are not no longer instruments or accessories for the existence of human beings. Rather, by examining them, we could learn whether the goal of human creation is achieved or not. The animals have their own meaning in the creation world of God and are essential to the harmonized and varicolored world.
  • 8.

    Interpretive Issues for the Study of the Book of Proverbs

    Samuel Cheon | 2008, 14(4) | pp.147~166 | number of Cited : 14
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to deal with recent interpretive issues for studying the Book of Proverbs. To do so, it critically reviews its recent scholarly issues which have been discussed for the last 40 years, including the literary structural unity, the origin and concept of wisdom, the social context, and the theological trend. These interpretive problems of the Book of Proverbs are very closely related with the scholarly issues of the wisdom literature in the Old Testament, because the book is located in the center of the latter. Accordingly, these two areas' research issues are often overlapped, including the following questions: What is the origin of the ancient Israelite wisdom? Was there a school or school system in the period of ancient Israelite kingdom? What is the identity of the wise who produced wisdom literature in ancient Israel? What is the relationship between the Israelite wisdom movement and Yahwism? This study does not only present major scholars' views of each issue and its related problems with its criticism, but also a direction for its further study. What is the literary unity of the Book of Proverbs consisting of diverse sources? What is the social context of the ancient sources in the book? What is its social element reflected in its final redactional step? What is the theological trend reflected in the book? How different is its theology from the principle of retribution? What is the theological unity between the book and other Old Testament texts? These questions are not only to understand the Book of Proverbs diachronically and synchronically, but also to present the Old Testament theology as a whole, including the wisdom literature. In short, this study will contribute to understand the present situation of the study in the Book of Proverbs and a direction of its further investigation.
  • 9.

    Exile-Warnings and Concept of the Land

    장석정 | 2008, 14(4) | pp.167~184 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    This paper, the first of three consecutive papers, contains the effort to analyze the texts which include 'exile warnings' against Israel. The second paper would be the study on the texts depicting the exile events themselves. The third paper would concern the texts describing the post-exilic situations in relationship with the concept of the land. The texts have to be selective because there are so many kinds of texts saying that Israel would be in exile as her punishment. The study tries to identify the concept of the land in Leviticus 18: 26 and Deuteronomy 4: 28 and to compare one another in order to find any shift of emphasis in terms of the concept of the land. Leviticus 18 introduces the concept that the land would vomit its inhabitants because they defiled themselves and the land by committing the sins of the prohibited sexual behaviors. The purity of the land is preferred to Israel in this concept of the land. In Leviticus 26, the purity of the land is associated with exile warnings and it extends to the land of the foreigners where Israel would live. Also the sabbath of the land is focused in relationship with the exile event. While Israel was in exile, the land will enjoy its sabbatical rest. In Deuteronomy 4, making images would result in the exile punishment. Also the texts warn that Israel in the foreign land would not live long and serve foreign gods. Especially, Deuteronomy 28 contains the texts warning the exile event to other nations as well as to Egypt. The warning of exile to Egypt is crucial because it would nullify the exodus event and the promise of the land given to Abraham. Therefore, the concept of the land in exile warnings changes from a text to another in terms of its different emphasis on the land.
  • 10.

    Symbol of the Presence of YHWH and the Spirit

    Sa-Ya Lee | 2008, 14(4) | pp.185~198 | number of Cited : 9
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to make clear the fact that the person(s) who received the Spirit of YHWH was(were) used as the new symbol of the presence of YHWH after the disappearance of the temple; and to achieve this purpose I observed the theological elements which enabled making the temple and the person(s) as the symbol of the presence of the YHWH, using historical-critical approach. In the pre-temple period, the visible symbol of YHWH's presence was the ark. And in the period of monarchy, the symbol was the temple and YHWH was believed to always be in existence in the temple. The historical event that the Jerusalem temple was destructed and the monarchy fell down in 586 BC, means not merely the fall of the royal authority of Judah. That also means that the Israelite community could not find the presence of YHWH in the temple and that the presence of YHWH in the temple was replaced by the man or people who received the Spirit of YHWH. The editor(s) of the Dtr. history and the latter prophetic books used the man or people who received the Spirit of YHWH as the new symbol of presence of YHWH when the temple, the old symbol of presence of Him, disappeared in history. The editor(s), as if he(or they) used the visible temple through the invisible Name of YHWH and the Glory of YHWH, used the visible man or people as the symbol of the presence of YHWH through the invisible Spirit of YHWH in the period the temple and monarchy existed no longer, looking forward the reconstruction of the temple. The Name of YHWH and the Glory of YHWH were the theological expressions which enabled the temple become the symbol of the presence of YHWH in the thought of exilic and post-exilic period. The Spirit of YHWH was the theological expression to the new symbol of the presence of YHWH and it, together with the Name of YHWH and the Glory of YHWH, insured YHWH's being with Israel even in the time of exilic and post-exilic period. In Dtr. history, the presence of the Spirit of YHWH manifested the function of selection, ratification and power of God and it was restricted to minimal individuals. But in latter prophetic books, it was promised to grant the Spirit of YHWH to all people and nations and its characteristics were changed to be static and everlasting. The editor(s) of the Dtr. History and latter prophetic books used new forms, presence of the Spirit of YHWH and pouring of the Spirit of YHWH, in order to present judges, prophets or all people as the new symbol of the presence of YHWH. This new form is applied even to the charismatic leaders in the Book of Judges and to the prophets in the latter prophetic books. The traditional thought of anointing was replaced by the presence of the Spirit of YHWH or the pouring of it in the Books of Judges, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Joel, and etc. This shows the conversion of acknowledgement which seeks for the Spirit-received man or people as the new symbol of the presence of YHWH after the time of 586 B.C. when the temple was disappeared. This study, dealing with the Spirit of YHWH theo-epistemologically, beyond semantically, in the paradigm shift of the exilic and post-exilic period, could be presented as a model study on the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.