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2014, Vol.20, No.1

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    Is Jesus Christ an obstacle, or peace offering in the period of religious pluralism?

    Choi, In Sik | 2014, 20(1) | pp.31~56 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    Is Jesus Christ an obstacle, or a peace offering inthe period of religious pluralism?In-Sik Choi, Dr. theol. Professor, Department of TheologySeoul Theological UniversityThe first purpose of this article is to reveal the substance of theologicalreligious pluralism that doubt the identity of modern christianity, thesecond purpose is to urge scholars of the Old Testament to make the rightjudgement in the texts of the Old Testament, and the last purpose is topropose the way of reconciliation among religions. For the first purpose Iintroduced the various theories of scholars, and I analysed the theologicalreligious pluralism that the Baar statement of WCC claims. The Baarstatement rest on the theology of religions by J. Hick and R. Panikkar. Als the Propose for the reconciliation among religions I made anattempt at the biblical interpretation(Genesis, Isaiah 60, Ephesians 2 etc)that can support the pacificatory meeting among the Judaism, Christianityand Islam, and ultimately I suggested that Jesus Christ is not an obstacleof interfaith conversation but a peace offering. Lastly I claimed that thewith doctrine and creed armed Christianity must be reformed firstly as theChristianity of the Soul for the interfaith reconciliation, otherwise it's nevergoing to make the interfaith reconciliation as the theological theory of thereligious pluralism.
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    Biblical Foundations of WCC-led Inter-faith Dialogue and Religious Inclusivism: A Study of Abraham’s Progressive Understandings of God

    Hae Kwon Kim | 2014, 20(1) | pp.57~94 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The present essay explores how Abraham’s understandings of God El Shadday were enriched and made adjustable as he interacted with Canaan’s indigenous peoples on various occasions. The purpose of this study is first to show to what extent justifiable WCC-led inter-faith dialogue and its religious inclusivism may be and to point out their limitation. To this end, the present essay engages Lee Hyungki an ardent advocator of WCC's inter-faith dialogue and his vehement opponent, Choi Duck Sung in debate. The present essay is inclined to take side with Lee Hungki when he argues for WCC-led inter-religious dialogue and mutual learning policy, based on two grounds: A case of Abraham's progressive understandings of God clearly shown in the Book of Genesis and the Possibility of God's being known to other peoples and civilizations than Israel via Natural Revelation. The thesis of the present article is that Abraham’s religion grew much mature and was enriched in the course of his multi-faceted contacts and interactions with several indigenous peoples of Canaan. Genesis 12- 25 present at least four scenes in which Abraham enriched his previous knowledge of God, widened, and deepened his earlier understandings of God when he meaningfully encountered Canaanite peoples such as Mamre, Melchizedek, Beershebaean Canaanites, and the God of the Moriah mount. In each encounter with Canaanite names of God, Abraham gained a more mature understanding of God. The four scenes of Abraham’s renewed understanding of God shed some positive light on the WCC-led inter-faith dialogue for making a Christian understanding of God more mature and balanced. Furthermore, the present essay provides a concise overview of major biblical attestations saying that non-Israelite peoples may be enabled to gain a certain understanding of God, the God of Israel via Natural Revelation. Based on the foregoing discussion, the present essay concludes that a close exploration of Abraham’s progressive understandings of God justifies the WCC-led inter-faith dialogue and mutual enrichment program via inter-religious contacts and interactions.
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    An Exegetical Study for the Canonical Unfoldings of Leviticus 18 an interpretation of meaning in the expression; ‘the land vomit.’

    Kim Jin Myung | 2014, 20(1) | pp.96~121 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to study the meaning of the expression‘vomiting of the land’ in Leviticus 18. This personified expression occursonly in Lev 18 and 20 throughout the whole Bible. What is the meaningof the phrase? This question can be connected with the exegetical issue ofLeviticus 18. The methodology of this article is ‘an exegetical study for thecanonical unfoldings’, and is applied to the study of Leviticus 18, in whichthe expression is shown for the first time in the final text of the Bible. The concept of ‘canonical unfoldings’ can be adapted to the whole chainof works, which are to comment on Lev 18, to compare and analyze theconnected texts in the Bible, and to reinterpret the meaning of the chapter in the context of the whole related texts. Through commenting Lev 18,it made possible for us to see that many concepts, issues and contents ofsins of the Israelites and God's punishment are dealt in Lev 18 (unlawfulsexual relations, idolatry, the Law, defilement of the land/death, expulsion,judgment of God etc.), thus it is not limited to the issue of illicit sexualactivity. A study for the canonical unfolding of Lev 18 in the OT(Lev 20,2 Kings 17:7-18, Ezek 22:1-16, Zech 7:8-14) demonstrates the variouselements of Lev 18, which are illuminated and concentrated in these texts. Also, according to the focus and context of each text in these books, therearise some differences as well. In the reinterpretation of Lev 18, the present writer summarizes thatthe vomiting of the land can be perceived as death, expulsion and exile,based on the concrete textual bases. Through this process, the presentwriter proposes the possibility that the issue of God's punishment in Lev18 should be perceived and interpreted not in the limited perspective ofIsrael, but in the broad perspective of international relations(cf. Ezek 22:1-6).
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    The Otherized Moabite Balaam

    Yoon Kyung Lee | 2014, 20(1) | pp.122~149 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    This paper begins with a question why the tradition of Balaam hasbeen transitioned from positive or, at least, neutral to negative within theBible. Numbers 22-24, reporting Balaam in a positive or neutral fashion,is dated to the period of the Omri-Ahab dynasty in which the worshipof El, Shaddayin, Shagar, and/or Ashera was permissible and prevalentand also in which Moab was colonized. Afterward, Deuteronomist (e.g. Deut. 23) and Deuteronomistic Historian (e.g. Joshua 24), after Moabwas independent of Israel, were written in both a political and theologicalcontext in which Balaam’s worship of goddess and poly-gods was not to betolerated. Finally, in Numbers 31, a Priestly document, Balaam is depictedas one of the slaughtered along with the Midianite kings. The Post-exilicYehud, of which period was under the Persian Empire, made great effortsto establish an ethnic identity and religious distinction with the centrality ofthe Temple. Over time, in accordance with external issues such as politicaland religious relationship with Moab, the Balaam narrative, tangled withethnicity and religiosity of Moab, had continued to be shifted in terms ofits interpretation. Thus, the Moabite Balaam grew to be gradually rejectedand being Otherized over time throughout the Bible.
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    Textual Gaps, Dual Causality, and Their Theological Implication

    Hyo Myong Lim | 2014, 20(1) | pp.150~168 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    In the Hebrew narratives God is often portrayed as orchestrating eventsbehind the scenes. When God recedes into the background, humancharacters are granted a wide scope of initiative and the plot itself flows asa series of cause and effect. If God operates behind the scenes and humanactions take up a conspicuous place, how are we going to explain the causeof an event in terms of the roles that the human and the divine charactersplay?To answer the question raised above, I have chosen 1 Samuel 4(thedestruction of the Elides) and 1 Samuel 9(Saul's journey to find lostdonkeys) as texts to be closely examined. The selected texts share twocharacteristics in common, which are critical to this study. Firstly, theplots of the narratives flow according to the principle of causality. Eachmovement in the plot is connected as cause and effect. Secondly, God'simplication in the narrated events is indicated in the prophecies whichare placed before or after the narratives. The downfall of the Elides isannounced before it happens, and God's sending of Saul to Samuel isrevealed at the end of Saul's journey. In reading the texts, I use the newliterary critical approach, paying attention to the plot, characterization,textual gaps, textual ambiguity and indeterminacy. A close examination of the texts reveals that the prominent textual gaps--the ways in which God's will for the Elides and Saul, which is proclaimedin the prophecies, is to be fulfilled, the cause of the war against thePhilistines, and how the donkeys are lost and found--call for the reader'sactive participation in creating the meaning of the story. In filling the gapswith imagination in the reading process, the readers, being aware of theprophecies, are urged to find God's invisible hand in the events. Yet, dueto the causal flow of the narratives and the prominent role of humancharacters, God's power is understood as not coercion but influence or‘seduction’ as seen in Saul's journey toward Samuel. Thus both the divineand the human cause an event(dual causality).
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    Prohibition of Interest and Debt Relief in the Era of Nehemiah and King Munmu

    정중호 | 2014, 20(1) | pp.169~197 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    In Ancient Israel there existed the laws which prohibits charging interestand commands debt relief(Exod 22:24-26; Lev 25:35-38; Deut 23:20-21),and also the law which orders the remission of debt after 7 years(Deut15:1-3). Debates have existed as to whether these startling enactments,which had a power to freeze economic relations instantly, were actuallyenforced, and whether these were realistic measures or not. This article compares the cases of Nehemiah(Neh 5:1-13) with thoseof King Munmu of the ancient Shilla dynasty, who had implemented suchlaws. This article seeks to unveil the motivation and purpose lying behindthese institutions. The motivation lying behind prohibition of interest-charge and debtrelief can be summarized as follows. 1) Relief measures sought to savedebt slaves, who, after having taken out loans because of poverty andstarvation, fell into slavery. Natural disasters rendered them unable topay back their debts. 2) The monarch sought to weaken the power of thepolitical rivals and on the other hand to increase the power of the throneor ruling leadership by implementing the law of prohibiting interest andthe law of debt relief. 3) Prohibition of interest and debt relief signaled‘brotherly love’and served as a mechanism of social unification. Further,these laws served as a method by which the poor could be helped whilepreserving their honor and dignity. Therefore, while on surface level prohibition of interest and debt reliefmade little economic sense, in terms of political perspective and socialunity, these laws not only were realistic but also served a purpose, that isto cure previous economic illnesses and produce a healthier economy. Theunderstanding that such treatment was necessary to prevent communitybreakdown spurred members to enact such institutions. Also, the implementation of such laws was be made possible by thelimited enactment in certain sectors, which is analogous to a partial andlimited treatment of a particular disease, rather than all-out enactmentthroughout the entire economy. Therefore, we can conclude thatprohibition of interest and debt relief are realistic policies, capable ofbeing implemented according to need.
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    Reconsidering the Process of Making the Old Testament Canon: Focusing on its Standard Theory

    Samuel Cheon | 2014, 20(1) | pp.200~226 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this study is to reconsider the process of forming the Old Testament. To do so, it critically reviews the so-called ‘the standard theory of the Old Testament canonization,’ which was suggested by H. E. Ryle in the late 19th century, considering the recent scholarly views of the Hebrew Bible's formation. Ryle's theory of its canonization, which is still being taught in theological schools, was very influential in the field of the theological education until the 1960s. However, having studied the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the 1947-1956, scholars seriously challenged the theory as well as the insistence which the formation of the Hebrew canon was completed in Jamnia Council in which Jewish rabbis met in 90 C.E. This study firstly considers the theory of Jewish Jamnia Council, which was suggested by the Jewish scholar H. Graetz in the 19th century, and suggests that the Old Testament which we have as the present form was not completed at best until the first century. We cannot find any evidence of the argument in any Jewish and Christian literature. Secondly, there is no evidence that the canonization of the Torah and the Prophets were completed in the second century B.C.E. The Dead Sea Scrolls shows that the Jewish sects had different opinions among them about the concept and limit of the Prophetic Books. Thirdly, there is no evidence that the early Christianity did receive the completed Hebrew canon from the Jewish community. Rather it used the Septuagint as their Scripture, without having strict concept of canon.