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2014, Vol.20, No.4

  • 1.

    Theology of Globalization, the Globalization of Theology, and the Church

    Moon, Si Young | 2014, 20(4) | pp.13~41 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to propose a balanced reflection on the issue of ‘globalization’ in a context in which negative views on it prevail. In fact, a majority of scholars blame globalization as a seriously troubled issue which harms the whole world. It is also true that globalization is the matrix of our times. In this context, this paper seeks to present a balanced reflection on globalization, based on the public theology of M. Stackhouse as follows: (1) Theology of globalization: It needs to be balanced between globalization as ‘another Fall’ and ‘providential grace’. According to Stackhouse, the most important question on this topic is not whether globalization is acceptable or not, but ‘How can Christianity contribute to establish the publicness of the globalization?’(2) The globalization of theology: Stackhouse urges that theology has to be concerned about the issues of human rights, fair trade, technology, and so on. In other words, the globalization of Christian ethics is urgently needed. Moreover, providing moral guides for the globalized world is a very important task of theology in our times. Of course, there are some critics of Stackhouse’s view. For example, some say that Stackhouse has a tendency to evaluate globalization positively. Others think although he finally arrived at a contextual theology, nevertheless he himself maintained the importance of a non-contextual view. In my opinion, Stackhouse has little concern about the ecclesiastical horizon. It is never to be ignored that the church is very important in the realization of moral tasks in the global era.
  • 2.

    A Study on the Relationship between Death and the Aged from a Christian Perspective

    Yoon-Bae Choi | 2014, 20(4) | pp.42~88 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    This study attempts to draw the relationship between death and the aged from a Christian perspective. The penalty which God announced to man in paradise was death. Death here intended is not that of the body, but that of man as a whole being in the Scriptural sense of the word. The Bible does not know the distinction, so common among us, between a physical death, a spiritual death, and an eternal death. I have a synthetic view of death and regard it as a separation from God. Church traditions generally hold that the disembodied spirit will be united with the natural body that died on earth. The truth in this conception is that nothing of significance is really lost. There is a substantial, but not an exact, material identity between the final glorified body and the earthly body. “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16). “The days of our years are threescore years and ten ... yet is their pride only labour and sorrow. For it is soon cut off, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts into wisdom” (Ps 90:10-12).
  • 3.

    The Aqedah Viewed from a Theodicean Perspective: A New Reading of Genesis 22:1-19 in its Final Form

    KyeSang Ha | 2014, 20(4) | pp.90~126 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    It has been noted that Gen 22:1-19, the so-called Aqedah, has close relationships with other chapters in the Abraham cycle, not only with Genesis 12, 17, and 21, but also with Genesis 15-18. Genesis 12 is the beginning of Abraham’s spiritual journey and Genesis 22 is its climax, and thus the trajectories of the main theological themes or concepts in the cycle naturally converge in Genesis 22. Unfortunately, however, almost all the scholars have interpreted Genesis 22:1-19, without fully reflecting on such aspects. Besides, there is hardly any scholar who has tried to find out the reason in the cycle why Abraham needed the experience of the Aqedah. As a result, there has never been any research to interpret, in the light of the Abraham cycle as a whole, the Aqedah in terms of the evaluation of his life journey, as well as to answer the question why the Aqedah was a necessity for him. The purpose of this research is to find out in the cycle and its related texts the whys and wherefores of the Aqedah from a theodicean challenge to God, which was (or will be) made concerning Abraham’s spiritual odyssey, and ultimately to understand the Aqedah. The research was done mainly with a synchronic/literary approach, and an exegesis of the Aqedah itself was partially and briefly made, when necessary. The results may be recapitulated as follows:First, the Abraham cycle makes a chiastic structure with the covenant between God and Abraham centered in it, and thus the Aqedah should be interpreted in relation to the covenant. Second, Abraham did not show his full trust in God through his words and actions, which reveal his disbelief in God’s covenant promises, especially the promise of full protection for him and that of his offspring. The incidents in Egypt (12:10-20; right after the start of his spiritual journey) and in Gerar (20:1-18; just before the climax of the journey) show his disbelief in God’s promise of full protection for him. Above all things, the incident of his taking Hagar as a wife by hearing/obeying Sarah (16:2; between the two foci [Gen 15 and 17] of the Abraham cycle) reveals his distrust in God’s promise of his offspring. Third, even though in this way Abraham was not faithful to the covenant, God continued to protect, save, and even bless him by keeping His covenant promises. This apparent injustice must be the cause of a theodicean challenge to God which was (or will be) made in relation to Abraham’s spiritual odyssey, and his unfaithfulness to the covenant was the reason for his experience of the Aqedah. The Aqedah was God’s answer to such a theodicean challenge by testing Abraham and thus giving him the last opportunity to show his full trust in Him. Fourth, just as Abraham started his spiritual journey by hearing/obeying God (Gen 12:4a), so he climaxes the journey by hearing/obeying God’s voice (22:18b; cf. 26:5a). Because of his decisive obedience of faith, God renewed the covenant with Abraham, the promises of which are wider and more specific by far than before (22:15-18). Last but not least, the Aqedah of Genesis 22:1-19 is essentially the story of God, who by testing Abraham revealed the genuineness and fortitude of his faith, and also lovingly disciplined Abraham for his sins of disbelief, redeeming him with a sacrifice.
  • 4.

    A Study on Isaac’s $rb (Gen 27:27-29, 39-40; 28:3-4): In Comparison with His Abrahamic Covenant in Gen 17:1b-8

    모창조 | 2014, 20(4) | pp.127~163 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    This study is a comparative analysis of Isaac’s $rb (Gen 27:27-29, 39-40; 28:3-4), with reference to $rb’s forms and connotations in the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 17:1-22), in order to offer a refreshing perspective on these in Isaac’s $rb. The term $rb in the Abrahamic blessing has its own particular form and content. Specifically, it is used with ‘El Shaddai,’ one of the divine names, as a subject who transmits blessings, and also with verbs in a Hiphil form with ‘life-giving and life-enhancing’ connotations in the context of ‘descendants’ and ‘ownership of the land.’ They appear as typical elements when the Divine promises blessings to the chosen patriarchs. In Gen 27:1-28:4, Isaac also gives $rb to his sons in three cases (27:27-29, 39-40; 28:3-4). However, the first two do not employ the typical elements with which the Divine transfers blessings to the patriarchs. For example, ‘El Shaddai,’ the fundamental subject of blessings, doesn't appear, nor are the ‘Hiphil verbs’ used with the life-giving and life-enhancing connotations, still less in the context of ‘descendants.’ Concerning the ‘land,’ Isaac wants his land to become fertile and fruitful, but he never refers to ownership. In contrast, the third blessing (28:3-4) of Isaac shows the typical elements, just as in the Abrahamic covenant. Firstly, the divine name, ‘El Shaddai,’ and the Hiphil verbs are adopted. Secondly, ‘descendants’ and ‘ownership of the land’ are mentioned as well. Therefore, his last blessing(28:3-4) is not the least similar to the first two (27:27-29; 27:39-40) in form and content. In other words, Isaac as a head of household gives normal blessings to his sons in the first and second occasions. Yet to Jacob, the divinely-elected patriarch, Isaac conveys the Abrahamic blessings in the last $rb. This study invites us to reconsider the decisions and actions of Isaac. Isaac cannot be considered passive because he is well aware of the role he plays and makes every effort to do so. As one of the patriarchs of Israel chosen by God, he has to transmit $rb corresponding to that of Abraham over to Jacob who will be in the same status. Meanwhile, Isaac intends to bless Esau because he deserves the firstborn’s share, even though he cannot enjoy the Abrahamic blessings. On the other hand, Isaac intends to transmits to Jacob not just Abraham’s $rb but also the lot of the second son. On the face of it, this plan seems to be frustrated by Rebecca, but there is more than meets the eye. In fact, his initiative comes to fruition by transferring Abraham’s blessing to God’s predetermined son when Jacob flees to Haran until his brother’s fury lessens. So it is not likely that Isaac denies God’s will in intending to convey the divinely determined blessing to Esau. Rather, he tries his best not only to play his role as an agent of the divine covenant but also to maintain the peace of his home.
  • 5.

    The Priestly Redactors’ Rhetorical Intention on the Monarchic Traditions in the Book of Numbers

    우택주 | 2014, 20(4) | pp.164~194 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this study is to discover in the final form of the book of Numbers what kind of rhetorical intentions the priestly group as the second temple leaders in the Persian Yehud province could have possessed. The book of Numbers describes the wilderness journey of the Exodus Israelites, which did not exist, according to the view of critical biblical scholars. So the book of Numbers was probably written to set up authoritative instruction to meet the needs of the second temple society in Palestine. In order to solve the multiple problems raised from Yehud on its own, P utilized the monarchic tradition. As a result of reading the composite passages under consideration, we could reach several conclusions. P’s first rhetorical intention would be to encourage the Israelites outside Palestine to return to the promised land since the returnees may be not enough in number. The second would be to make a strictly ordered society since there was no tight government for a long time. To accomplish this job, it is likely that P, first of all, must have discouraged the prophetic ministry which might compete with the priestly leadership. However, they only wished to maintain the sacred authority of the one man, Moses. The third might be to prohibit intermarriage. This measure could have met with considerable opposition on the ground of Moses’ intermarriage with Zipporah, a Midianite or a Cushite woman. That’s why P’s redactional work in the book of Numbers shows a strong antagonism against the Midianites (men and women) throughout the book. Such rhetorical intentions fit well with Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s ministry.
  • 6.

    The Dream of Israel Implied in Their Camping (Numbers 1-4)

    Han, Dong-Gu | 2014, 20(4) | pp.195~221 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The present article examines Numbers 1-4 to find what theological significance could be presented in the sacred organization and order in the Israelite camp. Particularly it aims to find what ideal nation is sought after by the Israelite religious community. An exegesis of the texts in Numbers 1-4 is made in detail. A further comparison with other thoughts in the Old Testament is also made in the history of their traditions, which is a must in the present study. A theological question is asked concerning the total number of the men who are able to serve in the army in Numbers 1, in which the numbering of the Israelites is made. Furthermore the relationship between the census in Numbers 1 and the arrangement and order of the camp in Numbers 2-4 is also examined. The characteristics and theological meaning of the camp arrangement in Numbers 2 are examined. The Israelite camp was arranged on every side of the Tent of Meeting, with the Levites standing in the center. The theological meaning of the arrangement is a development from the thoughts about the center of the world and the universe proposed by the prophets. The rule of the Levites’ duties is examined. Their overall duties are prescribed in Numbers 1, and they are, in Numbers 3, assistants to ritual duties and responsible for the management of the furnishings in the Tent of Meeting. In Numbers 4 their duties relate to carrying the tabernacle and its furnishings. The theological meaning of the arrangement and the Levites’ duties is examined. The arrangement and their duties not only make manifest the value of the sacred separation but also serve to realize it completely. The ultimate value of the sacred separation lies in setting up a nation of value. The ritual community of Israel could develop as a truly strong nation when it was based on mental and religious values, not on material power. The present study, therefore, argues that Numbers 1-4 imply the aspiration to build up a strong nation by seeking mental values, and that it is an aspect of the theological tendencies of the Sinaitic tradition and post-exilic period.
  • 7.

    David's Policy Towards Gibeon

    Kim, Sun-Jong | 2014, 20(4) | pp.222~245 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This article presents a good model for communication among members of a society by reviewing David's policy towards the Gibeonites. The flow of 2 Sam 24:1-14 is outwardly very simple. There is a famine during David's reign for three consecutive years. David inquires of God regarding the reason, and He informs him of the cause of the famine. It is because Saul murdered the Gibeonites. David unconditionally accepts their demand to execute Saul and his seven descendants. Then Rizpah preserves the corpses of her two sons from the birds and wild animals by spreading a sackcloth on the rock. David who hears this news gets to know that the bones of Saul and Jonathan were not buried well. So he gathers and buries them in the grave of Kish, Saul's father. After this, God gives rain on the land of Israel. When reading this text closely, the readers encounter numerous problems regarding the text and its redactional history and theology. In addition to the problems concerning textual criticism and redaction criticism, the text astonishes us in that God responds to the Gibeonites' demand for a certain type of human sacrifice. This fact leads us to reconsider the image of the God of Israel. Another problem we meet is that the text may read differently, and that the action of the protagonists ― Saul and David ― may be judged differently according to the mode of lecture. In order to resolve the conflicts and interruptions in the story, we try to understand the text from the viewpoint of redaction criticism. At the same time, in order to grasp the theological meaning of the communication between the Israelites and the Gibeonites, we approach the text in its final form by means of narrative criticism. According to the axiom that the narrator is omniscient and reliable, the readers can judge that David's intention in 2 Sam 21 is good, and that God is not only the God of Israel but also the God of the foreigners. Whereas Saul attempts to form one blood community by eliminating the Gibeonites in his zeal for Israel, David adopts a policy of including the Gibeonites by communicating with God. Hence, good communication among members of a society presupposes good communication with God.
  • 8.

    On the Experiential Spirituality of the Prophets

    Cheol-Woo Park | 2014, 20(4) | pp.246~280 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    We in the 21st century live in a post-modern society, where spiritual and psychological emptiness, social alienation, loneliness, and anxiety are not felt less deeply than at any other time. I tried to bring into relief the theological legacy of the prophets for us to learn and keep for future generations. The prophets were those who were recognized as special people in their society because of their special spiritual experiences and activities. They acted in accordance with the divine mission to proclaim the words of God to their people, who presumed that their prophetic words were to be fulfilled, and who could not but react in some way, either positively or negatively. This is because of their spiritual experiences which can be found, first of all, in the experiences of their prophetic call, which is the root of their authority and activity. In the present article, I tried to examine the particularities of their spiritual experiences, especially their revelatory experiences, by critically assessing the discussions of major biblical scholars on this issue (esp. Sigmund Mowinckel, Walther Eichrodt, Max Weber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, J. Lindblom, H. H. Rowley, C. F. Whitley, André Neher, John F. A. Sawyer, J. Blenkinsopp, R. R. Wilson, Rodney Hutton, et al.). The value of the prophets’ spiritual experiences themselves does not exceed the truth contained in their words. However, the importance of their spiritual experiences is not to be underestimated, because they are God's special work in relationship to them. The spiritual experiences, their experiential spirituality, and the Spirit's work 'in' and 'through' the words, together with their moral teachings, are what we have to learn, cherish, and pass down to future generations as our biblical legacy.
  • 9.

    The Succession and Innovation of the Wisdom Tradition: The Origin of the So-called “Descriptive-Think-Pattern” Used in Ecclesiastes

    Minsu Oh | 2014, 20(4) | pp.281~310 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    This study is presented as a summary of the recent trend of researches in Ecclesiastes, and points out the limit of dialectical theology as its hermeneutical premise. To resolve the unique character of the formal development of themes in Ecclesiastes, the researcher re-constructs the utilization of the “Descriptive-Think-Pattern” idea. In the opinion of the writer, its foundation is laid as the framework ‘Observe-Think-Establish’. This Think-Pattern belongs to a method of the Old Testament’s traditional wisdom. Additionally, the writer verifies this pattern by comparing and analyzing the Bible passages, Proverbs 24:30-34 and Ecclesiastes 3:16-22, which can be regarded as representative examples of the “Descriptive-Think-Pattern” idea. As a result, narration style changes are also revealed, as developments from first-person report to third-person description and then to second-person narrative are in turn seen throughout. Through this tendency of narrative style changes, their author strives for persuasive knowledge and insight to be handed over to the readers. Besides, to ensure the transfer of this knowledge and wisdom, the author uses ‘Synchronization Methods’ as rhetorical tools to awaken the perception of the readers. Through studying the “Descriptive-Think-Pattern,” this study illuminates the importance and prevalence of the tradition of Ecclesiastes in relation to the wisdom literature in the Old Testament. In conclusion, the writer takes the view that the Preacher is a successor and innovator of the wisdom tradition of the Old Testament.
  • 10.

    The Egyptian Udjahorresnet and The Jewish Esra and Nehemiah in the Persian Period

    So Hyeong-Geun | 2014, 20(4) | pp.311~335 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    There are many similarities between the Egyptian Udjahorresnet and the Jewish Ezra and Nehemiah in the Persian period. For example, their positions, status, and activities, and also the missions that they carried out. The times when they were dispatched to their homelands show little difference. Udjahorresnet was sent to Egypt by Darius I (518 B.C.), Ezra to Judah and Jerusalem by Artaxerxes I (458 B.C.), and Nehemiah also by Artaxerxes I (445 B.C.). Persian kings dispatched the imperial officials to their homelands in order to govern the extensive empire effectively and to suppress the disturbances in the border areas, except Babylon, and thus they practiced orders (= civil laws) of the Persian kings in their homelands. In addition, they carried out the cultic reform and established the collapsed ritual ceremonies according to their religious beliefs, and their community and temple were cleansed. Udjahorresnet and Nehemiah prayed to the gods of Sais and to Yahweh Elohim respectively, for the remembrance of the good they had done in the autobiographical document. However, although the Udjahorresnet inscription was older than the documents of Ezra and Nehemiah, one cannot accept the argument that the latter borrowed from the former. It is nothing more than a conjecture, because there is no evidence and connection for it. After considering all the factors, this paper reached the following conclusion: This formal type of the autobiographical document was exceedingly universal in the Persian period.
  • 11.

    A History of Research on the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah: From the Year 1990 to the Present

    Kim, Rae Yong | 2014, 20(4) | pp.337~369 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    This paper deals with a history of research on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah from the year 1990 to the present. For this, I investigated several Korean books, commentaries, monographs, and articles, and English or German books, commentaries, and monographs, which are related to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. In Korea, the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah have been neglected, so that studies on them have not been actively promoted until the mid-1990s. However, a few scholars have begun to study the books of Ezra and Nehemiah since the mid-1990s, and since the 2000s several scholars have concentrated their studies on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. They have published several studies on the historical background, theologies, composition, sources, and applications of methodologies in regard to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. In foreign countries, studies on the books of Ezra and Nehemiah have been actively promoted since the 1980s, and important commentaries on them have been published by several scholars. This trend has continued after the 1990s. Many commentaries have been published on the basis of the editorial intentions of several commentary series, and several monographs have been published with several foci, such as historical background and subjects, the relationships between 1 Esdras and Ezra-Nehemiah, and Nehemiah himself. This study plays an important role in showing the trend of studies related to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.