The purpose of this study is to investigate the public discourses (prophetic ministries) of the 8th century B.C. Israelite prophet Amos and to prove that his publicness was rooted in the publicness of the Torah, that is, the Covenant Code (Exod 20-23) and the Deuteronomic Code (Deut 12-26). For this, I traced the modern concept of publicness and then analyzed the public discourses of Amos on the basis of it.
I analyzed the publicness of the 8th century BC Israelite prophets with a focus on the three elements (populus, salus publica, Publizität), which constitute publicness on the basis of the publicness ideas of the two scholars—Rudolf Smend and Cho Han Sang. These three elements of publicness are found in the oracles of the four 8th century B.C. Israelite prophets. For them populus was the free peasants of Israel in the land of inheritance, salus publica means the enjoyment of rest there, and Publizität refers to the publicly delivered oracles in the public places such as the city-gate square, the sanctuary, and the palaces. The prophets of Israel, especially the 8th century B.C. Israelite prophets incessantly ran the risk of being endangered to suffer persecutions in order to protect the ‘Torah-based publicness’ of the Yahwistic faith. The publicness of the Israelite prophets was embodied in the Torah-based publicness and it strikes root in the ‘theology of the land.’ This study touched the ‘theology of the land’ in the laws of the Torah, which is the basis of the Torah-based publicness. The land for the ancient Israel meant more than an arable soil for securing food and connoted all the economic activities done on and for it. Thus the Torah-based publicness is the economic publicness that seeks to protect the God-given rights and life of the free peasants so that they may not be victimized for lack of economic injustice. The Torah-based publicness penetrates the public discourses of the prophets of Israel, specifically of the 8th century B.C. Israelite prophets. Therefore, In order to interpret the public discourses of the 8th century B.C. Israelite prophets properly, a socio-scientific exegesis based on the ‘Torah-based publicness’ is needed.
As such an example, I tried to do an intertextual exegesis on Amos 2:6-7 socio-scientifically on the basis of the Torah-based publicness. Thus, in Amos 2:6 the preposition ‘ב’ is interpreted as “by means of” and thus the phrase ‘rWbB’ as “any practical action”(e;rgoj). Besides, though many scholars have interpreted that Amos 2:7c generally means sexual depravation in a family, I understood it to mean that a family faced the loss of hypothec economically, which was the socio-economic situation of the free peasants of the time. In this way I tried to make it clear that, different from the traditional interpretation, Amos 2:6-7 was a public discourse of the prophet Amos which criticized the socio-economic context of the 8th century B.C. Israel on the basis of the Torah-based publicness.
Through this study, by illuminating the publicness of the Old Testament, which has been remarkably formed in the long historical process, such as the formation of the Torah, the activities of the prophets, and so forth, we come to notice that the Old Testament is the genuine text for the publicness of the church and Christian theology .