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2019, Vol.25, No.2

  • 1.

    Rights of burial in the Hebrew Bible: natural law against positive law

    LeeEunAe | 2019, 25(2) | pp.12~35 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Personal death and funerals/burying are closely associated not only to awe and care for human beings, but also to political, social, and cultural customs and traditions and laws. The death of an individual in the text of the Hebrew Bible and in a Greek tragedy, which are discussed in this paper, are in common related to the politic situation and the actual laws of the state. A mother's mourning in the text of Hebrew Bible can be understood as an ethical act that demands human dignity for the body of her son, who is left unattended after his death, and as a gesture defying the country's laws of practice. The ritual of Rizpa in front of the bodies of her dead son and relatives was understood to be not only a mourning rite of death, but an active political act to bury in the ground through a proper funeral ceremony, which was a natural demand for the restoration of the dignity of human being and to oppose the law, which is represented by the supreme power, David. In the Greek tragedy Antigone, Antigone buried the dead against Creon's law, which prohibited the burial of Polyneices, and she was herself died. Her actions should be understood to be an independent and rebellious political act that requires the community's responsibilities and obligations for the death of human beings. It was not just based on the sadness and loss of emotions based on private relationships, but on the universal principles. Natural law is responsible for critically reviewing the actual law. That is, the order of state cannot be absolute law, and the fundamental order of political and social communities cannot be arbitrary. In this sense, natural law means political justice, and the basis of justice is human dignity. In other words, natural law functions to criticize the actual law by showing the limits of the actual law on both moral and ethical levels, and furthermore, it functions to change the actual law in the community. The above two texts show that the burial of human bodies is a legitimate duty in harmony with nature and can be interpreted as a demand for universal natural laws. If it is a request of the national law to prohibit the funeral of a person who died by a national power or of a traitor to the state, the burial activity to bury of a dead person in the grave according to proper funeral procedures is based on human dignity. The natural law criticizes and changes the national law.
  • 2.

    Reconciliation Theology in the History of Religion in Israel

    Choi Jong-Won | 2019, 25(2) | pp.36~65 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This paper examines the role of 'reconciliation movement' in Genesis in the history of Israel religion through traditional criticism and how it influences final formation of the Pentateuch. The story in Jacob - Esau (Genesis 33) is the key to solving the problem. It is especially important that there is a great difference between the role of the Edomites in the Book Samuel and the Pentateuch. Here this concept is closely linked to the 'reconciliation' movement in the books of the prophets. Edom in Jeremiah 27 and 49 and, which appeared in chapters 32-36 of Ezekiel, also reflects the historical activities of the seventh and sixth centuries BCE. Amos and Obadiah continue to be introduced in Malachi and Edom as a negative perspective from Israel's side. In this point, the theme of 'reconciliation theology' is more likely to be the theme that appeared in the late Persian period than the concept of the monarchy age. Therefore, the final editing as priestly concept of the Pentateuch suggests that the time of many of the non-Jahwist documents already raised is later than the time of the priestly document, which also suggests the formation of a new Pentateuch.
  • 3.

    Theological Unity in the Story of Gideon (Judg 6-8) and the Story of Abimelech (Judg 9).

    Sin-Ho LIM | 2019, 25(2) | pp.66~90 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to examine theological unity in the story of Gideon (Judg 6-8) and the story of Abimelech (Judg 9). In this study, we will deal with the issue of idolatry, theocracy, and violence for the theological unity analysis of the two stories. Regarding the matter of idolatry, this thesis looks into the problem of YHWH and Ba'alism, the theological significance of Jerub-Baal, another name of Gideon, and the Ephod that he made with gold. Next, for theocracy, this study will examine the theological intentions of Deuteronomistic historian and on the basis of these the problems of the royal system in the story of Gideon and Abimelech. Fianlly through the theme of violence, this paper will research the violence done by Gideon and clarify that it is transplanted to his son Abimelech, further developed to its peak. Through this study, we consider that the Gideon story (Judg. 6-8) and Abimelech story (Judg. 9) are not separated subjects but unified. This thesis concludes that Deuteronomistic historian did not regard Gideon as a theologically positive figure obedient to the faith of YHWH, rather edited the latter half of the story with theological uniformity that the faith of idolatry, the denial of the new rule, and the legacy of violence, all of which are done by Gideon are inherited to his son, Abimelech and solidified.
  • 4.

    A Reconsideration of the Problematic Image of Yahweh and the Metaphor in Ezekiel 16

    Hyo Myong Lim | 2019, 25(2) | pp.91~117 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    Many recent readers have been troubled by the violence and lewdness of the language in Ezekiel 16. The husband Yahweh's horrific treatment of his wife Jerusalem is offensive to many. In this article I will closely read the text with the tools of feminist literary criticism to explore the problematic image of Yahweh. Then I will examine how the context of the prophet and his audiences/readers functions in the construction and interpretation of an image of Yahweh. My aim is to show the validity of the metaphoric language of the prophet. A close reading of the story in Ezekiel 16 reveals that the marital relationship between Yahweh and Jerusalem is similar to that of a domestic violence. The prophet Ezekiel utilizes the marriage metaphor to effectively indict Judah and deliver a shocking verdict of imminent disasters. To make the judgment proportionate to the sins of Judah the prophet portrays Jerusalem as a ungrateful lewd woman and Yahweh as a husband who harshly punishes his wife for her infidelity. I argue that the offensiveness of the narrative originates from the marriage metaphor itself. Since a metaphor operates in shared experiences, Ezekiel's marriage metaphor is necessarily derives from a patriarchal society which is of the prophet and his intended audiences. Some metaphors are timeless (e.g. "The Road Not Taken"), while some are not. Marriage metaphor in which men are privileged to control and even abuse women, has lost its validity among many readers. The kind of Yahweh's image molded by the figurative language as seen in Ezekiel 16 is culturally bound. Such an image is destined to be broken and remolded in order to carry the message into a changed context. Otherwise it becomes an (literary) idol.
  • 5.

    A Study on Salvation Oracles in the Book of Joel

    Kim, Rae Yong | 2019, 25(2) | pp.118~145 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper emphasizes that the second part of the book of Joel is composed of God's responses to the priests' three prayers in Joel 2:17. For this, I divided it into three pericopes on the basis of the expressions related to Yahweh's residence, and then I analyzed contents and structures of each pericope. The first prayer is "Spare your people"(KJV). For this, the first cycle says God's promises to economic restoration, the second cycle mentions God's promises to spiritual restoration, and the third cycle refers to all the restorations. The three promises are God's answers to solve Israel's problems(locusts; drought; foreign peoples). The second prayer is "give not your heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them"(KJV). For this, the first cycle refers to a judgment of 'the northern army', the second cycle mentions a judgment of 'all nations and Tyre and Sidon and all the regions of Philistia', and the third cycle says a judgment of 'Egypt and Edom'. The three promises are God's answers to solve the problems of reproach and governance by foreign peoples. The third prayer is "why should they say among the people, where is their God?"(KJV). This is a mockery related to both Yahweh's incompetence and cancellation of contract relationship between God and Israel. For this, the first cycle emphasizes Yahweh's ability through both a solution of drought by rain that God gives and a reward of disaster of locusts, the second cycle stresses his ability through a fact that Yahweh judges all the peoples, and the third cycle highlights his ability through God's retribution. Furthermore, the three cycles all emphasize intimacy between God and Israel through the expression, 'Yahweh dwells in Zion/Jerusalem.' In sum, it is sure that the second part (salvation oracles) of the book of Joel is composed as Yahweh's answers to priests' lamentations of Joel 2:17. In this view, this study might be a new argument for a solution of the unity of the book of Joel.
  • 6.

    Advice Scenes in Herodotus’s History and the Book of Esther

    KIM SUNG ON | 2019, 25(2) | pp.148~172 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study attempts to analyze the advice-scene related to King Xerxes (486-465 BC). To this end, I would like to refer mainly to two different data. One is the History of the Greek historian Herodotus, and the other is the Book of Esther. Scholars see Xerxes in Herodotus and Ahasuerus in Esther as the same king. In this study, we are particularly interested in the role of counselors appearing in both sources and the attitude and response of Xerxes. According to Esther, King Ahasuerus follows the advice of his followers on almost every occasion. And Herodotus records in detail what wise courtiers made specific recommendations beside Xerxes. But according to the history of Herodotus, Xerxes is often described as rejecting rather than following the advices of his counselors. These differences make it difficult to assess the style of Xerxes’ rule. If Esther’s King Ahasuerus and Xerxes of Herodotus are the same king, how do we understand the difference in these propensities, which are described differently in the two sources? Herodotus and the author of the Book of Esther each held a very different ethnic life context: Greek and Jewish. This national difference and the difference in the historical experience may seem to have influenced when Herodotus described Xerxes in his book and the author of Esther portrayed about the King Ahasuerus. For the Greeks, Persia was an invader who wanted to overthrow the civilization that was just blooming by force with the power of the great empire. And the Greeks eventually overcome the Persian invasion and think their civilization flourished. On the other hand, the Persian empire came to the Jews more positively than the previous empires. Above all, by Persia the Jews were able to return to their homeland and restore their religious.
  • 7.

    Educating the Bible for the Church Renewal: Analysis and Suggestion

    Taek Joo Woo | 2019, 25(2) | pp.174~201 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    Our church renewal comes from the renewal of the pastors’ ability to interpret the Bible, which starts from theological education in the seminary. Despite many diagnostics on the theological education, we argue that the urgency of the renewal of theological education lies in theologians themselves rather than the curriculum or its management. For achieving the church renewal, we suggest that biblical scholars must always consider the social location of their own biblical interpretation, only in the direction toward solving the current problems of the Church. Along with this, we emphasize the aim of theological education that a pastor should be a theologian, to a degree of maximizing one’s power of self-criticism by recognizing that s/he is the one who can wield the power at one’s own will over the faith community. To strengthen such consciousness, a biblical scholar must consistently train himself/herself with a critical reading of biblical texts, so that s/he may realize that the Bible interprets no other than himself/herself. Repetition of such process could enhance a biblical education in the theological seminary. As a result, the pastoral candidates will renew the local church through guiding the Bible teaching in the future.