Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies 2021 KCI Impact Factor : 0.42

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pISSN : 1229-0521 / eISSN : 2799-9890

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2022, Vol.28, No.4

  • 1.

    A Study of the Old Testament’s Testimonies to Creation: ‘Chaos-Overcoming Creation’

    김윤정 | 2022, 28(4) | pp.11~40 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The present study explores three major biblical texts dealing with God’s creation in the Old Testament: Gen 1, Job 38, and Ps 74. They demonstrate three kinds of means that God utilized to create the whole universe: fiat in 3rd person (jussives, Gen 1), orders given to primordial waters in 2nd person (imperatives, Job 38), and God’s Chaoskampf against abysmal monsters such as Leviathan and Rehab (Ps 74). Based on the analyses of these texts, this study argues that they testify “God’s creation overcoming chaos” rather than creatio ex nihilo. Most of the Old Testament’s testimonies to God’s creation, taken together, witness to God’s chaos-neutralizing creation. Even some texts that have been said to show God’s fiat creatio. Also Several texts that are seen to depict God’s creation out of the chaotic circumstance with focus on two subcategories: God’s creation of the world out of the chaotic circumstances through God’s command for the primordial waters (Ps 29:3-10; Jb 38:8-11; Ps 104:5-9) and God’s creation of the world through His chaoskampf with the abysmal monsters (Ps 74:12-17; Ps 89:7-13; Isa 51:9-16). Like this, God created the world and its creatures out of chaos, the primordial realm that intermingles the abysmal waters with formless and uninhabited land. Chaos in the Old Testaments indicates (1) darkness and waters flooding over the land (Gen 1), (2) a newly formed sea threatening God’s creation with its proud waves (Job 38), and (3) sea monsters signifying strong empires such as Assyria and Babylonia devouring smaller countries (Ps 74). Several accounts of creation in the Old Testament analyzed in this study show that God’s creation is not a singly completed work all by Godself. One of the reasons behind this unfinished creation is that God wanted creatures to take part in the co-work with the Creator. The ongoing creation by God should be preserved and continued through the participation and obedience of the created beings, especially of humankind. Here one can get a glimpse into the roles of chaos in creation; it functions as a mediator that invites humanity to obey God’s commands in order to take part in God’s creating works. God did not eliminate the chaotic waters (chaos) once and for all instead held them from the realm of life. Several Old Testament’s creation texts show that God’s creation is not a singly completed work but should be preserved and continued by the participation and obedience of God’s creatures, especially human beings. Here one can get a glimpse into the aim of God’s creation of humanity and the roles of chaos.
  • 2.

    A Study on the Monsters of the Book of Job Through Monster Theory

    Jun Kim | 2022, 28(4) | pp.41~68 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this paper is to interpret the literary role and theological meaning of monsters in the book of Job through the monster theory, which is recently used as an important method for interpreting culture. Recently, research on monsters in the humanities has been widely conducted, such as the fear of humans revealed through monsters, the characteristic viewpoint of the culture in which monsters are created, and the meaning of the appearance of monsters. Monster theory suggests that monsters do not appear meaninglessly when referred to in literature. The appearance of monsters conveys an important message that can interpret the fear, disgust, desire, fantasy, and value system that the culture holds. Also, the appearance of monsters often plays an important role in recognizing the divine message. The book of Job frequently mentions various monsters such as Tannin, Yam, Rahab, the fleeing serpent, Behemoth, and Leviathan. Monsters could not be found in Job's peaceful life, but only when fear and anxiety come to Job, they come to Job's life. Monsters appear at a certain time when Job's understanding of the world is threatened. These monsters serve as literary motifs that symbolically show Job's chaotic situation. Literary motifs gain a cumulative effect through repetition and clarify the subject while linking interrelated issues. The monster is a literary motif that creates an atmosphere of chaos, anxiety, and fear in Job. However, unlike Job, God does not exclude the monsters of chaos as hostile forces, but rather describes how they relate to and harmonize with God in creation. God proposes to Job to re-evaluate the monster within a whole creation, rather than looking at the monster from an anthropocentric value system. The monster in the book of Job is the embodiment of Job's anxiety, fear, and chaos, and at the same time reveals a divine message to reevaluate the meaning of Job's chaos and suffering.
  • 3.

    An Equivocal Meaning of “God has hedged in” in Job 3:23

    류사라 | 2022, 28(4) | pp.69~97 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study attempts to make the message of Job meaningful to modern readers by observing the small meaning hidden in the language, text, rhetorical position, and arrangement in the Hebrew Bible. This study presents that "surrounded by God" in Job 3:23 is used by Job to denote confinement without an exit, blocking the way of Job. But earlier in Job 1:10, in Satan's accusation in the prologue, it was first used to imply protecting all. These two meanings thus make a semantic collision. In Job 3, Job's lamentations continue to yearn for death until verse 23. As a result of investigations, the meaning of "the way was hidden" in v. 23a reveals that God had hidden the path to the death Job longed for, and Job's frustrations was exacerbated by being "surrouned by God" in v. 23b. This indicates that the possible way was blocked by God. On the contrary, in 1:10, it is used by Satan in a sense of protection. I argue that this semantic clash could be seen as a rhetorical device to reveal the author's ultimate intentions. This suggests that blocking with death makes the protection of life more revealing. Although Job longed for death to escape from suffering, he pointed to God's action as the cause of his inability to die. God has hidden and blocked the way to death. God protected Job from death.
  • 4.

    Religious Knowledge and Religious Specialists in the Ancient Near East from the Perspective of Collective Intelligence

    윤동녕 | 2022, 28(4) | pp.99~127 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Collective intelligence refers to the collective ability that many gain through competition and collaboration. Recently, collective intelligence is exerting great power in the political, diplomatic, and economic fields through the Internet or SNS. The capabilities of these groups are developing in the form of shared knowledge. Wikipedia, Naver intellectuals, and YouTube's lectures and informational videos have largely replaced the roles played by encyclopedias and schools in the past. Therefore, collective intelligence allows more people to share knowledge that only a few intellectuals had for a long time in the past. In this respect, collective intelligence not only contributed to the rapid distribution, accumulation, and development of knowledge, but also contributed to popularizing some special specialized knowledge that was only dealt with in encyclopedias or research institutes. In this regard, it is necessary to study religious knowledge produced and distributed by religious experts in the Ancient Near East from the point of view of collective intelligence. In the ancient Near East, there was no distribution network of information and knowledge like today's Internet or SNS. However, Babylonians and Assyrians produced and distributed a lot of knowledge and information to effectively govern their vast empires. In this process, religious experts competed and antagonized in order to reflect their knowledge in their field of expertise in policy with the highest priority. However, for the goal of stability of the king and the empire, they cooperated with each other, sometimes merging specialized fields to solve problems that cannot be solved by individual specialized areas. In particular, religious experts worked together to remove the dark clouds over the future of kings and empires and create an alternative future. The religious knowledge of the Ancient Near East and the religious experts who produced it are, in today's terms, knowledge workers with information technology and higher education. Today, knowledge and knowledge workers are becoming a key group in the labor market. Religious experts in the Ancient Near East were also a core group of the empire. The information they gathered became a major source of support for politics, economy, and culture. Therefore, it shows that the religious knowledge of the Ancient Near East as a collective intelligence is not a simple religious system but a part of the scientific system of the Ancient Near East.
  • 5.

    The Wolrdview of the War Scroll (1QM)

    Yoon Kyung Lee | 2022, 28(4) | pp.129~158 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper tried to examine the worldview of the Qumran community through the War Scroll (1QM), the most detailed war manual in the Jewish literature of the Second Temple Period. The War Scroll is an important document that presents the transition from the holy war ideology of the Old Testament to the apocalyptic eschatological concept of war. The War Scroll shows how the Qumran community perceived the world around them and what future they expected. The War Scroll appears to be a work that maximizes and visualizes the idea of YHWH's Day and the holy war in the Old Testament. This paper attempted to trace the worldview that the Qumran community intends to present through war by examining the characteristic elements in the War Scroll. In this paper, the 'apocalyptic eschatological worldview,’ 'dualistic worldview and War against the Kittim,’ and 'last judgment, apocalyptic war, and resurrection’ are presented separately for convenience of discussion. Still, they are inextricably linked with each other. The War Scroll maintains the frame of 'eschatological hope' in that it expects the time of imminent salvation. The apocalyptic texts of the Old Testament dream of a new earth, new heaven, and a new Jerusalem as the present order is radically changed due to God's supernatural intervention. This eschatological hope is also strongly expressed in the War Scroll. The War Scroll testifies to how the Qumran community viewed Rome for approximately 30 years, from 60 to 30 BCE. They expect an empire like the Kittim to be destroyed only through God's supernatural intervention. However, their expectations were never met shortly.
  • 6.

    Jephthah’s Daughter and Iphigeneia: Sacrifice of a Girl in an Intermediality

    LeeEunAe | 2022, 28(4) | pp.159~184 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper studies the interrelationship between the story of Jephthah’s daughter in the Old Testament and the story of Iphigeneia in Greek tragedy from the perspective of a 'intermediality' in which various cultural media, including biblical text and ancient literature, theater, music, and art, influence each other through historical and social dialogue. Examining the change and mutual influence of the common theme of the sacrifice of a girl can find not only the meaning of the biblical text, but also the development and change of its interpretation according to changes in the times, society, and consciousness. A girl's sacrificial death went beyond her personal level and turned into a social and community meaning, passed down as a memory of various cultural forms, including text. As can be found in numerous versions and variations of Iphigenia text, have various interpretations of the Jephthah’s daughter text been made from antiquity to modernity. Namely it is said that Jephthah's daughter was not actually dead, or that she was dedicated to another god. Or it was interpreted that Jephthah was criticized, that his daughter became a victim herself, or that the community had enough mourning period for two months. This can be explained in connection with the psychological, social, and political intentions of relieving individual discomfort and community groups from guilt. The study of how to understand a girl's death through various media using her death motifs, from ancient times to medieval times to modern times, will also affect the study of biblical texts. Because language, media, human consciousness, and society are closely related to each other and influence each other. Biblical narratives found in various media such as various literature, theater, art, and music can show various understandings and influences of the Bible text and expand into academic convergence research.
  • 7.

    Artificial Intelligence and the Old Testament

    Kim, Chang Joo | 2022, 28(4) | pp.187~214 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) started with a question of Alan Turing (1950), “Can a machine think like human does? Since year of 1956 John McCarthy coined allegedly Artificial Intelligence at Dartmus Forum, AI rapidly has progressed. It is wonder how far AI, a leading edge of modern ICT, will be developing from now on. According to Judaism, Golem is a kind of primitive AI. Golem is premature state before it was born (Ps 139:16). Yet it is an unperfect and creature without spirit nor living soul. Golem is similar to robot and AI that are hot issue nowadays. During the medieval time Golem did serve Jewish people but sometimes offended humans. Like AI it was unsafe creature. When the Singularity of AI comes does people enjoy with AI and are they happy for a victory of technology? Erik Brynjolfsson raises a question: Does AI give us automation, or augmentation? His question lets us reflect on AI theological or humanities approaches. ANI has already surpassed human capacity, such as Deep Blure (chess), Watson (Jeopardy!), Alpha Go (Go), etc. Thus, OT theology has to propose spiritual nonlineal paradigm of theology rather than linear scientific logic of technology. If human is confined to machines automation, s/he is prone to be enslaved to machines. In order not to be enslaved to AI human literacy is absolutely needed. In the era of AI mechanical repeat or automatical response is no more necessary, but augumentation and growth of spiritual and thinking are aimed at future life. Since Galilei Galileo and Charles Darwin Christianity has faced the biggest threat and dangerous challenge. If AI substitutes human sooner or later, phenomena of de-churched will be accelerating. A raid of robot and ICT, what does the Old Testaments (OT) say to AI, what is the ultimate goal of technology? What does AI have to the OT? The OT is explained not as mechanical logic, but as block logic with exponential jump. Another point is that OT understands human beings as ‘living documents.’ This is a privilege which is not allowed to machine. Now it is time to dialogue between OT and scientific community. “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came” (Isa. 66:7) Golem can be probably born. “Apocalypse AI” (Robert M. Geraci) will lead a future of human beings, but theology should precede like the Tabernacle in the desert.
  • 8.

    Biblical Exegesis on Covid-19 in Search of Flipped Learning Resources for Church Leaders

    kyung-Sik Park | 2022, 28(4) | pp.215~245 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study suggests an important biblical exegesis on Covid-19 to answer the question, “why do we suffer from Covid-19?” In general, there is a discussion that on one hand, diseases such as Covid-19 are God’s punishment for to whom that did not obey God’s instruction. On the other hand, then, why are sincere Christians suffering from it? Biblical exegesis should indeed offer an easy and right understanding of pandemic diseases so that all church communities share the insight the Bible delivers and that there is a need for leadership to contribute to public churches. It is because churches maintain an important role to faithfully help congregation members and societies that they participate during the suffering time by Covid-19. This study insists that there are different biblical cases of the outbreak of disease and that Covid-19 is active now not because we are all sinners. We must understand the natural phenomenon in the sovereignty of God. Church leaders have to educate their congregation members. In particular, flipped learning raised by new education classes is an effective way to deliver biblical knowledge by using, for example, some media sources in the pre-stage, discussion in the mid-stage, and feedback in the final-stage. Covid-19 clawed us painfully but we must be healed and stepped up into the new-normal world which overcomes the pandemic disease and its outcomes.
  • 9.

    Understanding Humanity and Artificial Intelligence in the period of Posthumanism: How to deal with ‘Strong AI’

    So Hyeong-Geun | 2022, 28(4) | pp.247~273 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper introduces the artificial intelligence technologies realized in the posthumanism era, and in particular, the current state and problems of ‘Strong AI’ technology, and the purpose of human creation from a biblical perspective, and suggests the response to ‘Strong AI’. The emergence of ‘Strong AI’ is highly likely to eventually lead us to a dystopian world. The reason is that firstly humans reaches a point where ‘Strong AI’ cannot be controlled, secondly humans with a sinful nature misuse ‘Strong AI’ for private purposes, thirdly if ‘Strong AI’ itself makes a wrong judgment, like Victor, the main character of <Frankenstein>, the human being has no choice but to end in ruin. AI should exist for mankind, and if it is harmful to mankind, it will be out of the way of the purpose of production. However, it is practically impossible to delay or curb the development of ‘AI’. Humans were created as beings who work(Gen 2:15) a lower than God(Ps 8:5), and were created for the purpose of maintaining and preserving God’s creation order as God’s representatives (Gen 1:28), to glorify God the creator(Isa 43:7), and to praise God(Isa 43:21). If so, the reason for the existence of AI(or ‘Strong AI’) becomes also clear. AI should bring positive and beneficial effects to mankind. For that, the personality of a programmer is important, and spirituality that will illuminate the meaning of human beings and life is also needed. However, it is a passive regulation to rely only on individual personality or individual spirituality for AI development, and the ‘legal regulation’ of the authoritative world organization for AI development has been codified and regulated as international social agreement, and management and supervision must be accompanied. Now more than ever, communality should be a major topic for mankind. In addition to the ‘climate crisis’, ‘energy crisis’, ‘food crisis’, ‘epidemic spread crisis’, and ‘low birthrate’, and ‘aging crisis’, it is important how to use and control AI that takes the place of humans and sometimes threatens them. A joint disposal for these problems should be an urgent issue for our humanity. Humanity will have to respond to ‘Strong AI’ with a common goal as a response to these crises.