Presentation on theme: "Pauline Interpretation of Christianity: ROMANS January 31, 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Pauline Interpretation of Christianity: ROMANS January 31, 2012
Today’s Schedule 4:10-4:20 5:00 Rom 1:16-2:1 Roundtable: Its teaching about ““the righteousness/justice of God” and “the gospel as the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith” Miladys Peréz (vs. Moo) Resp.: Jessica and Erica Benjamin Taylor (vs. Jewett) Resp.: Jill & Michael Sarah Jane Camper (vs. Byrne) Resp.: Jesse and Zachary 5:45-6:30 Roles of Scripture and Homosexuality 1:26-27 from Forensic-Theological; Pastoral- Covenantal ; and Apocalyptic-Messianic perspectives.
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a major/overall problem Since Christian Scriptures are "word to live by" for Christian believers, they (and we, including scholars) necessarily interpret two things the biblical text, of course; Necessary because there are a plurality of potential meanings in each text; but also the readers’ [our!] own life context & the major/overall problem it confronts us with Also necessary because there are a plurality of potential major/overall problems in each context
a major/overall problem A1. Concrete Life-context and problem that Christian believers could address with a teaching from this text WHAT IS THE CONCRETE PROBLEM? B ANALYZING THE PROBLEM Christian Believers need to address IN TODAY’S CONTEXT according to you, B1. Primary aspect of the believers’ life where this major/overall PROBLEM is particularly located A) private life? B) family-life? C) Christian Community? D) society? E) culture (with its vision of life, values, ideologies)? F) relationship with people with different religious convictions? What is the major/overall Problem that confronts all aspects of believers/church’s life in the present world?
Root-Problem = B2. What is the primary ROOT-PROBLEM that needs to be addressed A) A lack of (wrong) KNOWLEDGE? B) A lack of (wrong) ABILITY? C) A lack of (wrong) WILL? D) A lack of (wrong) FAITH/VISION or IDEOLOGY? You need to ask: What is the major/overall problem that confronts Christian believers in the world today?
Rom 1: hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel [P]; it is the power of God [A] for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God [F = justification that belong to God [objective genitive] given by God’s gracious love] / justice of God [P = subjective genitive: the justice that God acted out when Christ established a new, comprehensive covenant] / justice of God [A = subjective genitive: the justice that God acts out through the resurrected Christ and the Spirit of holiness] is revealed through faith for faith; ἐ κ π ί στεως ε ἰ ς π ί στιν as it is written, "The one who is righteous will live by faith.“ 18 For the wrath of God is [A] revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. [F, P, A]
Salvation is the big issue = Major overall problem? Salvation from what? What is the process of salvation? Who are the agents in the process of salvation?
3 views of the Human Predicament =major overall problem : Forensic Introspective consciousness Conscience Feeling guilty for all the times we trespassed against God’s will in deeds or thoughts Lack of self control, wrong will Here it is a self-centered issue… from which we need to be personally forgiven I am sure you have experienced this kind of sin against God
Three views of the Human Predicament: Pastoral shame (“I am ashamed of the gospel”) For instance, not daring to speak about the gospel in a particular social context Being ashamed of God… Not showing your beliefs about God, your commitment to God. Here it is a community centered issue: we are ashamed because of the expected negative response from other people… You cannot be ashamed by yourself I am sure your experience this as well.
Three views of the Human Predicament: Realized Apocalyptic Being possessed (by evil spirits, in need of exorcism); being sick (in need of healing); being driven by passions (1: 26); Being driven/passively accepting ideologies or idols; Being futile in our thinking, having senseless and darkened minds, being fools (1:21-22) idolatry, when idols process us, drive us, makes us senseless, and lead us to self- destruction and to destroy others I’m sure your experience this as well.
Rom 1: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; 21 for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23 and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves,
1: Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
1:29-2:1 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God's decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die-- yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them. 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. (Rom 1:18-1 NRS)
NRSV Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. NIV Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
1:26-27 How do you read these verses? It depends on a fundamental theological choice of a Role of Scripture 1. A) Lamp To My Feet; B) Canon/Rule of the Community; C) Good News 2. D) Family Album; Book of the Covenant 3. E) Corrective Glasses F) Empowering Word 4. G) Holy Bible
Teaching for Believers of 1:26-27 Lamp to my feet (Forensic Theological choice) = You shall not commit homoerotic acts. The Bible teaches believers to discern what they should do, step by step, and what they should not do. Contextual Problem it addresses: Lack of direction for life Homosexual people do not know what to do or not to do Analytical Frame: Romans 1: by itself treated as a paraenetic (ethical, moral) saying; = a “law” for individual Essential to know specifically who or what is condemned: Most probable/legitimate conclusion: any homoerotic act by lesbians and gays (e.g., Richard Hays, as well as Brooten, Bahsen, Becker, Strecker, Van de Spijker, etc.), rather than homosexual acts by heterosexuals (Boswell on the basis of John Chrysostom, Miller), pederasty (Scroggs, Abraham Smith) or cultic homosexuality (Ridderbos, Wengst ).
Teaching of 1:26-27 CANON Rule of the Community (Forensic Theological choice) Consider homoerotic people as sinners (as the people performing the vices in 1:28-32); Shun and/or ostracize them; do not treat them as full and legitimate members of the community. Ultimately, exclude them from the community. Contextual Problem: The community/church cannot fulfill its mission if believers do not have a proper moral life as implementation of God’s Will—that we do not know except for the Bible Analytical Frame: Rom 1: together with 1: treated as a law of the community; Essential to know specifically who or what is condemned (as for Lamp to my feet).
Teaching for Believers of ROM 1: Lamp to my feet/ Canon + Good News (Forensic Theological choice) The Good News is in NIV 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith.“ a righteousness from God (right relationship with God is given by God to sinner = forensic; God the judge declare sinners, including homosexuals, “not guilty”) is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, = a righteousness not earned; received though faith in Christ "The righteous will live by faith.“ … then living a faithful life “former homosexuals” can avoid to sin again
Is this not what the text says? Condemnation of/ description of sins That Christians should not commit If they want to be part of the Christian community = Reading Paul’s text, each verse as a law… Or elsewhere as independent nuggets of doctrinal teachings that needs to be held together as an overall doctrinal teaching Would not have Paul found this a strange of his letter? … in view of what he says about the “law”? Roles of scripture in Judaism of Paul’s time
COVENANT = Jewish Hermeneutical-Theological Choice DP’s Early Jewish Hermeneutics, Sadducees Pharisees (Rabbinic Judaism in formation) Apocalyptic groups (Zealots, Qumran) 1. Shared Basic Conviction: We are the Chosen People of God Shared Basic questions/concerns: How to remain the Chosen People? How to be the Chosen People? Why?
SADDUCEES’ (Priest’s) view of the Covenant 1. Laws = Torah [= “Law”] 2. Obey the Laws (purity, so as to be in the Temple, etc.) = faithfulness = righteousness 3. Reward: You are blessed by God as the People of God Christian Forensic interpretation adds: But it is impossible to fulfill the law… so no reward, only condemnation Except for the good news that Christ died was punished instead of us = righteousness through faith
Early Rabbinic/Pharisaic (Paul as Pharisee) View Of Scripture IN SYNAGOGUE and IN SCHOOL In Synagogue… Torah = Instruction Cycle of readings; Torah (seder) prophets (haftarah) (verbal tallying) Translation = Targum (becomes homilies) Homilies; stringing texts together (pearls)… a text, interpreting another text, interpreting another text…. Back to the first text. (eventually written down = Midrash)
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: Synagogue Liturgical Haggadah = Story All liturgy = scripture = participating in liturgy (prayers, songs, readings, translations/targums, homilies) = entering Scripture Entering Torah = being constituted as the people of God = example of Passover Seder = we went out of Egypt We are the people of Israel described in Scripture
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: Covenant COVENANT: 1) God’s intervention, redemption from slavery = election;= haggadah (past) b) Vocation: people of priest for the nations; haggadah = sanctification of the Name C) Law = how to walk: halakah
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: School: Halakah Sanctification of the Name Law = how to walk: halakah Oral Torah = living tradition= harmonize Torah and life Beyond the written Biblical Text (as Torah was with God, before the creation) Gezeroth = teaching independent from Scripture Takkanoth = teaching radically changing the teaching of Torah = Prosbul of Hillel Goal (vocation): Sanctification of the Name (“Hallowed be Thy Name”) Bringing other people to glorify God
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: School: Halakah Sanctification of the Name Making a fence around (the laws of) Torah Always changing and growing tradition: Mishnah, Talmud; reinterpreted in terms of the new situations in life; Here Revelation, Scripture = open; on going; discerning what is God’s will = how to sanctify the name today Being faithful = adapting, changing…
COVENANT (Exodus 19 & 20) as Hermeneutical/Theological Frame: For Pharisees and Rabbis (and Paul as a Pharisee) 1) Election (as the Chosen People of God) = God’s freeing the People from bondage = saved from bondage = done; closed revelation 2) Vocation (to be a people of priests = Sanctification of the Name) closed revelation 3) Law = Way to walk… How to fulfill this vocation (to sanctify the Name) open = always new ways for new contexts (inculturation)
Scripture: Family Album How does this text help believers recognize that they have been Chosen, Elected, as people of God? Gospel = good news of this election of both Jews and Gentiles. How is this text expressing the STORY of the people of God, and invite people to participate in “the body of Christ”? = Rom 1-11 How does this text/STORY help believers recognize their Vocation (to be a people of priests = Sanctification of the Name)? = Rom 1-11 Then (and only then) How is this text telling us the Law = Way to walk… How to fulfill this vocation (to sanctify the Name) open = always new ways for new contexts (inculturation) = Rom 12-16
Teaching for Believers of ROM 1:26-27 Family Album (Pastoral) Read as part of the “story” of Paul’s interactions with his readers in Rome Rhetoric Read not by the verses themselves, but as part of a discourse… So read at least 1:16-2:1 Rhetorical sting against those who condemned those listed earlier Romans 2:1-3 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. 2 You say, "We know that God's judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth." 3 Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God?
Teaching for Believers of ROM 1:26-27 Family Album (Pastoral) Homoeroticism is a sin among other sins. Homosexual sinners who struggle to overcome with their sin (as other people struggle with their own sins) should view themselves, and be accepted, as full fledged members of the people of God; like everybody else, recovering sinners, they need forgiveness. “Love the sinners (homosexuals), but hate the sin.” Richard Hays, Balz, Ridderbos, Strecker, Van de Spijker Contextual Problem: Lack of FAITH/VISION of one’s identity as members of God’s family when homosexual. Analytical Frame: Rom 1: as part of a rhetorical sting (see 2:1-2). read together with 1:16--3:31 (all are sinners) (Greco-Roman Diatribe; Prosopopeia; speech in character… dialogue with a presupposed personage. Essential to note how 1:26-27 is set in the rhetoric of the letter.
Teaching for Believers of ROM 1:26-27 Good News (Pastoral) Good news for homosexuals; they are, without pre-conditions, fully accepted and loved by God, Good news for other believers: welcome homosexuals without conditions--with the conviction that God’s love transforms all people in rebellion against God into a new creation – by contrast with society which ostracizes homosexuals. (George Edwards) Contextual Problem: Lack of knowledge of God’s love for homosexuals (or lack of Will to welcome others) Analytical Frame: Rom 1: read together with 1:16- -5:21 (5:8, 10). Essential to recognize that 1:26-27 is part of the good news as “the power of God for salvation [= of transformation] to everyone who believes”
Apocalyptic people: e.g. Qumran (DP’s Early Jewish Hermeneutics, 1975) Apocalyptic = New Covenant (people still in bondage) 1) Election: God is electing, choosing a remnant/a new faithful people = new interventions of God Typology; Prophecy are fulfilled Haggadah = story = Open sacred history, ongoing activity of God, establishing and reestablishing the covenant through choosing/calling a new people, through interventions of power 2) Vocation = bringing glory to God; Sanctification of the Name 3) Law = Halakah = Very strict; AS BY PRIESTS IN THE TEMPLE because God is always present in Daily Life
Scripture = Promise, Prophecy, Pointing to fulfillment of the promises in the past As new promises of fulfillment in the future = CORRECTIVE GLASSES Empowering word (needed since we still are in bondage)
Teaching of ROM 1:26-27 Corrective Glasses; a detour (Messianic) 1:14: “I am a debtor… I am obligated to Greeks and Barbarians, wise and foolish” Forensic: Paul's obligation = what Paul MUST do because of his indebtedness to Christ = obedience of faith Pastoral/New Perspective: same but now inclusive: obligation toward all people, as Christ died for all; toward those without honor [shameful] as Christ’s death was shameful, as well as to people with honor.Messianic/Apocalyptic: Indebtedness to the Greeks and Barbarians, etc… SENSE OF GRATITUDE for gifts received from “Greeks and barbarians, wise and foolish” = Indebted because he recognized he has received something from all of them???? Yet literal reading (Liddell-Scott Lexicon) …. More later
Teaching of ROM 1:26-27 Corrective Glasses; Prophetic word (Messianic) Homosexual sinners have a prophetic Word of God for those of us who are not homosexuals. As barbarians and foolish had gifts that Paul received 1:26-27 “Homosexual sinners” like “heterosexual sinners” (adultery is mentioned 5 times, beginning in 2:22), robbers, racists, or self- righteous –i.e. people with destructive behaviors (self-destructive; or destroying relationship with others and in community)--are all IDOLATERS. Here the description in 1:26-27 is read as a destructive behavior e.g., pederasty (Scroggs, Abraham Smith) [which could be replaced by abusive heterosexual behaviors] Idolaters turn a true revelation that one has (1:19-22) into an absolute (1:23); thus despite their idolatry they have a true revelation from God which we need to receive from them. The very revelation that became destructive by being absolutized (transformed into an idol) is “word of God for us”…. This is why Paul is indebted to barbarians!
Teaching of ROM 1:26-27 Corrective Glasses; Prophetic word (Messianic) Contextual Problem: Lack of vision to see their lives/experiences with the eyes of faith, discerning in the midst of evil “what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2) and what God is doing. Being blind, being “futile in thinking,” having “senseless darkened minds” (1:21). Not recognizing evil/sin when it is present; seeing evil/sin where it is not present; not recognizing God’s servants; not recognizing manifestations of the divine. Analytical Frame: Rom 1: read in the context of 1:18-32 and together with 7:1-25 Essential to recognize that 1:26-27 is part of a text about idolatry and its consequences. it uses culture-specific categories, very different from present Western and scientific categories. (Corley and Torjesen, Countryman, Furnish, Hart, Kähler, Lance, Martin, Stegemann).
Teaching for Believers of ROM 1:26-27 Holy Bible (Messianic) The Teaching of this Text for Christian Believers. (Step 1) For me, this passage teaches Christian believers both to denounce destructive passion-filled homosexuality as idolatrous and to discern and affirm what is “good and acceptable and perfect” in homosexual relations. My formulation of this teaching paraphrases Rom 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Teaching for Believers of ROM 1:26-27 Holy Bible (Messianic) A mystery (it will not make sense!): Teaching for heterosexuals: The “goose bumps” experience of discovering that we, heterosexual believers, should expect to find Christ among homosexuals and other people we are ready to ostracize or crucify (2:1). As we will see for the Messianic interpretation, Christ- like persons for us are persons we want to crucify, ostracize, despise, reject, because we see them as “sinful” Christ was crucified because he was viewed as “sinful” (as cursed by God, Gal 3:13; as low and despised, 1 Cor 1:27-28; as appearing sinful, 2: Cor 5:21; Rom 8:3) Consider homosexuals as Christ for us, as better than ourselves (Phil 2:3)
Teaching for Believers of ROM 1:26-27 Holy Bible (Messianic) A mystery for heterosexuals: The “goose bumps” question is: Since, without any foundation, we readily ostracize (crucify!) homosexuals as sinners, could it be that they (some of them) are Christ for us? (Hornsby, Patte, Siker) A mystery for homosexuals: Contextual Problem: Lack of FAITH/VISION = failing to recognize Christ among us Analytical Frame: Rom 1: Essential to recognize that 1:26-27 is part of a discourse through which Paul seeks to share his experience of the resurrected Christ
Notes are following
The righteousness/justice of God Forensic. A) Characteristic of God as a righteous just judge, who condemns the unrighteous or justifies; B) the righteous moral life and right relationship to God we should have; given to believers through faith “of God” Objective genitive. Righteousness/Justice=holiness which characterizes God (Cranfield; Schlier) Pastoral/New Perspective. A) just, holy, loving act of God (God’s justice is manifested in history of Israel and of Jesus through the covenant and new covenant that he freely offered) that humans should emulate in their lives with others (manifesting the just, holy, loving rule of God) “Of God” Subjective genitive: the justice which God performs as subject (includes Dunn, 166; Jewett, etc. since Schlatter)
The righteousness/justice of God Forensic. A) Characteristic of God as a righteous just judge, who condemns the unrighteous or justifies; “of God” Objective genitive. Pastoral/New Perspective. A just, holy, loving act of God (God’s justice manifested in history of Israel and of Jesus through the covenant and new covenant that he freely offered) “Of God” Subjective genitive: the justice which God performs Messianic/Apocalyptic: Justice as the kind of right/just relationship that God wants to and does establish among people; believers, including oppressed powerless people, can experience it now; they are empowered by the gospel and can see through faith manifestations of God’s justice and kingdom. “Of God” Subjective genitive: the justice which God performs
I am not ashamed of the Gospel Theological Forensic Reading = an emphatic “I confess the gospel” “I affirm the truth of the gospel” (“I am mighty proud of the gospel”): Michel, Barrett, Stuhlmacher (28) and others = a negative formulation of “I confess” (like Mark 8:38; “Those who are ashamed of me and of my words... of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels"). What Paul “confesses” the truth of the content of the Gospel revealed to him when he was set apart for it (1:1- 4), he is not ashamed of preaching it. (Part of the defense of the truth of the gospel, that Romans is. “His gospel and his person are ‘slandered’ all the way to Rome (cf. 3:8): “Paul will not give in to this criticism” (PS, 28))
I am not ashamed of the Gospel Pastoral Reading] “For Paul, the shameful issue of the letter is the gospel itself, which proclaimed Christ crucified and resurrected. Although the word cross is absent in Romans and the verb “crucified” appears only once (Rom 6:6), it is clear from 1 Cor 2:2 that Paul assumed the gospel was the message about “Jesus Christ and him crucified.”..., the gospel that Paul hopes to proclaim in Rome and thereafter in Spain was innately shameful as far as Mediterranean cultures were concerned. The message about a redeemer being crucified was a "stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles" (1 Cor 1:23)... There were deeply engrained social reasons why Paul should have been ashamed to proclaim such a gospel; his claim not to be ashamed signals that a social and ideological revolution has been inaugurated by the gospel.” [Jewett, Romans. Hermeneia Commentary (forthcoming), on Rom 1:16; DP’s emphasis] [New Perspective/Pastoral Reading]
I am not ashamed of the Gospel Apocalyptic/Messianic Reading = an emphatic “I confess the gospel” “I testify to the manifestation of the gospel”; I confess the gospel as power of God; precisely because it manifests the power of God, I do not fear to confess it; it does not shame me; I am mighty proud of it. (Byrne, 51). This is related to Käsemann’s interpretation which insist that this phrase means that Paul confesses, testifies to “God’s declaration of salvation to the world, which is outside human control, independent even of the church and its ministers, and which constantly becomes a reality itself in proclamation of the power of the Spirit”… Paul is not ashamed of the gospel, because “it is the power of God” (Käsemann, 21-22). [Messianic/Apocalyptic Reading]
Greeks* and Barbarians* Forensic Use of these terms shows that Paul accepts this stereotypical division of the world in the Roman Empire And use it here as an alternative to the description of his mission to Gentiles… all Gentiles. (see Minear, on “indebtedness*) We must serve every one including the “gentiles” who ever they might be … those viewed as not worthy (by the Jews)
Greeks* and Barbarians* Pastoral Paul accepts this stereotypical division of the world in the Roman Empire Jewett is quoted: “a stereotypical formula in which "Greeks" are typically mentioned first and "Barbarians" second. In the bilingual context of Rome, "Greek" means "Greco-Roman" while "Barbarian" refers to alien tribes who cannot speak Greek or Latin and are uncultured, wild, crude, fierce, and, in a basic sense, uncivilized.… Particularly relevant to Paul's letter that prepared the way for a mission to Spain is that the Spaniards were viewed as Barbarians par excellence because so large a proportion continued to resist Roman rule. ….[Paul] conveys the sweeping inclusivity of the gospel of Christ crucified for all” Paul here challenges the Honor/shame system… a new sense of inclusive community, “honor” and “shame’ have changed
Greeks* and Barbarians* Messianic/Apocalyptic Greeks* and Barbarians* Use of these terms shows that Paul is challenging the Roman ideology (see Neil Elliot) (Jewett’s comments/evidence are relevant though he concludes something else) “Imperial The triumph of Rome over the Barbarians was celebrated in public art and monuments, in victory parades, in the gladiatorial games, and on coins that reveal that this antithesis was basic to the imperial worldview.Yves Albert Dauge shows that from the second century BCE to the fifth century CE, the Romans viewed Barbarians as inherently "inhuman, ferocious, arrogant, weak, warlike, discordant... unstable, etc.”
PHARISEES’ Explicit Views Of Scripture … to recite or read Torah = being in the Presence Shekinah [G’D] “where two or three are gathered and exchange words of Torah the Shekinah is with them”. thus Torah = surrogate of the Temple taking the yoke of Torah = taking the yoke of Heaven [G’D] Torah = GIFT from God = water (gratis, priceless, brings life) Torah = Rejoice the heart like wine; warm fire; a spouse
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: Synagogue: Haggadic interpretations Some Hermeneutical principles: 1) Everything is meaningful in Scripture; 2) Scripture is to be explained by Scripture; 3) Synthetic view of scripture and of sacred history/ “telescoping” “ There is no before and after in scripture” (one of 32 middoth rules): ex: nights of creation, of Abraham (covenant, Gen 15), of Aqedah (sacrifice of Isaac), of Passover, eschatological night of Messiah = sacred history is closed: God acted/revealed in the past, the sacred past of sacred history; will act/reveal in the future; in between there is no new revelation Everything is revealed on Mt Sinai