RLST 206 DIV/REL 3845
  Jan 24, 2011
    a) 3:10 Contemporary Models for the Interpretation
    b) 4:00 Presentation of Readings of Scripture in
        Luke by Annie Wong and Colossians by Mark Wells
    c) 4:15 Group Discussion (examples of Inculturation):
       Luke: Leader: Adesewa Adelekun
       Colossians: Leader: Ben Pflederer
    c) 4:55. Comments on discussion
    d) 5:00 Lecture: Classical Models for the
     Interpretation of Scriptures: JEWISH
     Midrash, Targum
Today Group # 1 LUKE
  Leader (her reading vs. GBC): Adesewa Adelekun
  Annie Wong (presenter of GBC)
  Wendy Aluoch
  Basye Holland
  Lakendra Scott
  Anna Keith
  Jessica Nieto
Today Group # 2 COLOSSIANS

  Leader (his reading vs. GBC): Ben Pflederer
  Mark Wells (presenter of GBC)
  Anna McReynolds
  Iris Ankrom-Critenden
  Matthew Calderwood
  Arlonzo Williams
  Chance Dillon
  Erin Higgins
  Jordan Nelson
  Taylor Schomp
Welcome to some of you… Finally!

    Hope you found helful Julian Bond’s last week lecture
    Why study Global Interpretations of Scripture?
     Because there are many interpretations of the same
     Scripture out there, and the VERY COMMON
    Of course, our own interpretation –and that of our
     church, whatever it might be—is right
    And all the other interpretations are wrong, heretical,
     meaningless, not faithful to the text; if they disagree
     with us… because they are ignorant, naïve, stupid,
     from an inferior culture (a non-Western culture)…
>>> Sunday Feb. 13: replacing
Monday Jan 17
    Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church; attending the
     “The Divine Liturgy” (10 AM worship service)
    followed by a question/answer period with the Priest,
     Fr. Gregory Hohnholteither
    meeting at 9:30 AM to about noon
    in preparation of our discussion of Greek
     Orthodox interpretations of the Gospel of John
     and Hebrews
    Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 4905 Franklin
     Pike Nashville, TN 37220 Cars?
Why study Global Interpretations of
Christian Scriptures? Appendix # 1 A & B

     (See end of the syllabus) Three Parts
     A. To learn about distinctive interpretations of the
      Bible as Christian Scriptures around the world.
     B. To Learn What is involved in any “interpretation of
      Scriptures.” How it is related to:
         a) the believers’ vision of life, structured by religious
          experience and culture;
         b) their concerns in the concrete social, economic,
          political reality of their life-context, thus their “ideology”
         c) their view of what is most significant in the biblical
Why study Global Interpretations of
Christian Scriptures? Appendix # 1 C
   C- To recognize that Christian believers and scholars
    are always making a choice among several
    possibilities of relating the teaching of the Bible:
   to their cultures (from “total separation” to
   to their religious experiences (from ardent spiritual
    experiences to total lack of such experience in a
    secular life; sacramental/liturgical);
   to their life contexts (from concerns for the needs of
    people every where to concerns exclusively limited to
    people close to us— inter(con)textual and
    liberation interpretation).
   by choosing as most significant one or another
    aspect of each biblical text. Analytical choice
Scripture = A Word-to-Live-by
  Believers’ readings of Scripture are necessarily
   incarnated, and thus inculturated. = Word-to-
  So >>> a great diversity of interpretations of the
   same Biblical texts as living Scripture by
   Christians from many traditions and many
   cultures, including from the Southern
   Hemisphere where the majority of Christians
  With the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity,
   learn about 2.367 billion readers of the Bible
Quiz! (Numbers from World Christian Encyclopedia,
David Barrett, ed. (Oxford 2001, updated on line)

    Knowing that the world population is now about
     6.5 billion people
    What are the four top religions in the world today
    Alphabetical order: Buddhism, Christianity,
     Hinduism, Islam.
    Buddhist = about 400 million
    Hindus = about 900 million
    Islam = about 1.5 billion (with “b”)
    Christianity = about 2.3 billion; no tiny
     minority! … we ignore Christians in other
     parts of the world!
Articles on History of Christianity
of CDC
 Africa   Asia Europe   Latin     Middle   North     South
                        America   East:    America   Pacific &
                                  Syria              Australia

 389      312   531     511       >5       260       25
 M        M     M       M         M        M         M
CDC Article History of Christianity
in Latin America (c511 M, growing)
CDC History of C. in Europe (with Eastern Europe &
Russia) 2000: c531 M (going down)
CDC History of C. in Africa (2000) c389 M
1/2 Charismatics/Renewalists and AICs. (growing fast)
CDC History of C. in Asia
(c312 M, growing fast)
CDC History of C. in North America
(c260 M, stable; move to Independents)
CDC History of C. in South Pacific &
Australia (c25 M, stable)
CDC History of C. in the Middle East:
Syriac Christianity > 5 M (going down)
Articles on Denominations and their worship
2.367 billion Christians/readers of the Bible

                  Roman Catholics
                    1.150 billion

      471 M         Independents   Orthodox
                       357 M        275 M     Angli
                                              cans    Othe
                                              86 M    28 M
Nigeria (1 of 150 entries on
Christianity in…)
    History of Christianity in Nigeria 2000 statistics:
    111.5 million (M)
        Based on World Christian Encyclopedia, 2001.
        Main Ethnic Groups: Yoruba, 17.5%; Hausa, 17.2%,
         Igbo, 13.3%, Toroobe Fulani, 4.9%, Yerwa Kanuri, 3.0%
    Christians, 51 M, 45.9%
       Independents =AICs, 21 M; Anglicans, 20 M;
        Protestants, 14 M; Roman Catholics, 13.4 M; (17 M
        doubly affiliated)
    Muslims, 49 M, 43.9%;
    African Religionists, 11 M, 9.8%.
Why study Global Interpretations of
Christian Scriptures? A)
  To learn about distinctive interpretations of the
   Bible as Christian Scriptures around the world.
   Why? (Why not simply Western scholarly
  a) Because most of the readers of the Bible are
   Christian believers who read these texts as
   SCRIPTURE —a fact that one cannot afford to
   bracket-out be it in religious studies, critical studies of
   the Bible, or in theology;
  b) Because 2/3 of Christian readers of the Bible are
   in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania, as well
   as in Eastern Europe and the Middle East
  Only 1/3 of the readers of the Bible are in Western
   Europe and North America
Learning from distinctive interpretations of
the Bible around the world is possible

     We can and have to learn from African, Asian, Latin
      American readings of the Bible
     Because there is NO literal meaning of the Bible
     Because there is NO literal reading (aka
      fundamental/literal interpretation of the Bible)
     Rather than speaking of “THE literal interpretation” of
      a text
         as if there was only one,
     throughout this semester you will have to become
      specific and explain the nature or character of each
      specific “literal interpretation”… INCLUDING OURS
 Becoming self-conscious about the
contextual character of our interpretations

     1) “reading with ordinary readers”
     2) paying attention to the ways in which our readings
      “affect certain groups of people”
     2) studying the history of reception of biblical texts
      (early Jewish receptions; in the New Testament; and
      later through history up to today),
      4) “breaking biblical texts” (using traditional ways of
      reading, particular to each culture);
ALL Interpretations of Scripture
are Contextual
    Reading Scripture for believers = discerning a
     ‘Word-to-live-by” …. Relating this text to their
     1) Inculturation (examples from African scholars);
    2) Liberation (examples from Latin American scholars)
    3) Inter(con)textual (examples from Asian scholars);
    4) Sacramental/liturgical (examples from Eastern
     Orthodox scholars).
Learning about distinctive interpretations
of the Bible around the world is necessary

   Nothing wrong with adopting “what the text obviously
    means” for us PROVIDED that we recognize that we
    have implicitly chosen an interpretation
   FOR THIS, we need other interpretations, from
         Other cultural contexts,
         Other socio-economic contexts
         Other religious contexts
     THESE “OTHER” INTERPRETATIONS (if we respect
      them) HELP US recognize that “what the text obviously
      means” (aka = its literal meaning) for us is an
         choosing certain aspects of the text as most significant for us
         And ignoring other aspects of the text… which are “obviously”
          the most significant for people in other contexts.
Why study Global Interpretations of
Christian Scriptures? B)
    B. To gain a solid understanding of:
    1) What is involved in any “interpretation of
     Scriptures.” How it is related to:
    a) their view of what is most significant in the biblical
     text. [Analytical Choices = A]
    b) the believers’ vision of life, structured by religious
     experience and culture; [Hermeneutical,
     Theological Choices = H]
    b) their concerns and commitments in the concrete
     social, economic, political reality of their life-context,
     and thus to their “ideology” [Contextual Choices =
A text (Luke or Colossians) is a
complex discourse
Acknowledging What a Text Is
    A text (Luke or Colossians) is a complex discourse:
    1) What an author/speaker wants to say to an
     audience (to do something; convey pieces of
     information, knowledge; e.g., propositional truth;
     views, ideas) – intention of author/speaker
    2) What an author/speaker says out of her/his heart
     (convictions, passion) (what drives the person to
     speak, to do something; un-intentional; sub-
    3) What the author/speaker says in order to
     communicate – to be convincing--to an audience
     (using the language & views of the intended
     audience; rhetoric )
Acknowledging What a Text Is

  Intended message;
  Convictions (self-evident truths that motivate
   the speaker)—not necessarily the intended
  Other views – carried out by the language
   used to communicate = common language
   with the hearers, images, figures of speech;
   world views, which the speaker expects the
   hearers to know, and possible share

  A Text/Discourse = Several Potential
  Example: Lecture at Vanderbilt in 1986 by a
   white South-African scholar.
  Intentional message: clearly expressed by
   the argument: join us in the struggle against
   apartheid and racism in South Africa; this is
   what many of us heard.
  But is it the only message? The true one?

  But the African-American students heard a
   very different message.
  To convince us: emphasized the plight of
   black Africans, describing them as child-like, in
   need of education, so that they will move away
   from their backward culture.
  the demeaning metaphors and other figures of
  Convey racism

    Which is most important? As Word to
     live by
      The Intentional message?
      The Unintentional message?

    Same thing for any religious texts:
      The Intentional message? E.g. Paul writing
       to Corinthians
      The Unintentional message? His
    We have a choice.
Text, Religious experience, Life

                 Textual choices

Inculturation: Contextual Choice

  An interpretation is spontaneously chosen
   because “it makes sense in our culture”
  Which culture?
  For several of us in this room = European-
   American middle class culture; for others,
   African-American, Nigerian, etc.
  Is this wrong? No. We need to make
   sense of biblical text in our culture
    The Biblical texts and the “gospel” have always been
     “understood” in terms of a culture
    In terms of High culture—literature, art, famous
     persons; great philosophers; politicians; etc
    First in terms of Jewish common cultures: daily-life;
     view of the world
        Plural: Sadducees, Pharisees, Apocalyptic , Zealots
    Also/mainly in terms of Hellenistic common
        Plural: philosophy of the street; stoicism; and neo-Platonism;
    This is appropriate: the Bible is itself cultural.
Justin Ukpong

    “Inculturation
     hermeneutics: An
     African Approach”
     pp. 17-32 in Dietrich
     & Luz, ed. The Bible
     in a World Context.
Inculturation: Justin Ukpong                                Step 2

  The Inculturation mode of reading is “a
   contextual hermeneutic methodology that
   seeks to make any community of ordinary
   people and their sociocultural context the
   subject of interpretation of the Bible…
  “The goal is sociocultural transformation
   focusing on a variety of situations and issues.”
              Justin Ukpong, “Inculturation Hermeneutics,” pp. 18-18 in
               The Bible in a World Context
    What needs to be interpreted is the concrete
     life-context of the readers… the Bible is a
     means (a tool) to interpret one’s life context.
Inculturation: Justin Ukpong
Step 1

   Step 1 in Studying the inculturation of the
   “Appraising the cultural-human dimension of
    the Bible in respect of its attitude to, and
    evaluation of, “other” peoples and cultures
   The Bible is not (culturally and ideologically)
    an innocent text.
         a) appropriation of certain religious traditions;
         b) in terms of a particular religious experience;
         c) for a certain context (including culture, ideology),
          because of needs
Inculturation: Justin Ukpong                      Step 2

    It is God’s Word in human language, which implies
     human culture with its ideology, worldview, orientation,
     perspective, values, and disvalues that are intertwined
     with the Word of God.
        Ancient Near Eastern Context (Israel)
        Jewish context
        Hellenistic context
    Step 2: “Reading the Bible to appropriate its message
     for a contemporary context.
    This involves engaging a biblical text in dialogue with a
     contemporary contextual experience so as to
     appropriate its message in today’s context”
Tersa Okure, SHCJ
Inculturation: Teresa Okure
    Reading Colossians as a means to make sense of her
     present life-context in Nigeria
    The Lordship of Christ and the Uniqueness of Christ
     as Lord and Savior
            Can be understood as a doctrine
            And the rest of Colossians can be understood as a moral
    Or can be a window or corrective lenses through
     which one can make sense of one’s life-context
    The issue is not Jesus’ Lordship in itself (a doctrine)
    But the conviction that Jesus is Lord of the world in
     which we live (in her case Nigeria)
Inculturation: Teresa Okure
    Her community of ordinary people (the divided
     churches in Nigeria) is the sociocultural context
     which is the subject of interpretation of her
     interpretation of Colossians
    Colossians changes for her the way to see the
     concrete situation in Nigeria, and of the diversity of
     churches there.
    Because it demands to recognize that Christ IS LORD
     of this context… whether or not people recognize him
     as Lord is irrelevant = Christ IS LORD.
    For believers, the question is: What does it mean fo
     live in a context where Christ IS actually Lord?
H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (1951)

   Christ/Scripture against Culture.
   The Christ/Scripture of Culture.
   Christ/Scripture above Culture.
   Christ/Scripture and Culture in
   Christ/Scripture the Transformer of
Christ/Scripture and Culture
Culture Tanner, Kathryn. Theories of
Culture: A New Agenda for Theology. 1997
     Traditional/sociological view: culture is a human
      civilization characterized by a certain posited vision of the
      ideal life (cosmos ; essence) and ideal values (nomos, and
      ideology as fixed)
         Issue: identifying the truly civilized culture (Western culture);
          assessing it/refining it; then enforcing it in one’s life, and on
          anybody else. Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy (1967)
     Anthropological conception: culture is the vision of life
      and values (ideology) presupposed by a particular people’s
      practice of everyday life.
         Issue: understanding the culture lived by a people; assessing
          it; then eventually helping the people to develop a better way
          of life for themselves..
H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (1951)

     Christ/Scripture against Culture. Christianity is an
      alternative to the existing culture; converts must
      choose either to follow Christ/Scripture or to remain in
      the “evil world” or “paganism.”
     The Christ/Scripture of Culture. Christ as “Son of
      God” [Scripture as both Divine Word] and “Son of
      man” [S = Human Word] that affirms the cultural and
      religious heritage of peoples. The gospel = the
      fulfillment of culture, not a threat to it (Matt 5–7)
      Scripture, the “word for all cultures” helps people
      discern and live according to God’s will in the context
      of their respective cultural and religious traditions.
H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (1951)

     Christ/Scripture above Culture = distinction
      between the heavenly city and earthly city (Augustine),
      Christianity = transcendentalist; “salvation” in heaven
      and the future; the needs and demands of the present
      are irrelevant.
     Christ/Scripture and Culture in Paradox.
      Christ/Scripture is BOTH identified with AND
      contrasted with culture. The church is in the world,
      though it is not of the world (Protestant Reformation;
      Luther). But when is Christ/Scripture in support of or
      against culture? (Missionaries: in support of our
      culture; against native cultures.)
H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (1951)

     Christ/Scripture the Transformer of Culture.
      Christ/the Word makes all things new (Rev. 21:5).
      Conversion = a challenge for converts to change their
      ways and become new beings (e.g. Paul = from
      “persecutor” to “apostle”).
         “Transformation” presupposes that the earlier way of life is
          not abandoned, but transformed through the adoption of
          new insights and commitments.
         Problem with Mission: Ingredients of transformation are most
          often taken from the culture of the missionaries. African elite
          blamed the modern Christian missionary enterprise for the
          cultural alienation of Africans.
Today Group # 1 LUKE
  Leader (her reading vs. GBC): Adesewa Adelekun
  Annie Wong (presenter of GBC)
  Wendy Aluoch
  Basye Holland
  Lakendra Scott
  Anna Keith
  Jessica Nieto
Today Group # 2 COLOSSIANS

  Leader (his reading vs. GBC): Ben Pflederer
  Mark Wells (presenter of GBC)
  Anna McReynolds
  Iris Ankrom-Critenden
  Matthew Calderwood
  Arlonzo Williams
  Chance Dillon
  Erin Higgins
  Jordan Nelson
  Taylor Schomp
    true justice has its source in God, is inherent in the Divine
     Nature – the Triune God (Orthodox)
        justice is the kind of relation that exists between the Father,
         Son, and Holy Spirit, and between God and creation and
         Jesus Christ and the world
        Humans can only approximate this (divine) justice
    interhuman justice as divine command (HB Prophets):
        distributive justice (tsedeq) e.g. a redistribution of wealth as
         a condition of divinely mandated distributive justice; fairness;
        the vindication of the wrongly accused or the violated and
         vulnerable (mishpat). retribution amid wrongdoing, and an
         impartial treatment of all persons in all settings (womanist
        Justice vs unbridled avarice and arrogance of the powerful
    Justice in NT = dikaiosyne (translated as both “justice” and
     “righteousness” or justification)
    Both individual’s relation to God (= righteousness, justification)
    And Social relations = Individuals relations with others (= justice)
     = characteristic of a good society
          distributive justice (tsedeq) e.g. a redistribution of wealth (cf. rich
          young man and Jesus)
         the vindication of the wrongly accused or the violated and vulnerable
         Justice vs. human incapacity for justice , sin
         Retributive justice = God’s punishment of sinful humanity …
          overcome by divine mercy through Christ
    Justice vs. cruel, selfish, unkind, oppressive, exploitative, or
     callous toward others (African & Latin American views of Justice)
  Justice through the law: forensic justice
   resolves the apparent contradiction between justice
   and mercy --- the judge may pronounce the verdict
   that a guilty person is to be regarded as if innocent
  Justice beyond the law understood to be social
   justice that takes the form of welcoming and
   making an individual commitment to the other.
  Latino/a Justice: the creation of relationships that
   enable people to fulfill their humanity (as children of
   God) (part of the “preferential option for the poor”)
Mission (CDC; Phan)
    Mission as Proclamation and Witness to Save
        Primarily Matt 28:19–20.
    Mission as Planting the Church.
        Luke 14:23. In this parable, the master orders his
         servants to go to the roads and country lanes and bring
         everybody to the banquet so that his house may be full.
    Mission as Serving God’s Kingdom of Truth,
     Love, and Justice.
        Luke 4:18–19, Jesus’ mission of preaching the good
         news to the poor, releasing captives, giving sight to the
         blind, setting the oppressed free
Mission (CDC; Phan, Veronis)
    Mission as Dialogue. Mission as reflecting the mystery of God’s
     incarnation. (Phan)
         John 1, Matt 1-3; Luke 1-2. The dialogue is fourfold: dialogue of life, which entails
          living with people of non-Christian faiths; of action (collaborating with them in
          projects of peace and justice); of theological exchange (learning from their different
          beliefs and practices); and of religious experience (praying with them) … all this as
          a way of finding the most effective way to carry out God’s mission amid cultural
          diversity, religious pluralism, and massive poverty
    Mission as create indigenous Eucharistic communities (= which
     experience God’s loving presence) while respecting the indigenous
     culture, using the local language (Veronis; Orthodox)
         Eucharist = great joyfulness in the presence of God, “who ever loves humankind,”
         Prayer, experience of God’s loving presence is essential “The theologian is the
          one who prays, and the one who prays is a theologian.” (Orthodox Church;
          Demetrios Trakatellis)
         Offering translations of Holy Scripture and the Divine Liturgy, creating an alphabet
          and writing system when necessary, and training indigenous leaders
  1. Faith as Faithfulness. God’s (Christ’s) faithfulness
   to God’s promises and Human faithfulness to God
  2. Faith as Trust: as trusting God
  3. Faith as Believing a Speaker’s Words (“Believing
   That”); believing in the words of Scripture
  4. Faith as leading to true Knowledge “Believing in
   order to understand ” (Augustine) or “faith seeking
   understanding” (Anselm)
  5. Faith as Movement toward, and Experience of,
   God. (“believing in” God or Christ)
  6. Faith as Gift (from God) that puts believers in the
   right relationship with God
Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
Matthew 15:21-28 & Its Contextual Interpretation

   21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and
     Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came
     out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David;
     my daughter is tormented by a demon.“ 23 But he did not
     answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying,
     "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.“ 24 He
     answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of
     Israel.“ 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord,
     help me.“ 26 He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's
     food and throw it to the dogs.“ 27 She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even
     the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.“ 28
     Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be
     done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed
Jean Colombe’s Artistic Interpretation:
Assess its inculturation
   Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry,
    (15th century)
   Above, Jesus turns away from the Canaanite
    woman who implores him despite the scorn of
    the apostles;
   in a house at the right we see a woman trying
    to comfort the little girl who is sick tormented
    by a demon. It might have been inconceivable
    for Colombe to imagine the mother leaving her
    ill child alone, thus the companion.
Jean Colombe’s Artistic
   The text is a quotation of Psalm 25: it may
   represent the words of the woman. It begins
   with v. 6: “Remember, O LORD, your tender
   mercies and your loving kindnesses, for they
   are from of old” and ends with v. 22: “Redeem
   Israel, O God, out of all its anguishes.”
  In the smaller miniature below, the Canaanite
   kneels before Jesus, who is touched by the
   perseverance of her faith and makes a gesture
   of consent; the apostles now seem to share
   their master's feelings.
Assessing the INCULTURATION:
Which one?

  Christ/Scripture against Culture.
  The Christ/Scripture of Culture.
  Christ/Scripture above Culture.
  Christ/Scripture and Culture in
  Christ/Scripture the Transformer of
Text, Religious experience, Life
    Contextual choices: concrete life-context;
     power/authority structure; ideology; etc.
        One aspect of inculturation.
    Theological – Hermeneutical choices: on
     the basis of our (positive or negative)
     religious experience
        Another aspect of inculturation.
    Textual choices = choosing what is most
     significant in the text
        Most significant … for this context)
Today Group # 1 LUKE
    Leader: Julie Franks
      Dustin Frye
      Luis Menendez
     Yolanda Marie Archibald
     Ho Donng Hwang
     Bridgett Green
     Febbie Dickerson
     Devin Williams
     Matt Samples
     Jean Xiao
     Ezra Chu
Today Group # 2 COLOSSIANS

    Leader: Tamesha Derico
    Scribe: Lauren Ross
     Katye Stone
     Jill Schock
     Lori-Jene Brazier
     Mike Kiggins
     Ali Sevilla
     Colette Jackson
     Allison Morris
     Imani Ellis
     Rebecca Faulkner
     Allie Kovar
     Lee Perkins
Global Interpretation of
Christian Scriptures
   Classical Models of Interpretation
   of Scripture: Pharisaic/Rabbinic
   interpretation of Scripture
COVENANT as Jewish
Hermeneutical-Theological Frame
     Pharisees (Rabbinic Judaism in formation)
     Apocalyptic groups (Zealots, Qumran)
     Sadducees
 1.   Shared Basic Conviction: We are the
      Chosen People of God . . .
 2.   Shared Basic questions/concerns: How to
      remain the Chosen People? How to be the
      Chosen People? Why?
Jewish Interpretations of Scriptures

  Interpret Scripture = Tanakh = Torah
   Prophets/Nebiim Writings/Ketoubim
  Explicit views of Scripture = Torah
   « defile the hands” = sacred text; what is
   read; the writings
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: Explicit
Views Of Scripture
    Why is Scripture sacred? Torah is the
     complete, final, immutable revelation :
     “everything is revealed on Mount Sinai”
           More than the written text.
    in the world to come God teaches Torah.
     = Wisdom (Prov 8:22ff) with God at the
     creation; blueprint of creation = God’s
           = before and beyond the written text.
    Given to Israel = God giving himself to
Early Rabbinic/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 = water (gratis, priceless, brings
   life) wine; fire, wife
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees View Of
Scripture (1)
  In Synagogue
  Cycle of readings; Torah (seder) prophets
   (haftarah) (verbal tallying)
  Translation = Targum
  Homilies; stringing texts together (pearls)… a
   text, interpreting another text, interpreting
   another text…. Back to the first text.
   (eventually written down = Midrash)
  Targum = same thing as homilies… explain
   the text, in terms of other texts.
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees:
Synagogue (2) 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
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees:
Synagogue (2) Haggadic interpretations
  Some Hermeneutical principles (continued):

     4) Theological developments in Targum =not
      systematic theology = haggadah = (sacred) stories
      = a listening to scripture

     5) Some actualization of scripture = circle of
      scripture interpreting scripture is broken – but
      primarily halakic (back to this later)
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: Synagogue
(4) Liturgical Haggadah
   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
   We are the people of Israel described in Scripture
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees:
  Covenant:
  a) God’s intervention, redemption from
   slavery = election;= haggadah (past)
  b) Vocation: people of priest for the
   nations; haggadah = sanctification of the
  C) Law = how to walk: halakah
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: School:
Halakah Sanctification of the Name

   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
     Takkanoth = teaching radically changing
      the teaching of Torah = Prosbul of Hillel
   Sanctification         of the Name
Early Rabbinic/Pharisees: School:
Halakah Sanctification of the Name
  Making a fence around 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:
  Election (as the Chosen People of God) = God’s
   freeing the People from bondage = saved from
   bondage = done; closed revelation
  Vocation (to be a people of priests = Sanctification of
   the Name) closed revelation
  Law = Way to walk… How to fulfill this vocation (to
   sanctify the Name) open = always new ways for
   new contexts (inculturation)
Exodus 19:3-6
    3 "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob,
     and tell the Israelites: 4 You have seen what
     I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on
     eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5
     Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep
     my covenant, you shall be my treasured
     possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the
     whole earth is mine, 6 but you shall be for me
     a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These
     are the words that you shall speak to the
Exodus 20:1-4

    1 Then God spoke all these words: 2 I
     am the LORD your God, who brought
     you out of the land of Egypt, out of the
     house of slavery; 3 you shall have no
     other gods before me. 4 You shall not
     make for yourself an idol,
    Pharisees = One Covenant

    Election: complete = everything has been
     revealed on Mount Sinai (Oral and Written Torah)

    Haggadah: Closed sacred history Liturgy;
     interpreting Scripture by Scripture (Midrash)

    Halakah: needs to be reinterpreted again and
     again (Mishnah, Talmud, constantly interpreted in
     terms of social, cultural situation)
Apocalyptic people: e.g. Qumran

    Apocalyptic = New Covenant (people still in bondage)

  Election: God is electing, choosing a remnant/a new
   faithful people = new interventions of God
  Typology; Prophecy are fulfilled

    Haggadah = Open sacred history, ongoing activity of God ,
     establishing and reestablishing the covenant through
     choosing/calling a new people, through interventions of

    Halakah = Very strict; AS BY PRIEST IN THE TEMPLE

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