OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 23, 2014, 04:49:51 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: why God has different attitude toeard sinners in OT and NT  (Read 753 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
walter1234
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 928


« on: January 13, 2013, 02:05:38 PM »

In old testament, God often commanded the Isaralities to kill or even stone the sinners.In law of Moses, God also kept asking Isaralities to kill or remove those who broke His commandments .

But in New testament, God always commands us to forgive the sinners.

Why God has so big difference attitudes towards the sinners between OT and NT?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 02:08:50 PM by walter1234 » Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,094


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 02:09:29 PM »

The situations were different, that's an important part of it. Who the message was meant for was different, that's another part. Also, the Gospel of Jesus is morally superior to the Mosaic law, not in that the Mosaic law was immoral, but that the Gospel asks us to go further. We are also given more help to go further now.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 02:54:02 PM »

In old testament, God often commanded the Isaralities to kill or even stone the sinners.In law of Moses, God also kept asking Isaralities to kill or remove those who broke His commandments .

But in New testament, God always commands us to forgive the sinners.

Why God has so big difference attitudes towards the sinners between OT and NT?
Jewish law includes what today we would call social and legal issues, which necessarily involves punishments of various kinds, including death.

Christians (or people who claim to be Christian) still support capital punishment, just war, etc., and see no incompatibility between that and "forgiving" the sinner.

When the Roman Empire established Christianity as the only official religion, did it abolish capital punishment, warfare, etc.?
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Cantor Krishnich
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Pan-Orthodox Christianity
Posts: 545


Mar Ahmed the Daftadar


« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 03:06:31 PM »

In old testament, God often commanded the Isaralities to kill or even stone the sinners.In law of Moses, God also kept asking Isaralities to kill or remove those who broke His commandments .

But in New testament, God always commands us to forgive the sinners.

Why God has so big difference attitudes towards the sinners between OT and NT?
Jewish law includes what today we would call social and legal issues, which necessarily involves punishments of various kinds, including death.

Christians (or people who claim to be Christian) still support capital punishment, just war, etc., and see no incompatibility between that and "forgiving" the sinner.

When the Roman Empire established Christianity as the only official religion, did it abolish capital punishment, warfare, etc.?

Actually, the Byzantine Empire did practice capital punishment and it was constantly in war.
Logged

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy Upon Me a Sinner!
walter1234
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 928


« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 05:56:24 AM »

The situations were different, that's an important part of it. Who the message was meant for was different, that's another part. Also, the Gospel of Jesus is morally superior to the Mosaic law, not in that the Mosaic law was immoral, but that the Gospel asks us to go further. We are also given more help to go further now.

But in old testament , God asked Isaralities to kill and even stone the sinners without any mercy. In New testament , God asked us to forgive sinner with mercy.This seems very contradiction?
In old testament, God often commanded the Isaralities to kill or even stone the sinners.In law of Moses, God also kept asking Isaralities to kill or remove those who broke His commandments .

But in New testament, God always commands us to forgive the sinners.

Why God has so big difference attitudes towards the sinners between OT and NT?
Jewish law includes what today we would call social and legal issues, which necessarily involves punishments of various kinds, including death.

Christians (or people who claim to be Christian) still support capital punishment, just war, etc., and see no incompatibility between that and "forgiving" the sinner.

When the Roman Empire established Christianity as the only official religion, did it abolish capital punishment, warfare, etc.?

God even asked Isaralities to stone a man who go  out the camp, take/collect  the sticks in Sabbath Day(Number 15:32-36) .It seems that this does not related to the legal and social issue? Why God could not simply forgive the man who break Sabbath Day in Number 15 32-36, but must ask Isaralities to stone and kill him?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 06:08:23 AM by walter1234 » Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 06:50:42 PM »

The situations were different, that's an important part of it. Who the message was meant for was different, that's another part. Also, the Gospel of Jesus is morally superior to the Mosaic law, not in that the Mosaic law was immoral, but that the Gospel asks us to go further. We are also given more help to go further now.

But in old testament , God asked Isaralities to kill and even stone the sinners without any mercy. In New testament , God asked us to forgive sinner with mercy.This seems very contradiction?
In old testament, God often commanded the Isaralities to kill or even stone the sinners.In law of Moses, God also kept asking Isaralities to kill or remove those who broke His commandments .

But in New testament, God always commands us to forgive the sinners.

Why God has so big difference attitudes towards the sinners between OT and NT?
Jewish law includes what today we would call social and legal issues, which necessarily involves punishments of various kinds, including death.

Christians (or people who claim to be Christian) still support capital punishment, just war, etc., and see no incompatibility between that and "forgiving" the sinner.

When the Roman Empire established Christianity as the only official religion, did it abolish capital punishment, warfare, etc.?

God even asked Isaralities to stone a man who go  out the camp, take/collect  the sticks in Sabbath Day(Number 15:32-36) .It seems that this does not related to the legal and social issue? Why God could not simply forgive the man who break Sabbath Day in Number 15 32-36, but must ask Isaralities to stone and kill him?
Is it possible to both forgive and punish?
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,094


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 09:42:25 PM »

The situations were different, that's an important part of it. Who the message was meant for was different, that's another part. Also, the Gospel of Jesus is morally superior to the Mosaic law, not in that the Mosaic law was immoral, but that the Gospel asks us to go further. We are also given more help to go further now.

But in old testament , God asked Isaralities to kill and even stone the sinners without any mercy. In New testament , God asked us to forgive sinner with mercy.This seems very contradiction?

I think the stories in the Old Testament about God telling the Israelites to commit genocide didn't exactly happen as they are recorded. But that's just me. Certainly God is said to have anger and vengeance in both Testaments. I mean, read through Revelation, there's all sorts of God-directed destruction in there.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 10:02:42 PM »

The OT is for our instruction. The way the Israel was instructed to keep itself free of sinners, we are instructed to keep ourselves free of sin. The way they were taught to fight until their enemies were destroyed, we are to fight our passions. Etc...
Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,744


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 10:31:52 PM »

The basic principle is this: everything God ever did and/or commanded BEFORE the Incarnation of Christ, was precisely to prepare the world for the Incarnation of Christ--the ultimate plan. With the Incarnation of Christ, we receive forgiveness, mercy and redemption. Now this is where your answer comes in. In order to receive forgiveness. mercy and redemption, one needs to admit to their guilt, need of a Saviour, need of mercy and understand that there is such a thing as good and evil, right and wrong. The purpose of the Mosaic Law's harshness was to convict the world of sinfulness and teach us that there is such a thing as good and evil, so that we would admit to our guilt and then be capable of accepting the mercy that would come from Christ. I think St. Paul mentions this principle extensively throughout his epistles.

The problem though was that for most of the Jews--whom the law was delivered--did not live up to their responsibility and task. They were chosen by God to adhere to the law and spread the message of the law and God to all of the nations and be an example to the Gentiles and ultimately develop a sense of closeness with God and understanding of their guilt so that when mercy through Christ came, they could accept it with a tender heart and lead the Gentiles into it with their example. But they didn't' do this at all. They became more concerned with the legalistic aspect of it. Instead of striving to adhere to the law because they loved God and to develop a tender heart, they only adhered to it because it gave them a sense of pride over everyone else and made them think that God owed them something and contributed to their pride. We see God punish them for this quite a lot throughout the OT.

Nevertheless though, in God's great mercy, He didn't just give up on the Incarnation because the majority of the world wasn't ready, but still became incarnate so that He could give mercy to the few people in the world who did have a contrite heart and were willing to accept it, and to this day has even kept it available freely to the world so that if the prideful ever have a change of heart, they could receive it.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Justin Kolodziej
Party per fess argent and gules; in chief a Latin cross bottony sable between two lozenges azure; in base a wheel, or.
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Converting
Jurisdiction: GOC-Kallinikos....one day
Posts: 293



« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 12:49:37 PM »

Instead of striving to adhere to the law because they loved God and to develop a tender heart, they only adhered to it because it gave them a sense of pride over everyone else and made them think that God owed them something and contributed to their pride. We see God punish them for this quite a lot throughout the OT.
What if someone does this even with the laws of their Church? What does that mean for them?
Logged

Where even the last two or three are gathered in His name, He is there in their midst.
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 01:34:58 PM »

I am not a biblical scholar, but I have a read some things and thought a lot about the brutality and violence in the Old Testatment.

Here are my thoghts and how I have tried to expain it to my adult children who are, in order: one semi-spiritual but not religious, one agnostic, and one self-identifying as a Christian but not in any traditional way; all are progressives who find the OT a bit repulsive.

The Old Testament, in my understanding, is a collection of documents that basically say to he Hebrews and the surrounding cultures (of which they were ancestorally related to, although of a different tribe) that our tribal God, Yaweh, is greater than your tribal god (Molech, Baal, etc) and therefore you should follow our God. And/or reminding the Israelites themselves, WE need to keep following OUR God and not those of our neighbors.

The style of Hebrew in which the Pentateuch is written, I have read, is far younger than the events it reports. Likewise, the historical books as well. Many OT books, it seems, were edited, written or compiled after the return from Babylon in an attempt to expain that traumatic experience for the Hebrew people.

Going back to Moses commands to the Israelites and the accounts in Joshua regarding the Promised Land, no doubt there were some tribal battles and skirmishes over land when the Hebrews returned from captivity in Egypt, but even the OT iself reports that they "failed" to exterminate all the Caananites in the land. So other than several pitched land acquisition battles reported in the OT, they likely just kind of settled in and shared space and legitimaized it through intermarriage or sort of pushed the other guys (who were thier distant cousins anyway) out because they were more powerful and numerous. The stories recounting this were passed down in the form of "our God is better than yours" and we utterly defeated you - which just isn't true: we defeated some of you, we assimilated some of you and we kind pushed the rest of you out, or at least to the fringes and least desirable areas. But in telling our stories and later writing them down we now "recollect" that we crushed you guys (or, like recounting the size of a fish that a recreational fisherman caught: it was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big; thus, we aniahlated those Caaanites!). But, again this is just my conclusion from my reading and thiking about this. Looking at both the internal evidence of the OT and the external archaeological evidence, they didn't genicidally wipe out the Caaananites.

Were they commanded to commit genocide by God? It's doubtful. Who knows? Probably not, but they recorded their national story in a triumphalistic manner that was part of the literary construct of the day, in which our God beat the crap out of your God and we beat the crap out of you and we won!

As "scripture" God allowed them to record the story this way because it was the manner that was coherent and assumed at the time the stories took shape and also at the time the stories were written down.

As for stoning disobedient children and all those laws, it is doubtful the Hebrews ever followed those literally. Look King David with his son Absolom. He led a revolution against his father and David did NOT want him killed in battle and wept over his son's death in Absolom's ultimate defeat (again, internal evidence that they didn't really follow this stuff).

Nor do we really follow the "stuff" either that we read in the New Testatment. If we all who had two coats (probably a lot more) gave the second one to the person who has none and lived with just one coat, the modern economy based on economic growth through production, sales, exports and consumer acquisition, would come to a screeching halt and there would be permanent recession. We are selective, take things with a grain of salt, or spiritualize the meaning.

Next angle to consider:

I think God's relation to sinners has always been merciful.

Did a guy get struck down for trying to balance the Ark? Maybe? Maybe with a different mindset of the people then, God had to do that to get their atttention and make his point. My belief is that if He did have to do that, that incident was that fellow's immediate toll house or purgatory (or even martyrdom), however you want to understand it.

To my mind, a more likely scenario is that a real guy had a heart attack or something (between his religious exuberance and trying to steady a heavy Ark), died in the process and the story was interpreted a certain way as "don't mess with Yaweh". Or, even more likely, the event never happened and this story was just one the the literary conventions of the time and people understood it as such, just as we understand parables (there wasn't a real vineyard owner who sent emisaries to collect rent who were all mistreated, so that he sent his son, who they killed; it is a parable recapping the prophets ministy and foretelling Jesus' impending death). Likewise this is a story of how holy Yaweh is, set up to reinforce the unique position in society of the priestly cast. It doesn't make the message un-true nor should undermine our trust in the Bible. It's just that WE read the story AS IF it was a contemporary newspaper account of an event and it wasn't written that way or intended to be understood that way. The fact that we read it wrong doesn't undermine the truth of what it is trying to teach us and it doesn't mean writers were making up stuff they knew to be false just to make a point (like a propagandist). They were telling stories in literary conventions everyone was familiar with and they all "got" it; just like we "get" the parables.

But there are numerous accounts of God's mercy that are just as obvious and tender in the OT as in the New: Hezekiah (his prayer of repentance); Kind David (also left us with a wondeful prayer of repentance); the mercy of God shown to Sarah and to Anna (much like the  mercy shown to Elizabeth in the gospels, not to mention how Tradition indicates the same mercy to the parents of the Theotokos!).

The psalms are full of the mercy of God (although they are very human as well and there a several very vindictive, troubling ones as well).

The minor prophets show a very merciful God toward the poor and oppressed (also something that we conveniently overlook today).

What of the exodus, the plagues and killing of the first-born Egyptians? Obviously, Yaweh, through Moses, performed some pretty serious feats to get the Pharoah's attention and to make the Egyptian people want the Israelites to get the heck out of their land. And some miraculous path through a waterway blocking the Hebrews escape was opened to them by God and God protected them by allowing the waters to close over behind them. Did the whole Egyptian army pursuing them perish and drown? Who knows?

All I can say is that I believe God, in His love, comes to each generation and culture in terms and ways that they can understand and that, having demonstrated His extravagant love for humankind in the Incarnation and in the Passion and resurection of Christ, His love for humanity must have been the same prior to that inbreaking of God into humanity and remains the same since.

I also believe that the findings of modern biblical scholarship are some of those very tools and ways that God comes to us in the early 21st Century* and communicates His love to us so that we are given means to understand some of the cultural things in the Bible that are utterly foreign to us and perhaps repulsive to people who have been formed by 2,000 years of the Christian message of the love of God.
Those tools and findings of modern biblical studies have been found too threatening by people who read the Bible a certain way as a scientific and historical textbook (by modern standards) and therefore their OT God is very frightening to most of us. The same tools and findings have been interpreted by others, pressing the same modern standards of science, cosmology and historiography onto the Bible, to doubt the Bible's authenticity altogether and therefore dismiss it as a divine message from God to humanity.

I think both of those fundamentalist/modernist options are flawed and the Orthodox approach to Scripture can avoid either error!

*What I mean by this is, for example, the pre-exile Jews read the OT in a different way than the post-exile Jews; the Jews of Jesus' day read it different than in the days of Nehemiah; the early Christians read it in a different way than the Jews; the Church Fathers had different ways of reading the OT even among themselves - there was the Alexandrian school of thought and the Antiochian school of thought, no doubt influenced by the part of the Empire and cutural milieu of their region for example.

Once the canon of scripture was established there were still many interpretive methods through time whereby people could appropriate the message and meaning of the Bible to themselves in catagories of thought that led them to an encounter with God within their own time and place: philosophical (interacting with Greek philosophy) allegorical, symbolic, mystical, scholasticism (not very popular with Orthodox Christians, granted); spiritualized meaning; geocentric cosmology, then heliocentric cosmology, Dante's inferno (with various levels of hell), etc. etc.

This is just one layperson's take on the original post. 

I am sure there will be many different opinions and I look forward to reading them.
Logged
FlickFlack
Moderated
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Eastern
Posts: 249


Twinkle Twinkle little star


« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 02:02:38 PM »

I am not a biblical scholar, but I have a read some things and thought a lot about the brutality and violence in the Old Testatment.

Here are my thoghts and how I have tried to expain it to my adult children who are, in order: one semi-spiritual but not religious, one agnostic, and one self-identifying as a Christian but not in any traditional way; all are progressives who find the OT a bit repulsive.

The Old Testament, in my understanding, is a collection of documents that basically say to he Hebrews and the surrounding cultures (of which they were ancestorally related to, although of a different tribe) that our tribal God, Yaweh, is greater than your tribal god (Molech, Baal, etc) and therefore you should follow our God. And/or reminding the Israelites themselves, WE need to keep following OUR God and not those of our neighbors.

The style of Hebrew in which the Pentateuch is written, I have read, is far younger than the events it reports. Likewise, the historical books as well. Many OT books, it seems, were edited, written or compiled after the return from Babylon in an attempt to expain that traumatic experience for the Hebrew people.

Going back to Moses commands to the Israelites and the accounts in Joshua regarding the Promised Land, no doubt there were some tribal battles and skirmishes over land when the Hebrews returned from captivity in Egypt, but even the OT iself reports that they "failed" to exterminate all the Caananites in the land. So other than several pitched land acquisition battles reported in the OT, they likely just kind of settled in and shared space and legitimaized it through intermarriage or sort of pushed the other guys (who were thier distant cousins anyway) out because they were more powerful and numerous. The stories recounting this were passed down in the form of "our God is better than yours" and we utterly defeated you - which just isn't true: we defeated some of you, we assimilated some of you and we kind pushed the rest of you out, or at least to the fringes and least desirable areas. But in telling our stories and later writing them down we now "recollect" that we crushed you guys (or, like recounting the size of a fish that a recreational fisherman caught: it was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big; thus, we aniahlated those Caaanites!). But, again this is just my conclusion from my reading and thiking about this. Looking at both the internal evidence of the OT and the external archaeological evidence, they didn't genicidally wipe out the Caaananites.

Were they commanded to commit genocide by God? It's doubtful. Who knows? Probably not, but they recorded their national story in a triumphalistic manner that was part of the literary construct of the day, in which our God beat the crap out of your God and we beat the crap out of you and we won!

As "scripture" God allowed them to record the story this way because it was the manner that was coherent and assumed at the time the stories took shape and also at the time the stories were written down.

As for stoning disobedient children and all those laws, it is doubtful the Hebrews ever followed those literally. Look King David with his son Absolom. He led a revolution against his father and David did NOT want him killed in battle and wept over his son's death in Absolom's ultimate defeat (again, internal evidence that they didn't really follow this stuff).

Nor do we really follow the "stuff" either that we read in the New Testatment. If we all who had two coats (probably a lot more) gave the second one to the person who has none and lived with just one coat, the modern economy based on economic growth through production, sales, exports and consumer acquisition, would come to a screeching halt and there would be permanent recession. We are selective, take things with a grain of salt, or spiritualize the meaning.

Next angle to consider:

I think God's relation to sinners has always been merciful.

Did a guy get struck down for trying to balance the Ark? Maybe? Maybe with a different mindset of the people then, God had to do that to get their atttention and make his point. My belief is that if He did have to do that, that incident was that fellow's immediate toll house or purgatory (or even martyrdom), however you want to understand it.

To my mind, a more likely scenario is that a real guy had a heart attack or something (between his religious exuberance and trying to steady a heavy Ark), died in the process and the story was interpreted a certain way as "don't mess with Yaweh". Or, even more likely, the event never happened and this story was just one the the literary conventions of the time and people understood it as such, just as we understand parables (there wasn't a real vineyard owner who sent emisaries to collect rent who were all mistreated, so that he sent his son, who they killed; it is a parable recapping the prophets ministy and foretelling Jesus' impending death). Likewise this is a story of how holy Yaweh is, set up to reinforce the unique position in society of the priestly cast. It doesn't make the message un-true nor should undermine our trust in the Bible. It's just that WE read the story AS IF it was a contemporary newspaper account of an event and it wasn't written that way or intended to be understood that way. The fact that we read it wrong doesn't undermine the truth of what it is trying to teach us and it doesn't mean writers were making up stuff they knew to be false just to make a point (like a propagandist). They were telling stories in literary conventions everyone was familiar with and they all "got" it; just like we "get" the parables.

But there are numerous accounts of God's mercy that are just as obvious and tender in the OT as in the New: Hezekiah (his prayer of repentance); Kind David (also left us with a wondeful prayer of repentance); the mercy of God shown to Sarah and to Anna (much like the  mercy shown to Elizabeth in the gospels, not to mention how Tradition indicates the same mercy to the parents of the Theotokos!).

The psalms are full of the mercy of God (although they are very human as well and there a several very vindictive, troubling ones as well).

The minor prophets show a very merciful God toward the poor and oppressed (also something that we conveniently overlook today).

What of the exodus, the plagues and killing of the first-born Egyptians? Obviously, Yaweh, through Moses, performed some pretty serious feats to get the Pharoah's attention and to make the Egyptian people want the Israelites to get the heck out of their land. And some miraculous path through a waterway blocking the Hebrews escape was opened to them by God and God protected them by allowing the waters to close over behind them. Did the whole Egyptian army pursuing them perish and drown? Who knows?

All I can say is that I believe God, in His love, comes to each generation and culture in terms and ways that they can understand and that, having demonstrated His extravagant love for humankind in the Incarnation and in the Passion and resurection of Christ, His love for humanity must have been the same prior to that inbreaking of God into humanity and remains the same since.

I also believe that the findings of modern biblical scholarship are some of those very tools and ways that God comes to us in the early 21st Century* and communicates His love to us so that we are given means to understand some of the cultural things in the Bible that are utterly foreign to us and perhaps repulsive to people who have been formed by 2,000 years of the Christian message of the love of God.
Those tools and findings of modern biblical studies have been found too threatening by people who read the Bible a certain way as a scientific and historical textbook (by modern standards) and therefore their OT God is very frightening to most of us. The same tools and findings have been interpreted by others, pressing the same modern standards of science, cosmology and historiography onto the Bible, to doubt the Bible's authenticity altogether and therefore dismiss it as a divine message from God to humanity.

I think both of those fundamentalist/modernist options are flawed and the Orthodox approach to Scripture can avoid either error!

*What I mean by this is, for example, the pre-exile Jews read the OT in a different way than the post-exile Jews; the Jews of Jesus' day read it different than in the days of Nehemiah; the early Christians read it in a different way than the Jews; the Church Fathers had different ways of reading the OT even among themselves - there was the Alexandrian school of thought and the Antiochian school of thought, no doubt influenced by the part of the Empire and cutural milieu of their region for example.

Once the canon of scripture was established there were still many interpretive methods through time whereby people could appropriate the message and meaning of the Bible to themselves in catagories of thought that led them to an encounter with God within their own time and place: philosophical (interacting with Greek philosophy) allegorical, symbolic, mystical, scholasticism (not very popular with Orthodox Christians, granted); spiritualized meaning; geocentric cosmology, then heliocentric cosmology, Dante's inferno (with various levels of hell), etc. etc.

This is just one layperson's take on the original post. 

I am sure there will be many different opinions and I look forward to reading them.

Good post.I had a few of this ideas on the OT , myself.

One "objection" though : If some of the events in the OT are not accurate how does that not undermine the OT? How can we trust it to be inspire and/or atleast objectively trustful and why should we place more reliability in this particular jewish primitive God than other primitive gods, and in this stories than in other primitive stories considering that the New Testament was written by the same category of people , the Hebrews?
Logged

Right here, right now.
akimel
Fr Aidan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR (Western Rite)
Posts: 520



WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 02:37:45 PM »

One "objection" though : If some of the events in the OT are not accurate how does that not undermine the OT? How can we trust it to be inspire and/or atleast objectively trustful and why should we place more reliability in this particular jewish primitive God than other primitive gods, and in this stories than in other primitive stories considering that the New Testament was written by the same category of people , the Hebrews?

The Old Testament is not undermined by this kind of reading; rather, it is read rightly and truly.  Not to read the Old Testament through the Christ, through the Cross, through the teachings of our Lord, through the mind of the Church, is to ultimately undermine the Old Testament.   

Fr Stephen Freeman has devoted many pages to this subject.  A good place to begin is with this recent article:  Fulfilled--The Christian Reading of the Old Testament.
Logged

BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 02:58:34 PM »

I am sure there will be many different opinions and I look forward to reading them.
[/quote]

Good post.I had a few of this ideas on the OT , myself.

One "objection" though : If some of the events in the OT are not accurate how does that not undermine the OT? How can we trust it to be inspire and/or atleast objectively trustful and why should we place more reliability in this particular jewish primitive God than other primitive gods, and in this stories than in other primitive stories considering that the New Testament was written by the same category of people , the Hebrews?
[/quote]

Because, understood correctly in terms of the literary genres of the time, the people themselves understood them for what they were. Historical events couched in stories with a plot and point of view and not literal modern standard history.

Go back to the parable analogy. Do you understand the truth in a parable without believing that Jesus was taking a "news" story about a vineyard owner whose son was undjustly murdered and applying it to himself or that he was a creative story teller and made up a parable?

Same deal about Israel's stories. How do we know the Jewish God is the one we want to follow rather than the other primitive gods? They didn't produce Christ. The Hebrew God did!

Also they told stories about their God in the primitive mindset that they already had. WE are not muslims or mormons who believe our scriptures were mechanically dictated by angels. God "inspired" human authors to write about their encounter with him using the mindset (geocentric universe, for example) and literary conventions of their day and time. Alot of surrounding cultures had very similar laws to the Mosaic law, for example, also with harsh punishments for some seeming minor "crimes' (like being disrespectful to parents). God communicated in the categories and conventions THOSE PEOPLE were familiar with and understood in THEIR day and time. The Hebrew people were not dropped down into the world from heaven or outer space, they were part of cultures and mindsets that everyone at the time had - including their friends and their enemies. Of course God would condescend and "incarnate" the message of the small-case word to them just as he INCARNATED the large-case WORD at a later time!

It is our job to learn about their day and time and literary conventions and not read the stories through our own categories and conventions.

Just like God the Son came to us as a first century Jew and not a 18th century Enlightenment man, nor a second century BC Greek philosopher, nor a twentieth century moderm man, nor a pre-historic cave man, nor a Middle Ages mystic, nor a twenty-first century hipster, post-modernist. The same can be said with regards to the words of the Bible - it is written by people in the forms they understood.

We take the revelation God gives us and adapt to it rather than  adapt it to ourselves, whether written or in the form of a PERSON.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 03:12:03 PM by BrotherAidan » Logged
FlickFlack
Moderated
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Eastern
Posts: 249


Twinkle Twinkle little star


« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 03:48:56 PM »

Quote
Same deal about Israel's stories. How do we know the Jewish God is the one we want to follow rather than the other primitive gods? They didn't produce Christ. The Hebrew God did!
One of my personal interpretations and ideas is that none of them produced Christ, Christ produced Himself.Christ is just God's response to human religion.God showing His kindness,universality and his allmightness.That God showed that he could draw truth even from lie.I can see Christ foretold in all the religions of the world and how he fulfilled all the religions of the world.


« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 04:05:14 PM by FlickFlack » Logged

Right here, right now.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,744


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2013, 07:27:14 PM »

The style of Hebrew in which the Pentateuch is written...

? I thought as Orthodox Christians we use the Septuagint--which is written in Koine Greek.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
BrotherAidan
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,568

OC.net


« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2013, 08:57:09 PM »

The style of Hebrew in which the Pentateuch is written...

? I thought as Orthodox Christians we use the Septuagint--which is written in Koine Greek.

Indeed, the Septuagint is what Orthodox Christians use as its authoritative OT.
But that sort of misses the point here: without the Hebrew OT there would be no Septuagint. So the point still stands that the oral content of the Pentateuch preceeds its being written in Hebrew (and by far preceeds its being translated into Greek).

The use of the Septuagint does not make the problems (or opportunities, depending on how you look at it) of modern Old Testament studies (which are undertaken from the starting point of the Hebrew scriptures) go away for Orthodox Christians, just because of using the Septuagint.

The gospels stories for that matter pre-dated their being written down in Koine Greek. Like the OT, these stories originally were told in the Jewish language, in this case, Aramaic, the language that the 12 Dicsciples/Apostles and St. Paul spoke as their native tongue and indeed was Jesus's native tongue.

The mostly Jewish disciples/Apostles (the 12 or 70) were native Aramaic speakers and Hebrew readers. Greek was the common language of the empire even though the Romans spoke Latin, so the NT was written in Koine (common, not calssical) Greek. Greek it seems was the language of the Jewish Diaspora throughout the empire which is why the Hebrew OT was translated into Greek, because most of them didn't speak Aramaic or read Hebrew. So the New Testament writers wrote in Greek because Greek would have been the shared language of Diapora converted Jews and converted Gentiles in the Empire.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 08:58:41 PM by BrotherAidan » Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.1 seconds with 43 queries.