History or Theology: the Bible as a document

5 Comments

  1. Good Tim – felt I was back in class. Always enjoy your insights. Much blessing – Chuni.

  2. Eek, Chuni says “class” and Gavin said “authoritative” but what I’m aiming for is conversation, people to discuss, argue, question… Teaching amd insights and even authority are all good, but a conversation is better 🙂

  3. Are you confining the issue of God and marriage to a theological question? Are there specific texts that you have in mind that address the divorce?

  4. FWIW, my current work has been translating chapters like Josiah’s reforms, the parallels, and their place as reflections of chapters like Deuteronomy 7. Some instructions in Torah are just not good when they are carried out by humans as if they were prescriptive for behaviour. Are the historians claiming that the destruction of monuments and fetishes are a history of ‘the divorce’ of Yahweh and Asherah? We can play with this image but we are in analogical if not theological thinking.

    We have similar situations today in all cultures – behaviours we will not tolerate. Shootings in places of worship such as in Quebec recently, cultural destruction such as in Palmyra, testing missiles in North Korea, not to mention the uncouth acts of those whose fetish is money and capital, things we are married to without even realizing it.

    Sometimes people don’t know what they are worshiping and they don’t see its damage to others or to themselves. If we jump back to the ancient story, ‘obviously’, the worship of the work of our hands must be exterminated and incinerated in the fire. But how? Given that the 7 nations – not to mention the Amalekites – were never exterminated contrary to Yahweh’s instructions, this order was not carried out except sporadically. Were the chosen just too young to understand of recognize the problems they were creating?

    So what is a false spouse? Some images are real even when they are totally figurative. If we did not use figures of speech, we would say and write nothing. I find myself forced to read slowly and interpret analogically or else I am simply left with blood on my hands.

    Surely there is value in the history of a violent people that we should learn from, even if some learn the wrong lessons. Else how do we deal with our own violence?

    I could be missing the point of this conversation, Tim, but perhaps this is a line of thinking you have already considered.

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