Christian Essays Old Testament

Christian Essays Old Testament-89
Ten Commandments as Enduring Amongst the materials kept are the Ten Commandments, which are unchangingly authoritative. We have two presuppositions: 1) OT law is from God and 2) God is of good character.

Ten Commandments as Enduring Amongst the materials kept are the Ten Commandments, which are unchangingly authoritative. We have two presuppositions: 1) OT law is from God and 2) God is of good character.

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Then several essays wrestle with how topics from select Old Testament books can be read theologically.

Finally, it concludes by addressing several communal matters that arise when reading the Old Testament theologically.

David Hume wrote that “Epicurus’s old questions are yet unanswered. Niche Audience That the laws of the OT are consistent and coherent is regarded as a truism by many biblical scholars, including Gane. Every book is written to persuade, but Gane’s book is without question an advocacy piece rather than a descriptive piece.

But others consider this assumption little more than a comforting myth. Is the relationship between OT and NT one of stark contrast or affinity? His argument is thus: the OT laws are (therefore) OT laws are good. Gane’s audience (including perhaps some doctrinal apparatchiks) already believes this, so he finds it unnecessary to examine his premises.

is an odd choice of words, given that God is the Divine Law giver.

His laws do not tolerate but go further: they mandate, legislate, and require, for example, the continuation of slavery and polygamy!

But that assumption helps the average Joe very little in discerning what else in the OT remains in full force and effect. And in turn our laws (expressed in words) curb our conduct. Our shared values, for better or for worse, facilitate and even require us to enact certain laws. To consider a specific example: If a genuine value found in OT Scriptures is equality of the sexes, as Gane says, then whence all the chauvinistic if not misogynistic OT laws?

One needs the scholarship of a Professor Gane to sort it out. The assumption that slavery was an inevitable if not preordained part of life, for example, led people in ancient times (even those in NT times) to assume its morality, which was reflected in the laws attributed to God. One must dare to plumb the depths of the patriarchal mindset of OT times for answers regarding what to do with, for example, laws forbidding contrasting fabrics (Deuteronomy ), prohibitions regarding cutting one’s hair, dietary restrictions, such as prohibition of eating certain parts of so-called clean meats, legal provisions for determining a woman’s fidelity by having her drink a potion, Critical Assessment This reviewer finds this book to be a careful and closely reasoned work of scholarship.

Gane writes that “A moral ‘principle’ is an objective, absolute, changeless truth that governs human nature and relationships. A moral ‘value,’ on the other hand, is a subjective, changeable perspective of an individual or group that has developed from past experiences….” But how do we know objective from subjective in the Bible, when there is no identification in the text itself?

Nowhere does the Bible say “Warning: this particular command is a mere subjective changeable value with an expiration date.” Gane writes that “Human values are subjective, changeable, and affected by culture; divine values remain constant, although OT law can temporarily constrain expressions of divine values…in order to accommodate human weakness….” A cynical reader might say this preemptively “explains” what appear to laypeople as immoral laws.

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