Re: [asa] A question on morals (OT and NT)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Wed Nov 04 2009 - 08:38:12 EST

Hi Pete,

I can see where the Talmud might be an interesting analogue - but I'd have to play with it a bit myself.

As it is, the suggestion spawns one random thought:

Regardless of what dates we put on the various OT books and portions thereof it seems to be pretty evident that the OT isn't the unvarnished account of Israel's history that many would like it to be. But this fact alone suggests that one doesn't need to even go as far as the Talmud to discover a dynamic engagement with the tradition as we already see just this very thing within the pages of the canonical OT itself. The idea, then, that the covenant community EVER had a static notion of scripture might be a tad unrealistic and we may well need to accept that dynamic engagement with the tradition has ALWAYS been part-and-parcel of the covenant community's practice.

Of course, the tradition eventually ends up becoming codified - first in the OT and subsequently in the Talmud and NT (same sort of thing happens in Islam with the Koran and Hadiths) - but I wonder (and it's just an idle musing for now) just what this suggests for our theory of Scripture? All too often the focus is on the codification. But what happens if one focuses on the dynamic nature of the tradition in its formation and subsequent reception?

Could it be that the discontinuity and the continuity are, in fact, one and the same thing? That is, might it not be the case that the one constant throughout the entire history of the tradition is that the tradition itself has always been dynamically appropriated?

Perhaps our maxim should be "Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose" or something of that order?


Pete Enns wrote:
> I think trajectory is a good model for the relationship between the
> testament.
> Another model I have toyed with--very simply--is that the NT is
> analogous to to the Talmud. Both reflect attempts to engage the Bible/OT
> in view of changing circumstances: for Jews, the exile and for
> Christians the death and resurrection of the messiah.
> I think the trajectory and Talmud models together aim at addressing the
> continuity and discontinuity seen in the NT vis-a-vis the OT. To get
> back to the original point, I think Bernie is concerned about the fact
> that discontinuity is something that resides in a book that is
> supposedly written on some level by God.

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Received on Wed Nov 4 08:38:27 2009

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