onsdag, april 12, 2006


Children, I have something to tell you about the Law. It isn’t.
The word nómos may very well mean “law” in Academic Greek, the artificial Greek of Platonizing Academies – what do I know? But in the theological/technical lingo of the Septuagint and the NT, it doesn’t. It means “Tradition”.
Something that is passed on; given.
The same root occurs in kläronómo; to take ones lot in the Kingdom, to share, being part (for instance in 1 Cor 6.9-11).
Which is not about “inheritance” in a Canon law sense, because “property” did not exist before the “natural” (= idealistic, that is un-natural) legal theories of the 13th century.
The Inheritance belonged eschatologically to the House/Family/ Clan – that is over Time. Not individually to the person (who wasn’t defined as an “individual” before Modernity). Thence “lot”. It’s temporary.
And then we give away to the next generation. Tradition.
“Fiddler on the Roof.”
That tradition has been turned around to mean something un-altered, immovable received from “Fathers”, is a sign of what happened to Christianity in 2nd Millennium European Academia.
Idealism. Legalism. Works.
The loss of a sense of Time, the Time of Creation; of the sanctity of God’s Very Good Creation.
Speaking of Works, we all “know” for a received fact, that Judaism is legalistic and that the Pharisees were Bad. It ain’t true. Judaism never was legalistic, nor were the Pharisees legalistic in our (post 16th century Renaissance) understanding of the word (they certainly were more so than the vast majority in their own day).
The ethos of Judaism is not Merit; Qualification, as per Indo-European Philosophy, but an Accompaniment, something to go with being part.
To break a rule, to transgress, to trespass, is not to “sin” in a 12th century sense.
Judaism does not do Sin.
The LXX word translated as “sin”; amartía is what you do in Long Bows; you step over the line. This makes the arrow miss the mark – it will pass above and beyond!
We fail because we try too much. Not the other way around.
So, whenever you bring out the Good Book: forget “Law” – it’s Tradition.

9 kommentarer:

Augustus Meriwether sa...

Nice one. Linked it.

So, with the amartia: was this the prime meaning of the word at the time of the original authoring? Where is this shown?

Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

Haven't looked closely at amartía, but it is alwasy said to be the exact equivalent of the Hebrew, meaning transgress, that is stepping over the chalked line...

Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

There are a few other words used (I think 6 Heb and 6 Greek in all), all said to be about Long Bows.

Vonkis sa...

Glad Påsk!

Bad Alice sa...

Excellent! It does get tiring to hear about how the OT Law vs the NT Grace.
The word "tradition," however, has some connotations that I don't think apply. Particularly here in the US, tradition is not necessarily respected, but something to be gone beyond, flouted if need be, a bit quaint, not binding, "mere tradition". Which is not a very Jewish way of looking at it.

Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

No it isn't, Alice dear. Tradition is loving and adding.

Bad Alice sa...

Yes, lovely! Tradition is something that lives and breathes and is dynamic. One thing I've always liked about Judaism is its willingness to engage with the scriptures rather than to look at them as something inert and finished. I mean, I don't think that they think any scripture will be added to it, but that the meaning continues to unfold.

Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

Quite. Tradition is living and adding ;=)

It's all abou Lechaim (which is what Jews say, when we say Skål!).

So Jesus of Nazareth wasn't born at Beth Lechaim for nothing...

Göran Koch-Swahne sa...

Lechaim is Life, the Good Life in Communion with God and his Creation.

Righteousness in the Bible is not something abstract, but a flow.

A Flow from God to humans and from human to human - and from humans to the ox, the donkey and so on...