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Lamentations, Book of

(755 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Otto
1. Name, Place in Canon, Authorship The Book of Lamentations consists of five songs. The book’s usual name in modern Bible versions comes, by way of the Vg (Lamentationes) and the LXX ( Thrēnoi [ Ieremiou]), from Jewish tradition, in which it is called qı̂nôt, “laments for the dead” ( b.  B. Bat.  15a). In Hebrew MSS and printed copies it is usually named after the first word: ʾêkâ, “alas, how.” Though Lamentations is placed among the Megilloth (i.e., festal scrolls), the LXX, followed by dependent and modern versions, inserts it after the Book of Jeremiah on the ba…

Proverbs, Book of

(1,872 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Otto
1. Description The Book of Proverbs, together with the Books of Job and Ecclesiastes, belongs to the Wisdom books of the Hebrew Bible. It thus belongs to a literary category that was widespread and greatly enjoyed in the ancient world because it transmitted the experience of past generations about the right ways of dealing with God and others. By means of its sayings and teachings, it promised a life (§1) that would be long, happy, and successful. Because Solomon traditionally ranked as the wisest king of Israel (§1.4, 1 Kgs. 4:29–34 and 10:1–10), the Wisdom books up to the deuterocano…

Wisdom Literature

(2,295 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Otto | Myers, Allen C.
1. Term The Hebrew word ḥokmâ originally meant technical and intellectual understanding resting on experience. While statutes were associated with the priests, and the Word of God with the prophets, counsel typified the wise (Jer. 18:18). The quest for wisdom involves reflection on universal human concerns: the place of humanity within the world, especially the potential and limitations of the individual. In the Bible, it is the attempt to ascertain the meaning of life, to explore its difficult and painful mysteries, to engage i…

Hope

(4,048 words)

Author(s): Berner, Ulrich | Kaiser, Otto | du Toit, Andrie | Beißer, Friedrich | Moxter, Michael
[German Version] I. Religious Studies / History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics – V. Ethics I. Religious Studies / History of Religions Various versions of the Greek Prometheus myth characterize hope ( elpís) as one of the requirements for human existence (Hesiod Opera et dies V 96; Aesch. Prometheus V 250). In Roman religion, hope ( spes) is one of the concepts personified and venerated as divine powers (Cic. De legibus II 28). It seems reasonable to assume that religious hope differs from nonreligious hope in extending its time…

Revelation

(13,059 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schwöbel, Christoph | Kaiser, Otto | Bockmuehl, Markus | Werbick, Jürgen | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Concept. The word revelation echoes the Greek ἀποκάλυψις/ apokálypsis (“uncovering”), which was translated into Latin as revelatio and then borrowed into most European languages. The literal meaning already indicates that revelation involves a reality, content, more specifically a message hidden from mortals. Revelation is important: it is relevant religious knowledge necessary for salvation, for finding meaning, and for dealing with everyday life. It is knowledge that peo-¶ ple do not already possess by nature, and their reli…

Offenbarung

(11,807 words)

Author(s): Figl, Johann | Schwöbel, Christoph | Kaiser, Otto | Bockmuehl, Markus | Werbick, Jürgen | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich 1.BegriffDas Wort O. ist die Wiedergabe des griech. α᾿ποκα´λυψις/apoka´lypsis (»Enthüllung«), das ins Lat. mit revelatio übers. und dann als Lehnwort in die meisten eur. Sprachen übernommen wurde. Allein am Wortsinn ist abzulesen, daß es sich dabei um eine Realität, um einen Inhalt, im engeren Sinn um eine Botschaft handelt, die zuvor dem Menschen verborgen war. Deren Wichtigkeit kommt dadurch zum Ausdruck, daß es ein für das Heil, die Sinnfindung, des weiter…

Faith

(25,125 words)

Author(s): Grünschloß, Andreas | Schulz, Heiko | Kaiser, Otto | Hooker, Morna D. | Jüngel, Eberhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Systematic Theology – V. Practical Theology – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam I. Terminology 1. Religious Studies a. As an emic linguistic term, “faith” is found not only in the context of the Christian West (cf. fides, foi, Glaube, etc.), but also in other religious traditions. The Sanskrit term śraddhā (cf. Pāli saddhā; Avestan zrazdā-) seems to represent an Indo-European etymological pendant to Lat. credo, as demonstrated by the possible reconstruction of Indo-Germanic * k'red-dhē-, “set one's heart o…

Freedom

(9,782 words)

Author(s): Kaiser, Otto | Vollenweider, Samuel | Schwartz, Daniel R. | Graf, Friedrich Wilhelm | Figal, Günter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Early Judaism – IV. Church History – V. Philosophy – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Dogmatics – VIII. Ethics – IX. Sociology, Politics, and Law I. Old Testament 1. The concept of political freedom, which originated in the Greek polis (City cult), first appeared in Hellenistic Jewish historiography. The Stoics' concept of freedom, which contrasts inner freedom and outward constraint, has no counterpart in the OT. The OT is rooted in an internal mythological cultur…

God

(23,549 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut | Kaiser, Otto | Lindemann, Andreas | Brümmer, Vincent | Schwöbel, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Art – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. It is fundamentally true that God is not an object of religious studies, since God – as theology teaches – cannot be made an object of empirical scientific study. Religious studies can only address the concepts that human beings have expressed concerning their God (or gods: God, Representations and sym…