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Shammai ha-Zaken/School of Shammai

(292 words)

Author(s): Reeg, Gottfried
[German Version] Shammai, called “the Elder,” lived around the turn of the eras. According to the chain of tradition in m. ’Abot 1:1ff., he and Hillel formed one of the so-called pairs who received and handed on the Torah revealed to Moses. The rabbinic texts that mention him are highly stylized and must be considered literary constructs with little basis in historical reality. He is rarely mentioned in isolation ( Mek. ŠbY on Exod 20:8 [ed. Epstein & Melamed, 148]). Usually he serves as a foil to Hillel ( b. Šabb. 30b–31a: Hillel’s patience in contrast with Shammai’s testiness; thei…

Pericopes

(2,013 words)

Author(s): Reeg, Gottfried | Friedrichs, Lutz
[German Version] I. Early Judaism The Hebrew word for pericope, parasha (פָּרָשָׁה, pl. פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת), comes from the root פרש/ prš, “divide, separate” and means “portion, section.” It appears twice in the Bible in the sense of “exact amount” (Esth 4:7; 10:2). In rabbinic literature, it is used almost exclusively for a portion of the Bible, varying in length. As the names of various parashiyyot suggest, a fixed division may be assumed ( Gen. R. 36.9; b. Ber. 9b–13a). The Masorah of the Hebrew Bible distinguishes between an open – petuḥa, from פתח/ ptḥ, “open” – parasha, starting at the …

Synagogue

(1,835 words)

Author(s): Reeg, Gottfried | Börner-Klein, Dagmar
[German Version] I. Antiquity 1. The Greek word συναγωγή/ synagōgḗ (cf. LXX), like כְּנֶסֶת/ kneset, orig. meant “assembly”; only later did it come to mean “place of assembly” (Heb. בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת/ bet ha-kneset). It is therefore uncertain, for example, whether Acts 6:9 refers to congregations of Hellenistic Jews or their synagogues. Other synonymous terms were also common: προσευχή/ proseuchḗ (“prayer/place of prayers”) – found almost exclusively in the Greek Diaspora – and (ἅγιος) τόπος/( hágios) tópos or Aramaic אַתרָא קְדִישָׁא/ʾ atra qedisha (“holy place”) – found pri…

Shekhinah

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Janowski, Bernd | Reeg, Gottfried | Dan, Joseph | Moltmann, Jürgen
[German Version] I. Old Testament The word shekhinah (שְׁכִינָה), a postbiblical noun from the root שׁכן/ škn, “settle, dwell,” denotes an aspect of God’s presence in the world, usually translated as “indwelling” or “habitation.” The term indwelling suggests the Egyptian theology of cultic images, according to which the deity in heaven “descends” upon his image in the earthly temple and “unites” with it (Assmann). The earliest reference to the Old Testament shekhinah theology is in 1 Kgs 8:12f., in Solomon’s words at the dedicatio…

Humility

(4,021 words)

Author(s): Jödicke, Ansgar | Mathys, Hans-Peter | Reeg, Gottfried | Wengst, Klaus | Köpf, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Dogmatics and Ethics I. Religious Studies Humility is an attitude of conscious abasement (Humiliation) and submission. Some modes of expressing humility, such as postures or gestures, can be traced to biological roots; others are conventional, for example a “humble glance” or foot washing. In many cases we encounter an inversion of what is culturally normal, for example nakedness in the poverty (IV) movements of the Middle Ages. Basically, a distinction must b…

Decalogue

(5,698 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Reeg, Gottfried | Sänger, Dieter | Strohm, Christoph | Andersen, Svend | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Dogmatics and Ethics – VI. Practical Theology I. Old Testament The designation Decalogue (“ten words”) for the series of ten commandments derives from the Greek translation of the Hebrew ʾaśeret haddebārîm (δεκάλογος “ten words”). It is employed in late deuteronomic theory in Deut 10:4 for the Decalogue, in Deut 5:6–21 and by the post-dtr. redaction of the …

Talion

(3,214 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel | Otto, Eckart | Reeg, Gottfried | Krawietz, Birgit | Ogris, Werner
[German Version] I. Concept Talion is derived from the Roman lex talionis, in which it referred to a regulated act of retribution – in keeping with a legal norm that was meant to place limitations on self-administered justice. This stands in contradiction to the general understanding of talion as “doing as you are done by,” also in the sense of self-administered justice. In modern usage, talion is thus particularly understood in the sense of blood revenge or vendetta. The latter meaning is therefore focuse…

Martyr

(6,592 words)

Author(s): Beinhauer-Köhler, Bärbel | Wischmeyer, Wolfgang | Köpf, Ulrich | Strohm, Christoph | Hauptmann, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. The Early Church – III. Middle Ages, Reformation, Counter-reformation – IV. The Modern Period – V. Martyrs of the Orthodox Church – VI. Judaism – VII. Islam – VIII. Missiology I. History of Religion The term martyrium (Greek μαρτύριον/ martúrion) was coined in early Christianity, where it denotes a self-sacrificial death in religious conflict as a witness to faith Historical and systematic references are found in many contexts, in which comparable terms imply something slightly different. For example, the Islamic šahīd, “witness…

Devil

(8,622 words)

Author(s): Felber, Annelies | Hutter, Manfred | Achenbach, Reinhard | Aune, David E. | Lang, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. Names and Terms – II. Religious Studies – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. New Testament – V. Church History – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Fundamental Theology – VIII. Dogmatics – IX. Judaism – X. Islam – XI. History of Art and Literature I. Names and Terms 1. Devil The secular Greek noun διάβολος/ diabolos comes from one of the meanings of the verb διαβάλλω/ diaballō, “separate, sever,” which led to meanings such as “accuse, slander, deceive.” From the Greek noun came Latin diabolus, from which the English …