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Law and Legislation

(7,555 words)

Author(s): Michaels, Axel | Otto, Eckart | Räisänen, Heikki | Sparn, Walter | Starck, Christian
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Dogmatics and Ethics – V. Politics and Jurisprudence I. History of Religion Laws are generally regarded as formulated, i.e. sentential and often codified rules of life and coexistence; this ¶ refers especially to principles of nature (Law/Natural law) and norms of action (Commandment, Ethics). For the modern age, the validity of natural laws arises from hypothetical laws that have been verified through observation and experiments, and have thereby been proven or j…

Priesthood

(7,504 words)

Author(s): Friedli, Richard | Otto, Eckart | Dignas, Beate | Elm, Dorothee | Kraus, Georg | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Etymologically the term priest derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος/ presbýteros, “elder”; it denotes a religious functionary, especially an expert responsible for the cult. The Greek word did not originally have this meaning. A second semantic strand puts a priest (Gk ἱερεύς/ hiereús, Lat. sacerdos) in charge of things that are sacred (Sacred and profane). The characteristics that comparative religion usually associates with priesthood are often transferred globally from Christianity, especially Roman Cathol…

Judah/Judea

(201 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] As a regional designation (“the hollowed out, washed out region”; cf. also Arab. wahda), Judah (Heb. יְהוּדָה/ yehûdāh; Gk ‘Ιουδα/Iouda) refers to the southern range in the hills to the west of the Jordan. It gave the name to the tribe of Judah (Tribes of Israel) that settled there, from which the allied state of Judah developed in the time of David. Until the death of Solomon part of a state with the other tribes of Israel, Judah became independent again alongside the northern kingdom of Israel aft…

Enemy/Love of One's Enemy

(1,755 words)

Author(s): Mohn, Jürgen | Otto, Eckart | Theißen, Gerd | Körtner, Ulrich H.J.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Ethics I. History of Religion The theme of the enemy is connected with the development or protection of identity and is directed toward people of other tribes or states, those of other faiths, or a hostile region of the world. The enemy can represent what is foreign and threatening or be localized within the worl…

Tithing

(1,866 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Otto, Eckart | Reichman, Ronen | Strohm, Christoph
[German Version] I. History of Religion Instances in which a certain share of a person’s gains were ceded to the gods are known from the religions of the ancient Near East and of Classical Antiquity; on the evidence of the Old Testament (e.g. Lev 27:32f.; 1 Sam 8:15), Judaism and Christianity were also familiar with tithing (see III, IV below). Even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), which only cultivates a loose relationship to biblical tradition, takes up this notion in the B…

Bodily Harm in the Old Testament

(368 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] In Israel and Judah, bodily harm was originally avenged through the legal institution of the talion (Exod 21:24f.), an immediate juridical response on the part of the injured party, who inflicted on the wrongdoer a punishment equal to the crime. When the law governing bodily harm was entrusted to the local authorities (Judicial system), the …

Sabbath

(2,991 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Doering, Lutz | Hollender, Elisabeth | van Henten, Jan Willem | Volp, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament In the preexilic period, Sabbath (שַׁבָּת/ šabbāt) meant the day of the full moon; from the Exile on, it denoted a weekly day of rest. The origins of this day of rest go back to the early days of Exile. The earliest laws regarding the preexilic day of rest appear in the Book of the Covenant (Exod 23:10) and the cultic code in Exod 34:18–23, 25f. (v. 21) (Law and legislation: III). In the Book of the Covenant, the commandment to ¶ observe a day of rest is part of the privilege law of YHWH that deals with setting apart the firstfruits and firstborn …

Habakkuk/Book of Habakkuk

(1,298 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] I. The Prophet – II. The Book – III. Effective History I. The Prophet The prophet Habakkuk lived in Jerusalem around 600 bce. His name is Assyrian in origin and derives from the Akkadian term for a garden plant ( ḫabb[m]aqūqu). He is described as a cult prophet ( nabı̑) (1:1), which is confirmed by the fact that he receives the word in a cultic location (2:1–3). Whether, however, his critique of the social abuses caused by the political and economic elite of Judah was part of his function or contradicted it, must remain as op…

Deuteronomy

(2,337 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] In accordance with LXX and Vulgate (Bible translations: I), the fifth book of the Pentateuch is termed Deuteronomy (Deut); in the Jewish tradition it is named “discourses” ( debārïm) after the beginning of the book. The name Deut is a summary of the law (Law and legislation), which is stylized as a collection of farewell discourses by Moses in 1–4; 5–28; 29–32; 33 and which, in the final form o…

Jerusalem

(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I…

Josiah/Josiah's Reform

(1,320 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Josiah reigned as king of Judah in the years 639 to 609 bce (2 Kgs 22f.; 2 Chr 34f.). When the eight-year-old boy ascended to the throne, the Neo-Assyrian Empire under King Asshurbanipal had already passed the zenith of its power with the loss of Egypt and a civil war in Mesopotamia (652–648 bce). Josiah experienced the ultimate end of Neo-Assyrian hegemonic power with the destruction of Nineveh (612 bce). After Assyria's withdrawal from Palestine (626–623 bce), Josiah was formally subject to Egyptian supremacy, which, as an ally of Assyria in the struggl…

Feasts and Festivals

(7,156 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Otto, Eckart | Veltri, Giuseppe | Schramm, Tim | Wiggermann, Karl-Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Early Christianity – V. Church History – VI. Liturgical and Practical Aspects I. Religious Studies The words “feast” and “festival” (cf. fête, festa, fiesta, Fest, etc.) derive from the Latin festus ( dies). They refer to the calendar and also evoke the notion of the divine: a feast day is a special day set aside and dedicated to a certain supernatural being. “Feast” or “festival” can therefore be understood as synonyms for religious celebrations. To speak,…

Marriage

(10,960 words)

Author(s): Nehring, Andreas | Otto, Eckart | Deming, Willoughby Howard | Schäfer, Rolf | Nave-Herz, Rosemarie | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Sociology – VI. Systematic Theology – VII. Law – VIII. Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies The term marriage denotes a relationship entered into between two or more persons of different sex, ritually formalized, intended to be permanent, and recognized by society. In all cultures, definitions of economic and sexual rights and the conveyance of social status to children (Child/Childhood) are part of the socially ¶ defined framework of marriage…

War

(3,738 words)

Author(s): Reuter, Hans-Richard | Rüpke, Jörg | Rosenberger, Veit | Otto, Eckart | Holmberg, Bengt
[German Version] I. Social Sciences 1. Concept. War is conflict between large groups, peoples, nations, and states conducted by force of arms. The more precise definition of the term and its differentiation from peace are disputed. Behavioral science tends toward a broad definition: war is a specifically human form of intergroup aggression, functional in the context of competition for scarce resources; in it the use of weapons decreases our instinctive inhibition against killing. The theory that war is…

Hezekiah (King of Judah)

(774 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] (Heb. חִזְקִיָּה/ ḥizqiyyāh) ruled Judah as king from 725–696 bce. Under his rule, the kingdom of Judah developed from a tribal state – which, isolated on the Judean mountains, was affected by political events less than the more highly developed northern kingdom of Israel (II, 1) and was based economically primarily on small animal breeding – into a fully developed state. The conquest of Samaria (722) ¶ and the final incorporation of Israel into the provincial system of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (720) sparked this sudden development, since a stream…

Ethics

(18,301 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Horn, Friedrich Wilhelm | Leicht, Reimund | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Scope – II. Religious Studies – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. As a Theological Discipline – VI. As a Philosophical Discipline (Business Ethics, Discourse Ethics, Economic Ethics, Ethics, Bio-Medical Issues, Ethics Commissions, Ethics Education, Ethics of Conviction, Ethics of Duty, Ethics of Goods, Ethics of Responsibility, Evolutionary Ethics, Fraternal Ethics, Individual Et…

Non-Violence

(1,896 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Schmälzle, Udo Friedrich | Oberlies, Thomas
[German Version] I. Bible Hebrew Bible uses violence (חָמָס/ ḥāmās; שׂד/ šōd) to denote the illegal use of physical force (Gen 49:5), false ¶ testimony in court (Exod 23:1; Deut 19:16), economic exploitation (Amos 3:10; Zeph 1:9), especially of the poor (Jer 22:3), and assault on God (Job 21:27) or his laws (Ezek 22:26). All violence against human beings is also violence against God (Gen 6:11, 13). Law (Law and jurisprudence: III) with its fundamental function of settling conflicts and preventing the transgression of norms that provokes violence is the primary …

Criminal Law

(3,505 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Sellert, Wolfgang | Loos, Fritz | May, Georg | Krawietz, Birgit
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. History – III. German Criminal Law Today – IV. Penal Canon Law (Roman Catholic) – V. Islam I. Old Testament Old Testament law (Law and legislation: II) emerged from three sources: (1) it reinforced mutual expectations based on norms of behavior by means of criminal ¶ laws supporting general prevention of criminal conduct; (2) it minimized violence by regulating conflicts through casuistic law (Law and jurisprudence: III) as the precursor of modern civil law, and (3) it regulated int…

Moses, Blessing of/Song of

(375 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Immediately before his death (Deut 34), Moses composed a tract on the apostasy, punishment, and repentance of Israel (Deut 32), called a “song” in its literary setting (Deut 31:19, etc.), and blessed the tribes of Israel (Deut 33), which were to cross the Jordan and enter the promised land after his death. The literary core of the blessing comprises tribal sayings (Deut 33:6–25) that go back to the preexilic period (except for the Levi section). They have been framed by vv. 2–5 an…

Jacob

(1,848 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Niehoff, Maren | Campanini, Saverio
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism I. Old Testament 1. Name The anthroponym Jacob (יַעֲקוֹב/ yaʿaqôb) is attested as a common name throughout the ancient Near East from Mesopotamia and Egypt in the 2nd millennium as ia( ) qub-( ēl) to late 1st-millennium Palmyra as yʿqwb. As a sentence name it derives from the verbal root ʿqb (Old South Arab. and Eth.: “protect”; Ug.: “be near”), so that the theophoric form may be translated “God protects” or “God is near.” In the Hebrew Bible, only the hypocoristic form without a theophoric subject ¶ occurs. The Hebrew Bible derives the n…
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