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(419 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill
[German Version] is an exegetical-hermeneutical technique that calculates equivalences for words and verses by means of the numeric values of letters. At times, it merely serves mnemonic purposes. Derived from Greek, the loanword

Yetzirah, Sefer

(440 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill
[German Version] or Book of Creation is one of the most influential texts in the Jewish tradition. The anonymous work dates from either the 3rd century to 6th century (Scholem, Hayman), or the 7th century to 8th century (Gruenwald). It is often ascribed pseudepigraphically to Abraham, who is mentioned in the final paragraphs. There are three recensions: one short, one of medium length with a commentary by Saadia Gaon, and one long. The book describes the creation and structure of the world through “32 ways of wisdom”: the ten sefirot plus the 22 letters of …


(623 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill
[German Version] The name Leviathan (Heb. לִוְיָתָן/ liwyātān) derives from the Hebrew root lwy and means “one that twists / curls up.” It denotes a serpentine marine creature mentioned in the Old Testament together with such other sea…


(1,077 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill | Mädler, Inken | Reymaier, Erich Konstantin
[German Version] I. History of Religions Numerology (or number symbolism) is a central feature of all religions and cultures. The orderly structure of arithmetic serves as a model for observed or postulated relationships in space and time. The relationality or even harmony of numerology evokes meaning and order. The symbolism of numbers reduces the complexity of reality and provides meaning (N. Luhmann). In the face of chaos and chance, number symbolism promises knowledge of God’s will and the orderliness of creation, along with a guarantee of salvation. Numerology endows phenomena with enhanced significance. An often complex hermeneutics arises from an interest in identifying both obvious and hidden symbolic numbers. Correspondences between microcosm and macrocosm are revealed. Observations of the sun, moon, planets, zodiacal signs, and constellations with related calculations lead to astrological and astronomical numerology (Astrology, Astronomy), which in turn shapes the calendar and festal cycles (Feast day calendar). Numerology also plays …

Namen Gottes

(1,463 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill | Assel, Heinrich | Ess, Josef van
[English Version] I. JudentumAls bibl. N.G. gelten v.a. das Tetragramm JHWH sowie die Wendung אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה/'æh ejæh 'asˇær 'æh ejæh (wörtl. »Ich bin, der ich bin«) bzw. auch 'æh ejæh allein (Ex 3,14), wobei das Tetragramm z.Z. des Zweiten Tempels nur am Versöhnungstag (Feste/Feiern: III.) vom Hohepriester ausgesprochen werden durfte. Bibl. Attribute und Epitheta Gottes werden als weitere N.G. verstanden. Die rabb. Lit. kennt einige Umschreibungen für Gott (: IX), darunter auch ha-shem (»der Name«), die v.a. als …


(1,014 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill | Mädler, Inken | Reymaier, Erich Konstantin
[English Version] I. Religionsgeschichtlich Z. ist zentral in allen Rel. und Kulturen. Die arithmetische Ordnung dient als Modell für erfahrene oder postulierte Relationen in Raum und Zeit. Die Relationalität oder gar Harmonie der Z. evoziert Sinn und Ordnung. Durch Z. wird die Komplexität der Wirklichkeit reduziert und Sinn konstruiert (N.…

Names of God

(1,714 words)

Author(s): Rebiger, Bill | Assel, Heinrich | van Ess, Josef
[German Version] I. Judaism – II. Christianity – III. Islam I. Judaism The main biblical names of God are the tetragram YHWH and the expression אֶהְיֶה אֶשֶׁר אֲהְיֶה/ ʾeh eyeh ʾašer ʾeh eyeh (lit. “I am who I am”) or also ʾeh eyeh alone (Exod 3:14); during the Second Temple period, the tetragram was allowed to be spoken only on the Day of Atonement (Feasts and festivals: II) by the high priest. Biblical attributes and epithets of God are understood as additional names of God. Rabbinic literature knows certain circumlocutions for God …


(5,515 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Leiner, Martin | Rebiger, Bill | Heine, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. History of Doctrine and Dogmatics – IV. Judaism – V. Islam – VI. Buddhism – VII. History of Art and Literature I. Religious Studies The history of the term “paradise” is informative for determining its meaning. The word “paradise” is derived from the ancient Iranian * paridaēza, literally “surrounding wall.” It appears as a loanword in many other languages, for example as the Akkadian pardēsu, the Hebrew פַּרְדֵּס/ pardes or the Greek παράδεισος/ parádeisos. These terms denote an enclosed park or garden (cf. Xeno-¶ phon, Anabasis VI 29,4) and in the Achaemenid period particularly the royal domain. Only in the Septuagint, through the use of parádeisos to translate גַּן־עֵדֶן/ gan-ʿeden (Gen 2:8), does “paradise” assume the familiar meaning of an extraordinary and beautiful place created by God for human beings before the fall. This meaning of a divine sphere made for human beings is taken over in the New Testament (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor 12:4; Rev 2:7), though now referring to an eschatological dimension. Paradise as a category relevant for t…


(4,801 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Leiner, Martin | Rebiger, Bill | Heine, Peter | Et al.
[English Version] I. ReligionswissenschaftlichDie Gesch. des Begriffs P. ist für die Bestimmung seiner Bedeutung aufschlußreich. Die Bez. P., die von altir. *paridaēza, wörtl. »Umwallung«, abgeleitet ist, erscheint als Lehnwort in vielen anderen Sprachen: z.B. als akkad. pardēsu, hebr. פַּרְדֵּס/pardes oder griech. παρα´δεισος/para´deisos. Diese Begriffe bezeichnen einen eingefriedeten Park, eine Gartenanlage (vgl. Xenophon, Anabasis VI 29,4) und in der Achämenidenzeit speziell die königliche Domäne). Erst in der LXX, durch die Verwen…


(8,918 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Fabry, Heinz-Josef | Alkier, Stefan | Gregersen, Niels Henrik | Evers, Dirk | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Fundamental Theology – VII. Dogmatics – VIII. Education and Practical Theology – IX. Judaism – X. Islamic Theology I. History of Religions Miracles are extraordinary, mystifying human experiences that cannot be explained by normal causes, which in many cases suggest the intervention of a deity or superhuman power. Miracles are found in all cultures and are among the traditions of almost all religi…


(7,812 words)

Author(s): Neu, Rainer | Fabry, Heinz-Josef | Alkier, Stefan | Gregersen, Niels Henrik | Evers, Dirk | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionsgeschichtlich W. sind außergewöhnliche und Verwunderung auslösende Erfahrungen von Menschen, die sie aus ihrem Verständnis von Normalität nicht erklären können und die für sie in vielen Fällen auf das Eingreifen einer Gottheit bzw. außermenschlichen Macht verweisen. W. treten in allen Kulturen auf und gehören zum Traditionsgut nahezu aller Rel. Nach ihrem Verständnis, Wertschätzung und Funktion können ihnen jedoch je nach ihrem hist., rel. und kulturellen Kontext recht unterschiedliche Bedeutungen zukommen. Die Auffassung, ethnische Rel…