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Pentateuch

(7,469 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] I. Terminology The five books of Moses (Genesis, called by the rabbis bĕrēšît, “in the beginning,” its first word; Exodus, šĕmôt, “names”; Leviticus, wayyiqrāʾ, “and he called”; Numbers, bĕmidbar, “in the desert”; Deuteronomy, dĕbārîm, “words”), whose tale runs from creation (Gen 1) to the death of Moses (Deut 34), were called in Greek ὁ(ἡ) Πεντάτευχος (βίβλος)/ ho[ ] Pentáteuchos ( bíblos), “Five Scroll Work”; in the 2nd century ce, this term entered the tradition of the Early Church in Alexandria (e.g. Origen). It came into Latin with Tertullian as Pentateuchum or P…

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 …

Law and Jurisprudence

(7,535 words)

Author(s): Loos, Fritz | Antes, Peter | Otto, Eckart | Schiemann, Gottfried | Lindemann, Andreas | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept and Legal Definition – II. History of Religion – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. Greco-Roman Antiquity – V. New Testament – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Ethics of Law – VIII. Sociology of Law I. Concept and Legal Definition There is no generally accepted definition of law. At most, there is a consensus that law is basically to be understood as the politically institutionalized order of human relations. The observance of the (general) rules (i.e. compliance or sanctioning of transgressions) emanatin…

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 …

Justice and Righteousness

(8,833 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Klaiber, Walter | Höffe, Otfried | Holmes, Stephen R. | Anzenbacher, Arno | Et al.
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Philosophy – III. History of Theology and Dogmatics – IV. Ethics – V. Law – VI. Social Politics, Social Ethics – VII. Missiology – VIII. Islam I. Bible 1. Ancient Near East and Old Testament The concept of justice in the ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible is basically one of connectivity. It designates the positive relation of the king to the gods and to his people, of the individual to the various collectives ranging from the family to the entire nation, of the deed to the doer's well-being,…

Moses

(5,249 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Kraus, Wolfgang | Niehoff, Maren | Klein, Birgit
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament – III. Judaism I. Old Testament 1. History of scholarship For the biblical tradition of the Torah, Moses, born in Egypt (Exod 2:1–10), was the founder of Israel's religion and its lawgiver at Sinai (Exod 3f.; Exod 19 – Num 10), the designer of its judicial system (Exod 18*), the leader of the people in Egypt and during the exodus (Exod 2; 5–15) and ¶ the subsequent journey from Egypt to the land of Moab (Exod 16f.; Num 10 – Deut 34), who before his death (Deut 34:5f.) put the Torah into writing (Deut 31:9) and w…

Biblical Scholarship

(11,819 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Weder, Hans
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. New Testament I. Old Testament 1. The rational spirit of the Hebrew Bible and biblical scholarship. Modern biblical scholarship, with its historico-reflexive self-understanding, has its first precondition in the Hebrew Bible, which is not only the object of biblical studies, but also the subject in the sense that the rational and historically aware spirit …

Book of the Covenant

(674 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Following Exod 24:7, the law collection in Exod 20:22–23:13(19) is termed the Book of the Covenant. The oldest legal corpus in the Old Testament, dating to the middle to late monarchial period, although pre-deuteronomic, the Book of the Covenant was edited together from several originally independent, smaller, thematically self-contained colle…

Song of Songs, The

(1,290 words)

Author(s): Müller, Hans-Peter | Otto, Eckart
[German Version] I. Place and Date While individual poems like Song 1:9–11 may go back to the preexilic period, collections, redaction(s), and linguistic revision(s) date from just before and especially during the 3rd century bce. The text contains several loanwords: pardēs (4:13: “orchard,” from Old Iranian), ¶ ʾ appiryôn (3:9: “palanquin,” most likely from Gk), and qinnāmôn (4:14: “cinnamon,” ultimately from Malay kayu manis, “sweet wood”), along with several words borrowed from Old Indic. Beside numerous lexical and grammatical Aramaisms, it exhibits fea…

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…

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…

Holiness Code

(854 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart
[German Version] Klostermann introduced this term to Old Testament studies in 1877 to describe Lev 17–26. It derives from such phrases as, “you shall be holy, for I, YHWH, your God, am holy,” appearing frequently in 19–22. J. Wellhausen interpreted the Holiness Code as law (Law and Legislation: II) independent of its literary context in Lev 1–16, younger than Deuteronomy and older than the Priestly document (Pentateuch). Subsequent Old Testament research concentrated in the first half of the 20th …

State Cult

(1,973 words)

Author(s): Kleine, Christoph | Otto, Eckart | Kern, Martin | Pye, Michael
[German Version] I. History of Religions State cults in the narrow sense are religious ceremonies, governed by tradition or law, performed in the name of the state and for its benefit; typically they are addressed to extrasensory powers such as gods, demons, natural numina, or personalized cosmic forces. It is necessary to distinguish cults celebrated regularly at fixed times and places from those staged on a particular occasion such as an enthronement, the death of a ruler, a natural disaster, an epi…
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