OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

Israel's self-understanding

Israel's self-understanding

Was this judgement any more or less then individuals, communities, or nations are under every day?

No, there was nothing exceptional about the experience as such. But the prophetic tradition in Israel consistently interpreted the historical experience, especially national catastrophe, as divine judgment. Jesus continued this interpretive tradition: he warned those who had responsibility for the spiritual condition of the nation that unless they repented, Jerusalem and its temple would be destroyed. In other words, there is a prophetic-narrative framework to Israel’s situation in the first century that sets it apart from, say, the experience of other nations under Roman occupation.

The question that I have is can this really be considered a "state of failure"?

Yes, inasmuch as Israel believed itself to have a special calling from God to live according to the terms of the covenant with Moses. Ultimately, being under threat from Rome was understood - at least by a certain prophetic stream within Jewish belief - to be a consequence of the failure of Israel to keep the covenant. Again, the issue here is not the general one of human existence (‘the imperfection of mankind’) but the particular one of Israel’s self-understanding as a ‘chosen people’ - which, of course, raises a whole different set of issues, not least the following:

One more question - why do you have to be god centered to be righteous?

In general terms I suppose it’s fair to say that you do not have to be ‘God-centred’ to be righteous. But we are not talking in general terms here. The Bible defines ‘righteousness’ for the covenant people (whether we are talking about the old or the new covenant) as fundamentally ‘God-centred’. The community that is ‘in Christ’ inherits the obligation both to love God and to love our neighbours. That is what it means to be the ‘people of God’ in a biblical sense. Of course, if we move outside the biblical framework, we are free to define righteousness in other ways.

My (tentative) beliefs By: Andrew (39 replies) 20 February, 2004 - 20:19