An unsettling God : the heart of the Hebrew Bible by Walter Brueggemann

By Walter Brueggemann

Within the pages of the Hebrew Bible, historic Israel gave witness to its come across with a profound and uncontrollable fact skilled via courting. This e-book, drawn from the center of optimal previous testomony theologian Walter Brueggemann's Theology of the previous testomony, distills a career's worthy of insights into the center message of the Hebrew Bible. God is defined there, Brueggemann observes, as attractive 4 "partners" - Israel, the countries, construction, and the man or woman - within the divine goal. This quantity provides Brueggemann at his most attractive, supplying profound insights adapted specially for the start pupil of the Hebrew Bible

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24 Thus the answering “I” plays a decisive role in culminating the dialogical transaction. Like Buber, Rosenzweig casts his rhetoric in quite personal terms. In reading the Old Testament it is clear that we must extrapolate from the deeply interpersonal transaction to public issues, for it is the same dialogic sovereign creator who presides over kingdoms and empires. The issue with all of the partners is the same. Finally it is the “I” of YHWH who will preside over public as over intimate transactions: For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

The “I” who answers back to the “Thou” of God does not do so willingly, however, but prefers to hide. ’ the man had still kept silence as defiant and blocked Self. ’ ”19 It is when the answering “I” hears that dialogue ensues, the dialogue that is on God’s terms. And when one asks about hearing and obeying, the focus is upon commandment: The answer to this question is universally familiar. ” Thou shalt love—what a paradox this embraces! Can love then be commanded? Is love not rather a matter of fate and of seizure and of a bestowal which, if it is indeed free, is withal only free?

The divine name, YHWH has been a confrontive, engaged agent in the life of Israel and in the life of the world. While Buber will insist that YHWH is always “Thou”—and does not entertain the thought that Israel may be the “Thou” for YHWH’s “I”—it is clear that the “Thou” of YHWH is not only generative for the “I” of Israel; even as “Thou,” YHWH is impinged upon by the “I” of Israel, called to account, and pushed in new directions. Buber stops before he goes further. ” If Israel did not engage in doxology, YHWH’s throne—and therefore YHWH’s governance—would be diminished.

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