Diskussion zum Modul G: Die Brücke zum Neuen Testament

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19 Kommentare

  1. Good morning Manfred,
    I find the Essene movement quite fascinating. Here is my question about them.
    Besides the fact that they believed that the priests, high-priests and the sacrifices at the temple were not conformed to the the Torah, therefore they rejected and separated themselves from the main religious practices of their time, how did they justify the total absence of blood sacrifices in their own religious movement? What did they make of the fact that God had commanded that forgiveness of sin came through the shedding of blood (For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. [Lev. 17:11]. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. [Heb. 9:22]) ?
    Thank you in advance for your answer.

    1. You are putting the finger on one of the most interesting points. As far as we know the Essenes completely refrained from the sacrificial cult, since it could only be performed in the Temple in Jerusalem – which was desecrated.

      Instead they saw their whole lives lived in the fear of the Lord and centered in the participation in their highly developed liturgical services (e.g. in the presence of the holy angels) as a valid replacement – the angelic service in the heavens was also done without blood! For their position they referred to cult-critical passages in the OT, like Prov 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to YHWH, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.”

      Interestingly the Messianic Jews / Early Christians took the same route …

  2. Good morning Manfred,
    I appreciate your answer very much and will come back to it to introduce another question.
    First, however, I would like to look at another issue. At the time when Samuel’s sons were judges, Israel rejected God as their ruler by demanding a king over them who would lead them in battle as the kings of the surrounding nations did. Was Israel implying or maybe even openly declaring that they no longer wanted to follow the covenant they had made with God at the time of Moses, although, at first glance, their demand seemed to address an urgent and practical need? Could we read in their demand that they did not care to return to their God, but rather that they were determined to go after false gods, as they had repeatedly done so far, and yet also wanted to successfully defeat the enemies sent by God to distress them in their evil ways? Was it that great and deep an issue?
    And now my other question related to the fact that God told Samuel to listen to the voice of the people who were demanding a king, that the kings were anointed in that office and now that “The OT sees the designation of the Davidic king as “begotten” by JHWH – and therefore “son of God” “. How should I understand Jesus’ statement that all those who came before him were thieves and robbers?

    1. 1) Demand for a king: I don’t think Israel was openly decrying the covenant with God. They just saw the “political necessities” of the situation, which was aggravated by their suffering from the hands of their enemies. It certainly wasn’t an open rebellion in their own eyes – otherwise Samuel would have reacted much more harshly. They have a twofold desire which, at first, seems legitimate:
      a) The king should act as judge over all of Israel. So far, as the book of Judges shows, the time of – God-appointed (Jdg 2:18)! – judges had ended in chaos, as the final sentence of Jdg 21:21 states. The last chapters of that book, 17–21, make that abundantly clear. Furthermore, it seems that most judges had only a limited regional/tribal area of influence.
      b) The king should act as a leader in war. This was an even more pressing need.

      Both demands could work only in a really united state, not in a confederation of 12 more or less obstinate tribes; this probably was what they thought. Especially since they had to wait for God until he would appoint the (military) judges in the respective situations.

      It seems that the real challenge for them was trust in God, which would mean several things:
      a) First of all leaving their “sinful ways” behind (mostly idolatry, but also moral misbehaviour).
      b) Humility to submit to a God-appointed judge, whose authority could always be doubted – for who could say that it was really God who had appointed him?
      c) Respect and fairness towards the other tribes amd clans.
      Or, in short, loving God and loving your neighbour (which meant fellow Israelites at that time).

      2) “Thieves and Robbers …”. Actually many of the leaders of Israel throughout the centuries could be described that way – but of course there were also rigtheous ones. But Jesus is not commenting on all of Israel’s history, but on the immediate history of his time, i.e. the Sadduceean and Pharisaic leaders and their predecessors. In doing this he takes up especially aspects that are described in the so-called “shepherd-chapters” in the prophetic books (Jer 23; Ezek 34; Zec 11) and other negative statements about human shepherds in the OT (e.g. Isa 56:9-12; Jer 10:21; 22:22; 25:34ff etc.).
      So Jesus sees the issue of “leadership” in the people of God – Israel – mostly under its negative aspect. As Samuel had already done long before …

  3. Hello Manfred,
    if I understand you correctly “Son of God”, to be “begotten” of God first and foremost pertains to the ruler anointed by God. It is woven into the fabric of rulership. Is that correct?
    What made me ask that question the other day is the fact that, according to your teaching, “Son of God” is not a title. It denotes relationship. In John 1:13 I am hearing that we come into a relationship with God by believing in Christ Jesus, who through His Spirit gives us to be born of Him. We have received the spirit of adoption, we are now his sons, therefore his heirs. Maybe stated this way my question makes more sense.
    Thanks for your answer.

    1. The OT sees the designation of the Davidic king as “begotten” by JHWH – and therefore “son of God” – not in terms of an earthly title that can be added to the list of various royal titles, as the surrounding kings did in a similar fashion (concerning their own gods), and may be even the rulers in Jerusalem – though we do not have evidence for that, as far as I know. It rather is an expression of an intimate relationship.

      The same can be said of the description of the followers of Jesus as „sons of God” in the NT. Gal 4/Rom 8 emphasize this aspect of intimacy in a very obvious way. John 1:13; 3:3-8 does imply that as well. And it is central to the NT faith in general. This is the Good News appropriated to the human level …

  4. Hello Manfred,
    here is my next question. In V14, your teaching on the terms “Son of God” and “begotten” applied to the king of Israel made me think of John’s gospel’s opening. Is he taking up the very meaning of these terms, but now expands and applies it to all those who are born by the will of God in Christ Jesus?
    Very much looking forward to your answer,

    1. I am not sure that I understand your question correctly. So I’ll try an answer:

      The “being born” as children of God in John 1:13 (cf 3:3-8!) may echo Pss 2:7 and 110:3, the designation of the Davidic king as being born from God. Certainly the direct interpretation of those verses in the NT is reserved for interpreting Jesus as the messianic king. On the other hand we are taken into “sonship” in and through him … even so far that we become “heirs”, as Paul says in a similar context in Gal 4:4-6 and Rom 8:14-17. According to the book of Revelation we share His royal rule in the new creation (5:10; 20:6; 22:5). – So I would say that the direct reference to the Davidic sonship/kingship is restricted to the Messiah; but “in Him” we have a share in this.

  5. Hello dear Manfred,

    after Jesus cleansed the Temple, according to Matthew “… the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.” (Matt. 21:14). Was the Temple also a place where the “broken” in body could find healing, or was this situation very provocative for the religious leaders of that time, yet another manifestation of Jesus being the Temple where God was fully present?

    Thanks for your answer,


    1. Actually this is a very interesting observation.

      Ritually, anything that was not whole had no place in the presence of God, i.e. the temple (e.g. any animal that was brought into the temple had to be blameless). That principle applied to people as well. So “the blind and the lame” had noc access to the temple proper.

      Although architecturally the big agora (“open place, market place”) on the temple mount was part of the temple area, it was not so ritually. So the authorities did not have to intervene when the blind and lame were there. This would only apply to the temple courts proper, i.e. the respective areas for women, men and priests, which were walled of. Both the cleansing and the healing took place in the agora.

      When Matthew emphasizes that “the blind and the lame” were approaching Jesus “in the temple”, he points to the fact that a new age had dawned: The role of the temple was about to change. And Jesus is greater than the temple, for the temple rituals, the priests etc. could not heal, but only maintain purity by exclusion of anything impure / improper.

  6. Hello Manfred,
    first of all, I thank you very much for your answer to my last question.
    And today, I have a question regarding the tithe. In many evangelical churches, tithing plays a major role for the financial provision of the congregation and its pastor. It almost stands out as the one commandment that none of us should disobey.
    Did tithing stand out in Israel as it does today in our evangelical churches?
    From the OT, as I’ve understood it so far, tithing was done first of all as a thanksgiving offering to God for His goodness and provision over the land, the cattle, the flocks and men’s work. The tithe was part of worship at the sanctuary and the temple, that could be in part consummated by the tither and in part given to the Levites for their life support. Every three years, it was given at the city gates for the Levites, the aliens, the widows and the poor that they may celebrate as well.
    Looking at the above, could we say that tithing belonged to all three categories of commandments that you mention in your teaching? Was it a commandment for the individual at the same level as the ten commandments, for instance? Can we say it had a social aspect, and was it an essential element of worship at the sanctuary and later at the temple?
    Very much looking forward to your answer.

    1. The tithe is a complex issue in the Israel of the OT . In NT times there were two tithes: the first goes to the Levites/priests, the second is used for different purposes: celebrating in the temple („Gottesdienst“, where the people that tithed participated) and supporting the poor (see AT Modul B, AB2 Ex-Dtn, Exkurs 5).

      The main purpose of tithe (like all the other obligations) was to honour God and His rule: over the land, over “success” etc. It proclaims God being the giver of all. In this it is similar to the Sabbath: God is Lord over time, work and provision. And honouring God meant to make worship possible by supporting the temple and the people that ran it.

      Tithing did not especially stand out in Israel: it was part of a bigger system of obligations to God, like the firstfruit offerings, offerings at special occasions, the three pilgrim festivals per year, the Sabbath day and year etc.

      Since the 2 tithes go beyond the main focus of honouring God, or rather deepen it, one could interpret the tithes as covering all the three aspects that you mention. But this is not made explicit.

      The “first” tithe goes to the service of God in the temple. That’s where the emphasis on tithing in the evangelical church comes from. So referring to that is legitimate. But it is really “sub-standard”.
      Because with Jesus, everything has changed: Now everything belongs to God (not the church, though!) … So the church of Jerusalem established a “community of goods” to witness to that fact (Acts 4-5). But this is voluntary, not obligatory.

  7. Good morning Manfred,
    you mention in the first part of V13, that the temple was at the core of Israel’s identity and corporate existence and life before the exile. The Torah replaced the temple during and after the exile, on the one hand because the temple had been destroyed, the Jews removed from their land. All that constituted their identity had been removed. All that belonged to their covenant with God as they understood it had disappeared.
    And on the other hand, the Torah became central because there was an impellent need to find their identity and scope again, to differentiate themselves from the other ethnic groups living in Babylon, and especially to never again neglect and disrespect God and His word as they had done before.
    From the exilic and post-exilic writings can we understand how much did the Jews actually understand that sin was at the core of their problems? Was there a genuine conviction of the wrong that led them into exile? Based on their century-long existence within the covenant with God, during which He continually revealed more aspects of who He was, how much were they supposed to have understood that the core issue was sin?
    Also did the possession and the observance of the Torah eventually lead the Jews to believe that they would be spared any kind of evil regardless of their sinful behavior, as they wrongly assumed the temple would do for them before the exile?
    Thanks so much for your answers!

    1. The situation is a little bit mor complex:
      Before the exile in < strong >Judah the temple in Jerusalem was regarded as central to the existence as the “people of God”, but even more so the rule of the Davidic dynasty. The temple included the temple traditions etc. which were part of the tora. And after the exile the first thing to reestablish was the temple. Now the temple was of major importance, more than ever before. But additionally the Torah for all the people (and, following it, the prophets and the “writings”) became a second central focus. That could create tensions, which in NT times developed into the antagonism between the Sadducees, the “temple party”, and the Pharisees, the “Torah party”. After the (second and final) destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD 70, the Torah party – and the „Messiah party”, i.e. the Messianic Jews, were the only major groups that were left.

      In Northern Israel the situation it is not so clear. In preexilic times there were several official temples and there was no Davidic dynasty. Here it seems that the identity rested more in the history with God (e.g., the Jacob, Joshua, Judges and Saul stories are located and transmitted there, cf. e.g. Joh 4,12) … Later on, in postexilic times, we find in the Samaritan community a counterparallel to Juda: a focus the temple and the Torah (no prophets etc.).

      Concerning “sin”: The major issue for the Judahites (and later Jews) was the problem of “corporate sin”, i.e. that the Israel of God – or significant parts of it – had not followed his Torah and were therefore doomed. But “Israel” could have kept the Torah. So much effort was undertaken to safeguard, that this would not happen again. Individual sin was regarded by the pious as contemptible, but the real focus was still on Israel as a corporate entity. Of course, the Pharisaic conviction was that individuals had to practice the Tora perfectly in order to keep Israel pure.

      Since the Torah, and especially Deuteronomy, continuously challenges the Israelites not to sin (and love God beyond anything else), the mere “possession” of the Torah could not be seen as a guarantee of God’s favor, like the preexilic temple. Here the danger is of a different kind, i.e. on relying on one’s own (and collective) efforts to please God. This is what Paul, a Pharisee himself, had to battle against.

      The issue of indidivual sin and its inevitability, i.e. “Adam’s fall/original sin” begins only to emerge in some writings in connection with the devastations of the Jewish wars 66-70 (115-117) and 133-135.

  8. Hallo Manfred, mir ist nach Abschluss von Modul G nicht ganz klar, welche Strömungen des Judentums heute in Israel zu finden sind. Aus den Unterlagen lese ich folgendes heraus und bitte um Korrektur. Danke schön!
    ultraorthodoxes Judentum (widmen sich der Kabbala)
    messianisches Judentum (erkennen Jesus als Messias an)
    rabbinisches Judentum (Talmud ist Grundlage ihres Lebens)
    chassidisches Judentum (sehr volksnah, widmen sich der Mystik)

    Und eine Frage ist mir doch noch geblieben, obwohl ich verstanden habe, dass Jesus die Gesetze in ihren Prinzipien verstanden haben möchte, dass sie an sich noch gelten, aber nicht haarklein in der Umsetzung ausgeführt werden müssen und dass er so manches noch tiefer führt als in bloßen Handlungen zu verharren. Das heißt, ich kann mich vom Gesetz lösen und bin ihm nicht sklavisch ausgeliefert, sondern muss es im Lichte Jesu lesen und tun. Also es geht um die Gesamtschau. Was ist nun aber mit Texten wie z.B. Jes 43, 1-2 und Jes 48, 17 und Jes 54,10 Diese Verse werden (verkürzt) für Zusagen auch für uns Christen in Anspruch genommen, obwohl sie an das Volk Israel gerichtet waren. Ist es in diesen und vielen anderen Fällen auch so, dass ich diese Verse für mich nutzen darf, wenn sie Gottes Wesen offenbaren, das seit Jesus nun auch für alle Menschen/ Völker gilt? Also findet hier auch eine Erweiterung/ Vertiefung der ursprünglichen Auffassung statt wie auch beim Einhalten des Gesetzes?

    1. Heutige Strömungen: Das ist nicht so einfach zu beantworten, da bei 2.000 Jahren Geschichte es vielfältige Überschneidungen gibt. Aber vielleicht kann man Folgendes sagen:
      – Es gibt das messianische Judentum, das Jesus als Messias anerkennt. Auch hier gibt es Untergruppen, die z.B. in ihrer Stellung zur Tora oder zu den Geistesgaben variieren.
      – Es gibt eine Art Fortsetzung des früheren rabbinisches Judentum, die Konservativen. Aber auch sie haben spätere Impulse mit aufgenommen. Und auch da gibt es unterschiedliche Schulen.
      – Das ultraorthodoxe Judentum ist die Fortsetzung des (modernen) chassidischen Judentums; beide basieren stark auf sowohl auf rabbinischen wie kabbalistischen Lehren.

      Darüber hinaus gibt es noch weitere Strömungen, ein „liberales“ Judentum, ein national-zionistisches, ein atheistisches usw.
      Nochmal: alle diese Gruppierungen sind in ihrer Ausprägung vielfältig und können sich teílweise überschneiden.

      In aller Kürze zu den Jesaja-Texten: Diese Verheißungs- und Trostworte richten sich, wie du richtig bemerkst, zunächst an das ganze Volk Gottes, also das damalige Israel. Die erste legitime Übertragung ist also zunächst auf das Volk Gottes heute – die Gemeinde des Messias Jesus, der ja selbst als „Gottesknecht“ in diesem Teil des Jesajabuchs eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Denn all das ist auch für uns zum Vorbild (bzw. zur Warnung) geschrieben, wie es z.B. Paulus in 1Kor 10,6.11 sagt. Damit ist auch eine Übertragung auf uns als Einzelne legitim, die zu seinem Volk gehören und an ihn glauben / ihm vertrauen.
      Bei diesen Texten ist das relativ einfach, da sie auch aus damaliger Sicht auf eine kommende („geistliche“, d.h. auf die Gottesbeziehung fokussierte) Erneuerung des Gottesvolks abzielen. – Schwieriger bzw. komplexer wäre das bei Aussagen, die materielle, nationale, politische etc. Inhalte zum Gegenstand haben, denn diese Ebene(n) wurde durch das Kommen Jesu, des Messias Israels und der Völker, transformiert.

  9. Hallo Manfred, ich glaube, ich habe da immer noch etwas nicht verstanden:
    Vortrag 13, Seite 6 Tempel
    Menschen mit Defekten sind nicht heil, also unrein, weil sie nicht der guten Ordnung Gottes entsprechen. Das ist doch aber eine menschliche Zuordnung, oder? Hier sagt der Mensch, was die gute Ordnung ausmacht, oder? Oder sieht Gott das auch so? Für mich kommt da so viel Einteilung in wertes und unwertes Leben hinein, das ich so nicht akzeptieren kann.

    Und noch etwas, das eigentlich keine richtige Frage ist, sondern nur eine Anmerkung:
    Vortrag 13, Seite 7
    Jesus- der 3. Tempel. Die Juden heute in Jerusalem wollen den Tempel wieder aufbauen, haben schon Tempelgeräte hergestellt, habe ich gelesen. Wird dieser Wiederaufbau wohl gelingen oder wird Gott ihn verhindern, weil Jesus der 3. Tempel ist? Oder wird Gott in Seiner grenzenlosen Güte und großen Geduld einfach zusehen und hoffen, dass sich im Laufe der Zeit immer mehr Menschen Jesus zuwenden und nicht dem Gebäude?

    1. Zu 1) Zwei Gedanken zum Thema „heil und unheil“:
      a) Dass jemand „unheil“ ist, ist an sich noch kein Werturteil – es verhindert nur den Zutritt zum Tempel. Aber die Person ist nach wie vor volles Mitglied der israelitischen Gesellschaft, mit allen Rechten und Pflichten. Es geht also nicht um „wertes“ oder „unwertes“ Leben, sondern um den Zutritt zum Tempel.

      b) Auf einer tieferen Ebene scheint mir das Problem in einer grundlegenden Verwechslung zu liegen. „Nicht heil“ sind wir in biblischer Hinsicht nämlich alle, nicht nur Kranke, Beschädigte usw.; deswegen hat kein Mensch Zugang zu Gott. Das ist kein menschliches Urteil – denn Menschen unterscheiden oft zwischen gut und böse, lebenswert und nicht lebenswert etc. In Gottes Augen gibt es schlicht keine Unterscheidung, „denn alle haben gesündigt“ (d.h. sind gebrochen), Röm 3,23. Es ist einfach die Realität der gebrochenen Schöpfung, eben des „Falls“, und der betrifft alle Menschen gleichermaßen, und zudem noch die Schöpfung, die dem Menschen anvertraut ist. Diesen Zustand bildet das AT lediglich ab. Der normale Israelit hat nur Zugang, wenn ihm die „Torwächter“ es gestatten (dazu sind sie da). Und auch dann hat er noch keinen Zutritt zum Heiligtum selbst, in dem Gott wohnt, sondern nur zum Vorhof, wo die Schlachtopfer stattfinden.
      Es ist also eine gestufte „Nähe“ (bzw. eigentlich eine Ferne) zu Gott – der genau genommen ja im Allerheiligsten wohnt, wo auch der Hohepriester nur einmal im Jahr Zutritt hat.
      Im AT gibt es zwar die Vermittlung einer größeren Nähe zu Gott (durch Priester, Sühnerituale etc.) – manches aber ist außerhalb menschlicher Hilfe. Das kann nur Gott bewältigen/heilen – und das tut er ja zeichenhaft auch, selbst schon vereinzelt im AT. Letztlich ist Gott selbst Mensch geworden – um es allen zu ermöglichen, „heil“ zu werden – den Kranken wie den „Gesunden“..

      Zu „Dritter Tempel“: Es gibt tatsächlich radikale Juden, die sogar die islamischen Heiligtümer auf dem Tempelgelände abreißen würden, um einen dritten Tempel zu bauen. Aus neutestamentlicher Sicht ist das dann nichts anderes als Götzendienst (selbst gemachter „Gottesdienst“) – denn Gott hat sich ein für allemal in Jesus geoffenbart: in ihm ist er selbst Mensch geworden! Das ist der einzige und bleibende Ort seiner Gegenwart. Aber: natürlich möchte Gott sich auch über diese Leute erbarmen – allerdings nicht über ihre Sünde. – Er geht mit ihnen um wie mit allen anderen auch. Ob ein dritter physischer Tempel je gebaut wird oder nicht, ist letztlich nicht so übermäßig relevant. In keinem Fall ist es ein „Heilszeichen“, eher ein Unheilszeichen.

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