- 여성적 시각에서 본 구약성서의 하나님
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- 신학대학원 신학과
- 이화여자대학교 신학대학원
- Today, people are living in a secularized world where the highly advance and technologies are absolutely prevailing. We can perceive that atheism, which could have been argued only by an exceptional minority group in their societies, had become a universal phenomenon in theoretical and practical term. Therefore, in modern society, the things, that the highest Being is imposing an order of all things and maintaining it at the top of the hierarchical structure of all being could no longer be thought at all. Moreover, the traditional theist God of "fixed object" or "absolute other" could justify the status quo of society and make a misunderstanding or confusion that church community could regard the suffering people as sinners in biblical context. Therefore, it is very natural to hera the word like "Christmas ignoring the suffering people". Then, does such an image of God as a dominating King have any biblical foundation? This paper is written to answer to this question who God is by seeking it in Old Testament. Does Old Testament witness God as an Almighty Being who is present everywhere, a transcendent Being?
To explore this, I reviewed the Old Testament story of Exodus 3:13-15, which describes that Yaweh reveals himself. I also tried to find out some common characters of God represented in the Old Testament story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Exodus. Furthermore, I explored the patterns of God's image expressions both in masculine from and in feminine form throughout the Old Testament and tried to confirm what was ultimately to be revealed from those typical expressions.
Throughout this study, I concluded my findings as follows. First, in the statement of "I am what I am", its original meaning of 'hyh' is "to be way", "to give birth", "to become", "to survive", and etc. Most Old Testament scholars understand the 'hyh' as a concept of phenomenon or function rather than that of representing essence. They have not accepted the Greek concept of being essence. In the linguistic analysis if Exodus 3:13-15, "Yaweh, God of Hebrew" could not be analogied from the Greek concept of bring, but should be understood as God of non-Being. Rather, the text avoids to respond directly to the ontological question by counter-asking "Why are you asking my name?" and shows, by using 'hyh', the function what God could do in the present reality of Israel.
Second, in forefathers' record of God, that could be read in the phrase of "I am God of your forefathers. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob", God has never resided permanently in one place since one acted together with those forefathers and God has acted in continuous relationship with human community. Forefathers' God could share their nomadic life because God was not fixed in one specific place. He traveled with them and guided their roads and protected them in danger.
The Character of God's acting with people had also been transferred to Moses' God Yaweh. God proclaimed " I came down so that they could be saved from the hands of the Egyptians" (Exodus 3:8, 18:20). Also, he said "I shall go to you" (Exodus 20:24). Thus, forefathers; God and Yaweh, though one in a clan society‘s, have a common character of "coming to human community."
The image of God of moving with human community might have contributed to the identification of both of forefathers' God and Moses' God. And this image had been descended up to the time when in early Kingdom, David Planned to build the sacred place.
Third, I explore the patterns of God's image expressions both in masculine from and in feminine from throughout the Old in masculine from and in feminine ron throughout the Old Testament and tried to confirm what was ultimately to be revealed from those typical expression. In the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the pronoun representing God is a masculine singular number. Based on these ground, the language of the religion of christianity is using only a masculine gender for directing towards God. However, we Should note that even when the Biblical text describes God as a masculine being, the image if God Father reveals the concern, Love, mercy and forgiveness towards Israel and simultaneously show the absolute authority and its power of Creator.
"Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you? (Deutronomy 32:6)
This words deal with the relationship between the stupid Israel People and their Father Yaweh. Here, Yaweh is being described as Creator and caring for and taking hold of Israel. This fatherhood of God doesn't mean a father as a male. Rather, assuming God as Creator of great Cosmos including human beings, nature and the world, it represents the relationship between God and Israel. Accordingly, the word of God Father symbolically implies the authority and the will of protection and cannot be used for the fundament causes of oppressing women. In conclusion, Yaweh God, the God of their forefathers, who had been identified by Israel is not an abstract concept of God but a concrete and personified God, who has directly intervened with and penetrated into the historical incidents as a living God. The faith of Old Testament looked at the eternity of God's Act as its core essence, but not the eternity of God's Being. The faith confession of "Yaweh is living" is based on this belief(psalm 18:46, Numbers 3:10).
Yaweh, who is saying "I am what I am.", is currently living God. He is working in what is taking place. Therefore, Yaweh must not be grasped or defined. Yaweh must not be integrated in some conceptualized Being. Who cannot be beyond God cannot become God. God, if it is to be imprisoned in specific languages or defined by some specific definitions or wear a clothes of specific socio-cultural regulation, must become a religious ideology rather than real God. Our God is not limited in qualities given by human being. God, who is what I am, is a Spirit that blows wherever one could come and go.
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