Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thoughts on The 10 Commandments (the Decalogue)

Ancient Near Eastern cultures promoted their king (often with embellishments – scribes liked to live long). Israel also had a bias – to promote The King – and so the OT is God’s Story about Himself.

Decalogue – Primarily Revelatory - God is revealing His character that we may know Him. Reveals God (primarily) – but also the character of Man

When we get to know someone – we talk about our past – the OT is God’s story (His Story = History) about His past – the Decalogue is there to reveal His character)

Old Testament is not primarily stories about Moses or Abraham, but stories about God.
When we focus on them, we lose sight of God (imagine taking a picture and focusing on the background). We won’t find a ton of info about these characters we want to know – because that isn’t the point (was Moses a good father? What was Abe’s favorite sport?). The stories about different characters are there to add depth to God’s story about Himself

Decalogue is one of the shortest and fullest theological statements we have

There is no way to make a rule for every problem in life. Even rules about movies are hard – is it okay to see one movie but not another. Drinking – in Europe, Christians drink. The Jewish took the first five books of the Bible and came up with a commentary on them called the Mishnah. Later, they added to the Mishnah and got the Gemara (the two combined are the Talmud). However, when we know God – we don’t need rules – knowing Him will help us know what to do in every situation.

Each of the 10 Commandments come from God’s character. He could never have chosen to command us to lie. Before one of them was written, they were already true.

Question for thought – are there aspects of God’s character that we know of now that were not revealed in the 10 commandments?

The 10 commandments aren’t multiple choice.

“Which part of ‘Thou shalt not’ didn’t you understand?” - God

I'll post more specific thoughts soon. I'm saddened by how few people use the Old Testament or even understand how to use it. Let me give quick credit to Dr. John H. Walton for many of these thoughts (now a Prof at Wheaton in their Graduate Department - Old Testament).

If you are brave, tell me about how to approach the Old Testament (what hermeneutical rules do you go by?). Tell me what the story of David and Goliath is about.


Post a Comment

<< Home