The occurrence and the often purposely-arranged placing of "servants" in the Psalter have a very close affinity to the position of the Mydb( in the Book of Isaiah. Hence it is legitimate to conclude that both texts deal with the same circle of tradents. This group of servants understood themselves to be successors of the extinct monarchy which existed under the Davidic and Solomonic monarchy. The return from the exile and the Diaspora and the reconstruction of Zion and Jerusalem are especially important for this group. In both books there is a concept of Israel as being open towards the nations. Since they belong chronologically to the era of Nehemiah, the "servants" in the Book of Isaiah are due to the final composers of the whole composition, whereas in the Psalter they are due to the next to last ones.
The quest for the historical Jesus is a task for the historian but it also interests the theologian and, therefore, the exegete. The sources (especially the value to be attributed to the Gospel of Thomas) and the criteria of historicity are two questions that deserve special attention. The criterion of historical plausibility, recently formulated by G. Theissen, amounts to an overall vision that goes beyond the methodological outlooks adopted until the present time. Basically, it is a question of settling the relation between history and faith that was broken off at the Enlightenment and of suggesting a critical pattern that would try to explain the continuity Jesus primitive community. Research into the historical Jesus helps to consolidate the foundations of the Christian faith.
Careful analysis of the Gospels shows that there is not very much hard data about the historical Jesus interaction with or views about the Samaritans. There is multiple attestation, found in the Lucan and Johannine traditions, that Jesus, different from typical views of his time, held a benign view of Samaritans and had positive, though passing, encounters with some Samaritans. However, there is gospel agreement, from silence or statement, that Jesus had no programmatic mission to the Samaritans. Besides the above important conclusions, this essay also makes clear the useful distinction between Samaritans and Samarians.
This article is a proposal to read the enigmatic word lz)z(, occurring in Lev 16,8.10.26, as a metathesized form of l)zz( on the basis of textual, semantic and contextual evidence, and to interpret it as a reference to the powerful wrath of God. This interpretation of the expression Azazel fits its biblical context, because the goat for Azazel evidently had an atoning function (Lev 16,10), it was a means to atone for sin (vv. 21-22). Elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, making atonement for sin is equated with appeasing Gods wrath (Num 16,46-48; 25,6-13). Likewise, the goat for Azazel, carrying the sins of the people, is for the powerful wrath of God, to placate his anger. The proposed interpretation of the goat for Azazel ritual may also have been in the mind of some post-biblical interpreters, both Jewish and Christian.
Psalm 3 is not a morning hymn, but rather a prayer that was spoken by someone praying at night. It was through an oracle heard during a dream that the person who was in prayer and awakened from his sleep experienced YHWHs assistance. When awake the person calls upon Yhwh to allow that which he experienced in his dream to become a reality now (v. 8). Thus, there is no need to assume that the priests spoke an oracle of salvation to the petitioner between verses vv. 8aa-8ab (against Begrich and Beyerlin). The change of mood in the person who is praying does not occur between verses 8aa-8ab but rather takes place before the psalm itself and is based on the experience described in v. 6. Psalm 3 is not an example of incubation rite in the temple, but serves as a witness to the fact that YHWH could represent himself as saviour in various situations to a person asleep hard pressed by the enemy.
Even the examination of short and manageable sections of a text such as that of Psalm 126 shows the benefit of combining the tools of textual criticism, the history of the text and the interpretation of the text in the formulation of a question. All of these elements have become interwoven in complicated and mutually dependent links, which to a certain degree can no longer with certainty be subdivided or separated. In this context the texts from Qumran constitute a new component which must be integrated, and owing to their ancient dating, they are of crucial importance.
In Ps 127,2b )n# (s\e4na4)) tells about the manner of giving (H. Irsigler); it does so by denoting the state of the dydy when he is receiving Gods gift. The particle Nk, as related to Ntn, means according to that, referring to the notion of toil. The tenor of v. 2b is to underscore that it is God who builds the house, keeps the city. What humans receive is not the outcome of toil, not a divine reward for it, but an expression of favour, a gift just like that. Translation: To his beloved one He gives it in sleep.