Thursday, January 21, 2010
Covenant in Judaism
I've been reading through Mark Elliott's The Survivors of Israel (sadly Mark died a couple of years ago) about covenant in Judaism. In chapter six he points to two hypothetical extremes in Judaism in regard to covenant as either unconditional and inviolable, or as conditional, legal, and individualistic. The former views the covenant as static and nationalistic, while the latter is potentially dynamic and universalistic. There are a spectrum of possibilities between both and Elliott rejected E.P. Sanders' view of covenant as inviolable (esp. Sanders' appeal to m.Sanh 10.1). since in the literature surveyed (DSS, 1-2 Macc, Pseudepigrapha) "by far the dominant view of covenant among these groups was the conditional, individual, dynamic, and dualistic" variety. Elliott's work has not received the attention that it deserved!