Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Torah and Canon: 2nd Edition,
James A. Sanders, Cascade Books, 2005, page 89-90
So what were the biblical writers doing - dictation or just free-wheeling? Sanders explains:
Actually the prophets, or any biblical author, had a prior understanding of the Torah story on which they based the authority by which they applied it in their situation for their people. To exegete or read the text critically means dicerning the prophet's view of G-d, not a prior tradition. Both those we call the true prophets and those we call the false prophets cited the same Torah tradition: they had the same "gospel story" of G-d's gracious acts in the past in creating and guiding Israel.
The difference between the true and false prophets was the way they interpreted or understood that story. The false prophets saw G-d ...
being bound to his promises and obligated to take care of them. Theur prior understanding was that G-d was a tribal or national deity. Their warrior god would fight for them no matter how comfotable and sinful they had become. They firmly believed that the tradition supported the continuity of Israel and its institutions; they believed G-d needed them.
The true prophets, on the other hand, read the traditions ...
understanding G-d as increasingly free to judge Israel and its institutions and/or to redeem them, but in either case increasingly understanding G-d as international ... G-d used and uses the social and political needs of humans in order to reshape their thinking.
Can we see those dynamicsat work among G-d's people today? I suggest that we can!