Monday, July 16, 2012

Moses and Marriage: More on the Divine Name.

Some extended notes from the 3rd sermon in this series {below} that our pastoral intern is leading at our church! Not mine, but definately something I loved and wanted to share! Chew on it...
LIFE WITH GOD: Exploring God's Relationship With His People.

  Moses and Marriage, Exodus 3-20.

More on the Divine Name.

''In Exodus 3 Moses encounters God at {a} bush that was burning, yet was not consumed. It is here that God calls Moses to go to Egypt and rescue His people. Something else happens here though, God reveals to Moses His name: Yahweh. Names in the Old Testament meant far more than they do for us today in that they spokem about a person's identity and their place in the world. Moses' name is similar to the Hebrew word meaning to draw out. He was named this because Pharaoh's daughter drew him out of the water. However this name also speaks to how God will use him to draw out His people from slavery in Egypt.

In Exodus 3:13 Moses asks God for a name that he can give to the Israelites that will convey to them who is behind it all. God says, in verse 14, ''I AM WHO I AM'' and that Moses should tell the people that ''I AM has sent me to you''. That name Yahweh, which is used in verse 15, comes from the Hebrew verb that means 'I am'. The longer name that God uses could also be rendered ''I AM WHAT I AM'' or ''I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE''. The idea though is that God gave His name as and active verb not a noun. When the Old Testament was translated into the Greek (the Septuagint, or LXX) the phrase was rendered a little differently. Whereas in the Hebrew God refers to Himself by using an active verb, in the Greek the divine name gets turned into a sbstantive adjectival participle. To clarify, a particle is a verbal adjective, and adjectival participle is a participle that is primarily acting as an adjective. A substantive adjectival participle is a verbal adjective that is acting adjectivally in place of a noun. The whole point is to say that when the divine name got translated into Greek it went from  I AM to something along the lines of The One who is Being. It went from being and active verb to being more of a descriptive noun.

The Greek name fit well with Greek philsophy's idea of divinity that was unchangeable and completely outside of the realm of our reality. And though the nuance is slight, the Greek name connotes more of a static God, one that cannot change, feel, or engage a temporal existence. The divine name in Hebrew is fully verbal. It speaks of a God that acts, a God that engages, a God that is closely connected with the inner workings of His creation, a God that IS. Our conception is often closer to the Greek than the Hebrew, and we tend to want to describe God rather than engage with God...........''

Ponder, friends. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment