In the Beginning

Naomi Koltun-Fromm

in Hermeneutics of Holiness

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736485
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866427 | DOI:
In the Beginning

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This chapter outlines the various Hebrew biblical constructs of holiness and traces their development throughout the Hebrew biblical texts. This chapter focuses on holy people and community and suggests a nascent link between holiness and sexual practice in the earliest biblical texts. This author differentiates between ascribed holiness, which is God-given, such as priests possess, or is granted by God to the people of Israel when God chose them, and achieved holiness, which is promised by God (to the people of Israel) when they obey God’s law, or (temporarily) to a Nazirite, who dedicates himself to God. Thus holiness either is a gift from God or is achieved through obedience to, or fulfillment of, God’s law. This chapter also suggests a third kind of holiness, called here supererogatory holiness, which manifests itself more strongly in the later interpretative texts.

Keywords: holiness; sexual practice; priest; Nazirite; ascribed holiness; achieved holiness; supererogatory holiness

Chapter.  9892 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies ; Religious Studies

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