Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Old Testament Studies PhD

First Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Second Advisor

Roy E. Gane

Third Advisor

Robert M. Johnston

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the sacred times prescribed in the Pentateuch and to determine if the Old Testament itself contains indicators of the extent of their applicability. "Applicability" refers primarily to ongoing applicability throughout time. However, whether a sacred time will be universally applicable in the future may be directly related to whether it was ever meant to be universally applicable in the first place. Accordingly, this study entails a close examination of many different features of the Pentateuchal sacred times and their applicability.

Chapter 1 reviews relevant literature and describes the present investigator's methodology. On the basis of the Old Testament passages referring to these scored times, five possible criteria are developed for establishing whether a sacred time is permanent or temporary. The first criterion concerns the canonical picture of its terminus ad cruem. the second concerns the canonical picture of its terminus a quo, the third concerns the identity of those who observe it, the fourth concerns the constituent elements necessary for its observance, and the fifth concerns the interrelationship between the different sacred times.

Chapters 2 and 3 respectively examine the relevant evidence from the Pentateuch and the evidence from the rest of the Old Testament. In both chapters the general issue of ethical versus ritual law is examined before the specific issue of the Pentateuchal sacred times.

Chapter 4 concludes that the Old Testament itself indicates the permanence of the weekly Sabbath and the temporary nature of the other Pentateuchal sacred times. The implications of these conclusions are explored for biblical theology and for Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Subject Area

Bible, Pentateuch--Law Sabbath--Biblical teaching.

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