Event Title

What Are the Meanings of Words From the Root asm in Pentateuchal Ritual Law?

Location

Seminary N235

Start Date

9-2-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

9-2-2018 9:30 AM

Description

Problem: The precise meanings of the repeatedly used words from the transliterated Hebrew root asm in the cultic code are widely debated in the scholarly world. This research is intended to investigate the meanings of the nominal and verbal forms of this Hebrew root and explore its precise meaning in the Pentateuchal ritual context. Method: With the Hebrew Bible as the primary resort, this research does a detailed text-oriented analysis, which will focus on the literature context and the intertextual context in the priestly literature of the Old Testament. Results: The usage of asm in the Pentateuchal Ritual Law are in two forms, the nominal form and the verbal form. In its nominal forms, it has two connotations: first, it mostly refers to the divinely prescribed remedy for both moral wrongs and sin with regard to ritual impurity but not to purify like the purification offering, so rendered as “reparation offering”; second, it refers to the functional aspect of the remedy, meaning “reparation or restitution.” In the context of reparation offering, it can refer to the means of reparation (reparation offering) (Lev. 5:15, 16, 24, 25; 7:1, 2; 14:14, 17, 21, 24, 25, 28; 19:21, 22; 22:16; Num 5:7; 18:9), or the obligation: reparation (Num 5:8), but out of the context of reparation offering, it always refers to “reparation” (see Lev 5:6, 7). In its verbal forms, two outstanding elements can be found: first, it is always used as a consequential concept to describe the result of inadvertent and even deliberate wrongdoings against the commands of the Lord; second, the consequence connoted by the cultic asm must be experienced subjectively by the offender personally, and it is this emotional experience of guilt that motivates the offender to remedy his/her wrongdoing. Conclusions: It is evident that there is a consistency of its meanings both in the nominal and verbal usages of the Hebrew root asm. A purely subjective understanding of asm does not work equally well in all the word’s occurrences in the priestly literature, and the legal and emotional elements of the cultic use of asm must be included. However, when the cultic asm is used within specific syntactical structure, like the transliterated prepositional phrase “Nominal asm + l” and the clause “personal object + l + Verbal asm,” it connotes a solely legal and objective consequence, as its typical consequential usage, without experiential or psychological element. This research only focuses on the cultic uses of asm in the priestly literature, without extending it to a broader level in other biblical literatures, without discussing its theological implications, such as in the great salvation of Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate sacrifice of all sins, and in the Christian’s life experience of repentance, forgiveness and freedom obtained from the grace of God. These are all the directions which may need further study in the future.

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Feb 9th, 9:00 AM Feb 9th, 9:30 AM

What Are the Meanings of Words From the Root asm in Pentateuchal Ritual Law?

Seminary N235

Problem: The precise meanings of the repeatedly used words from the transliterated Hebrew root asm in the cultic code are widely debated in the scholarly world. This research is intended to investigate the meanings of the nominal and verbal forms of this Hebrew root and explore its precise meaning in the Pentateuchal ritual context. Method: With the Hebrew Bible as the primary resort, this research does a detailed text-oriented analysis, which will focus on the literature context and the intertextual context in the priestly literature of the Old Testament. Results: The usage of asm in the Pentateuchal Ritual Law are in two forms, the nominal form and the verbal form. In its nominal forms, it has two connotations: first, it mostly refers to the divinely prescribed remedy for both moral wrongs and sin with regard to ritual impurity but not to purify like the purification offering, so rendered as “reparation offering”; second, it refers to the functional aspect of the remedy, meaning “reparation or restitution.” In the context of reparation offering, it can refer to the means of reparation (reparation offering) (Lev. 5:15, 16, 24, 25; 7:1, 2; 14:14, 17, 21, 24, 25, 28; 19:21, 22; 22:16; Num 5:7; 18:9), or the obligation: reparation (Num 5:8), but out of the context of reparation offering, it always refers to “reparation” (see Lev 5:6, 7). In its verbal forms, two outstanding elements can be found: first, it is always used as a consequential concept to describe the result of inadvertent and even deliberate wrongdoings against the commands of the Lord; second, the consequence connoted by the cultic asm must be experienced subjectively by the offender personally, and it is this emotional experience of guilt that motivates the offender to remedy his/her wrongdoing. Conclusions: It is evident that there is a consistency of its meanings both in the nominal and verbal usages of the Hebrew root asm. A purely subjective understanding of asm does not work equally well in all the word’s occurrences in the priestly literature, and the legal and emotional elements of the cultic use of asm must be included. However, when the cultic asm is used within specific syntactical structure, like the transliterated prepositional phrase “Nominal asm + l” and the clause “personal object + l + Verbal asm,” it connotes a solely legal and objective consequence, as its typical consequential usage, without experiential or psychological element. This research only focuses on the cultic uses of asm in the priestly literature, without extending it to a broader level in other biblical literatures, without discussing its theological implications, such as in the great salvation of Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate sacrifice of all sins, and in the Christian’s life experience of repentance, forgiveness and freedom obtained from the grace of God. These are all the directions which may need further study in the future.