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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Perspektiewe op die Noagitiese wette by Paulus, en die belang daarvan vir Joods-Christelike dialoog : godsdienswetenskappe

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1995-5928

 

Abstract

In die sogenaamde Radikale Nuwe Perspektief op Paulus (RNPP), wat verby die Nuwe Perspektief op Paulus (NPP) beweeg het, word Paulus se siening van identiteit beskou as deel van 'n "inter-Joodse" eerder as "inter-Christelike" polemiek. Binne die RNPP is daar 'n sterk beweging om Christus-gelowiges te sien as "Noagiete" wat op grond van die onderhouding van die sewe Noagitiese wette tot die "Joodse" gemeenskap toegelaat word. Die probleem is egter dat hierdie wette eers in latere rabbynse Judaïsme ontstaan het en dus wesenlik 'n anachronistiese model is wat op Paulus toegepas word. Dit is te betwyfel of die Noagitiese wette voor of tydens Paulus se leeftyd geplaas kan word, en so ook om spore daarvan in die Nuwe Testament of ander antieke geskrifte te probeer terugvind. Om beginsels vanuit latere rabbynse Judaïsme (soos die Noagitiese wette) te gebruik om die gapings by Paulus te probeer vul, is metodologies problematies.


Die eintlike probleem is egter dat die Noagitiese wette deel vorm van 'n denkwyse van meerderwaardigheid - iets wat deurgaans in die geskiedenis van sekere vorme van Judaïsme uitgewys kan word. Die gedagte dat een etniese groep meerderwaardig is bo 'n ander, staan immers in skerp teenstelling met die manier waarop Paulus sodanige onderskeid laat verdwyn het vir almal wat "in Christus" is. Vir Paulus was die merktekens van kindskap van God in die nuwe eskatologiese tydvak in Christus, slegs geloof en die inwoning van die Heilige Gees, en nié etniese status, die besit van die Tora of eksterne kentekens van identiteit nie. Enige aanspraak op die onderhouding van Noagitiese wette as voorwaarde om as "God se mense" gekenmerk te word, skep juis probleme in die Joods-Christelike dialoog in dié opsig dat dit Joodse meerderwaardigheid laat voortduur.
Hoewel die wedersydse bekragtiging van mekaar se status as God se mense in die Joods-Christelike dialoog dus steeds 'n probleem bly, moet nogtans daarna gestreef word om mekaar te respekteer, te verdra en in vrede saam te leef.


Pauline study has moved on considerably since James Dunn and others popularised the so-called New Perspective on Paul (NPP). In the so-called Radical New Perspective on Paul (RNPP) the focus is not only on Paul's "Jewishness" or a better understanding of the "Jewish" identity that Paul responded to, but on discontinuity in Paul's relationship to the Christian faith as it is known today. The approach of the RNPP is to understand Paul as completely Jewish and to understand Paul's gospel as part of intra-Jewish rather than inter-Christian polemic.
One of the approaches that has come to the fore within the RNPP is to see Christ-believers as "righteous gentiles" or "God-fearers" who adhere to the seven Noahide laws, a minimum set of laws (excluding, e.g., circumcision) or requirements () expected of Gentiles. These Christ-believers would not be required to adhere to all 613 Jewish laws, but only to the Noahide laws. In this way they would be considered as guests within Judaism and earn a place in the world to come. This approach to Paul creates more room for Jewish-Christian dialogue and helps to create a basis for Jews and Christians to trace part of their tradition back to Paul. The ultimate aim of this view is to find a common platform for mutual validation of identity.
The aim of this article is to determine whether traces of the Noahide laws can be identified in Paul's thought. Although this issue touches on a larger understanding of law and identity in Paul, this article focuses on (a) the date of origin of the Noahide laws, (b) whether these laws or the principles behind them were present in Paul's thought, (c) whether the principle(s) behind the Noahide laws can be harmonised with Paul's understanding of identity, and (d) how the presence or absence of the Noahide laws in Paul's thought would affect Jewish-Christian dialogue.

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2013-03-01
2017-02-24

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