Hebrew View of God as “One, Sovereign, Transcendent, and Good.”

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Date Submitted: 04/04/2013 09:59 AM

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Hebrew view of God as “one, sovereign, transcendent, and good.” 

Question 2 Part 1:

According to Perry, “The Hebrew view of God evolved through the history and experiences of the Hebrew people (Perry, 37).” They believed that he ruled over everything and was subject to nothing (Perry, 37). Unlike earlier civilizations, they came to “deny that other gods existed and that Yahweh stood alone (Perry, 37).”

Of importance is the idea that God is supreme. “Unlike Yahweh, Near Eastern gods were not eternal but were born or created. They were subject to biological conditions, requiring food, drink, sleep and sexual gratification. Sometimes they became sick or died Perry, 37).” Additionally, the Near Eastern gods resided in nature such as a god of water or the sun. “Nature was God’s creation but was not itself divine (Perry, 37).” So while lightning and thunder were not gods, they were however, acts of God.

The Hebrew’s took a faith based assumption or religious conviction that God just was and is. There was no guesswork as to the origin of things or the workings of nature which is in contrast to Greek religious views (Perry, 38). “By asserting that God was one, sovereign, transcendent, and good, the Hebrews effected a religious revolution that separated them entirely from the world view held by other peoples of the ancient Near East (Perry, 38).”

Question 2 Part 2:

The Hebrew understanding of the covenant of the law was that it was an agreement between God and the Hebrew people (Perry, 39). Central to their religious thought, “The Hebrews came to see themselves as a unique nation, as a chose people (Perry, 39).”

It is important to realize that they did not see themselves as above other people. They believed that they had been selected to “receive the Law so that their nation would set an example of righteous behavior (Perry, 38)”. Popularly known as the 10 Commandments, Hebrews used these rules believed to be delivered by God as a guide for...