Tuesday, 20 October 2009

And the rest...

Gary North describes the 4th Commandment as 'one of the most difficult of all exegetical and application problems in the Bible'. On a par with tithing!

Several questions must be considered he says:
1. What is the meaning of 'rest'?
2. What is the meaning of 'sabbath'?

3. Is the Lord's Day the same as the sabbath?
4. What was the focus of the sabbath in the Old Testament times: rest or worship, or both?
5. How extensive were the restrictions against working in Old Testament times?
6. Are these same restrictions still required by God in New Testament times?
7. Who or what agency is to enforce (any) sabbath requirements in New Testament times (if there are any)?
8. If the Old Testament's prohibitions had been enforced throughout the history of the West, could the mordern, industrialized West ever have come into existence?

These seem sensible questions to ask. Certainly a good start. Though there are tons more in application. I'd love to see a list of those.

 Almost a nice touch to have seven! And 8. is an interesting one. Though I am not sure why he asks it (I haven't read a lot of his work as yet). Is he presupposing that industrialization is a 'good thing' which should shape our interpretation {that would be strange} or is he suggesting that those who want to maintain the OT prohibitions also want to have instant hot water and light ... but that they can't have both? In which case where does he come down on that?]

I am still am 'at work' on this whole 'rest' business!

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