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The Old Testament and Biblical Theology

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“What does it mean to be human” – Rogerson asks. Indeed, what? Modern sociologists and philosophers are offering several possible answers on that controversial question. Most of them agree that to be a modern human being is to be a social creature that is involved into a huge network of social, economical, and political relationships. The author of the article claims that “To be human is to be homo economicus” (Rogerson 171). And it is actually true. Outside the community our live will seem like a life in the animal world, which is equivalent to death for many people.

For centuries humanity is looking for its identity. The author proposes us to use one of the oldest sources - The Old Testament to search for an answer. In compering the ancient society with the model of modern society he is claiming that the ancient model was hierarchical, unlike the modern one, which is horizontal. In addition, the gods' will and supernatural powers played a huge role in lives of ancient people, unlike nowadays. One may state thatthe Bible is not up to the time. On an example of allegories and comparisons  in a poem Ecclesiastes 3, the  author shows that there many similarities in the main human values between past times and modern days. Moreover, we still can gain a lot of useful information from the experience of centuries. The author claims that meaning of God is a meaning of humanity and it is not necessary to be a religious man to believe in this: “The more humane humans become (whatever is meant by that), the closer they become to what the Old Testament called the “image of God”” (Rogerson 174).     

The article discusses a different definition of live and the meaning of “being alive” state. In the age of Enlightenment it was assumed that the intellectual activity was a major sign of life. Rogerson`s point of view is that the Old Testament is close to that meaning, and the moral values of an ancient society resonated with modern values such as individuality and the freedom of choice. The author argues with Westermann`s point of view that something had happened between the God and humanity that influenced its further development. He is questioning its divine image: “I want to argue that being made in the divine image is essentially an “empty” concept, one which has to be filled with meaning in the light of human history and what can be learned from it” (Rogerson 192).        

We meet different people from various nations and cultures in our everyday life. It is important to understand that the differences between us are not that radical and essential. The more important thing is to always remember that we all are human beings, different from animals.  The author stresses that “We become more truly human the more that we accept others as being truly human” (Rogerson 193).      

According to the author's view, the Old Testament is an important connecting link between the past and the future. He refers to it as a source of wisdom and moral values which the today's society desperately needs. There have been many changes in the world, since the Old Testament was written, but the main things left unchanged. These are the main human values – love, peace and faith. If we want to live in a better world we should always remember these principles and act according to those. Rogerson claims that“Even in an imperfect world they can bring hope and transfiguration” (195). They are our weakness and our strenghts at the same time, which is a paradox.     

The question “What does it mean to be human?” is still controversial and opened for discussion . This is a fact that theology helped many people to find a solution to many problems, which leads us to the point that maybe the Old Testament has not lost its relevance in the present time.

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