Old Testament

Download Biblical Prose Prayer: As a Window to the Popular Religion by Moshe Greenberg PDF

By Moshe Greenberg

The Psalms are the easiest identified and most generally used prayer texts of the Bible. however the prayers of the Israelite took one other shape: the prose prayers that we discover embedded in biblical narrative. Prose prayer was once spoken via folks of all ranks. female and male, Israelite and foreigner, all loved equivalent entry to God. The pervasiveness and spontaneity of this prayer, self sufficient because it used to be of the constitution and taboos of formal worship, grew to become it right into a criterion for sincerity either in family with God and in these between human beings.Greenberg reveals during this wealthy lifetime of inner most prayer a environment for the excessive spiritual ideas--and the scathing critique of worship--that characterised the "genius" of the prophets of the 8th and 9th centuries B.C. His compact and masterful examine, initially the 1981-1982 Taubman Lectures at Berkeley, indicates an evidence for the exceptional democratization of worship in post-biblical Judaism.

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Additional info for Biblical Prose Prayer: As a Window to the Popular Religion of Ancient Israel

Example text

To this demonstration of the parallels between interhuman confession and confessionary prayer, we add, by way of concluding this stage of our inquiry, an inference drawn from a law.  We surmise: the practice of modelling confessionary prayer after the pattern of interhuman confessionary speech—a simple, natural pattern, corresponding to the dynamics of the transaction and therefore known to everyone.  24:27): baruk­formula: Blessed be YHWH, (epithet:) God of my lord Abraham, ground: who has not relinquished his constancy and his fidelity toward my lord: (detail:) as I was on the way, YHWH led me to the house of my lord's kin.

This resumes the confession and heightens it: not only does the confessor identify himself with the injured person's estimate of his behavior as guilty ("I have sinned"); he divests himself of any vestige of pride by declaring himself to be an erring fool.  Such total self­exposure, naked of all defenses and claims, is calculated to excite the sympathy of one's fellow, and to encourage his acquiescence in the plea for reconciliation. A skeleton of the confession­pattern is the message of capitulation that the rebel King Hezekiah sent to his Assyrian overlord Sennacherib, after Sennacherib had captured all the fortified cities of Judah (2 Kings 18:14): confession: I have sinned; petition: withdraw from me.

24:27): baruk­formula: Blessed be YHWH, (epithet:) God of my lord Abraham, ground: who has not relinquished his constancy and his fidelity toward my lord: (detail:) as I was on the way, YHWH led me to the house of my lord's kin.  Scriptural characters experience any fortunate turn of events, any unexpected good, any successful issue of a momentous undertaking as a benevolent action of God on their affairs, and their regular, grateful response is by benediction.  It is a testimony to the author's perception of the happy event as a gift of God, a testimony gratefully offered in public for the greater glory of God.

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