[Milton-L] text questions

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 4 15:13:13 EST 2008


Sorry to bother and bore the Milton List scholars with this topic, but Professor Skulsky's suggestion of Genesis 17:1 has motivated me to look a bit deeper into the biblical texts, about which I've blogged this morning (http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2008/02/matthew-548-perfect.html), the relevant material being as follows:
    I've done some more page-flipping through my Greek and Hebrew bibles and have decided that the reference is not so directly to Genesis 17:1, for if the reference were directly to that verse, then we'd likely find the word "amemptos" (Greek for "blameless") in Matthew 5:48, for the Septuagint uses "amemptos" in Genesis 17:1. 

A more likely reference in Matthew 5:48 would be Deuteronomy 18:13, for the Hebrew "tamim" is translated to the Greek "teleios"," which we also find in Matthew 5:48 and which can mean "perfect," as already noted, such that we could read Deuteronomy 18:13 as follows: 
  Be perfect before the Lord your God.  Moreover, the context to this verse clarifies that the intent here is to distinguish Israelites from the practices of the neighboring gentile nations, so there exists a structural and thematic parallel between Matthew 5:48 and Deuteronomy 18:13. 

Nevertheless, I am still struck by Leviticus 11:44 and 45 ("Be holy for I am holy"), which reminds me in structure of Matthew 5:48 ("Be ye perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect"), so I now wonder if it is possible that both Genesis 17:1 and Deuteronomy 18:13 are being alluded to. 
  Responses are welcomed, and again, I hope that I haven't bored anyone even though this is merely tangential to Milton.
   
  Jeffery Hodges
  
Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:
    Thanks to Professor Skulsky for the correction (shalom --> shalem) and additional information (Gen. 17:1 - tamim). My Hebrew is not very good, unfortunately.
   
  Is either tamim or shalem ever used to describe God?
   
  The structure of Mt. 5:48 reminds me of Lev. 11:44 and 45: "be holy for I am holy." Is it possible that both Gen. 17:1 and Lev. 11:44-45 are being alluded to?
   
  Apologies for getting rather far from Milton.
   
  Jeffery Hodges

Harold Skulsky <hskulsky at email.smith.edu> wrote:
  
"I cannot, however, recall a Tanakh passage calling upon Israelites to be 'shalom' as God is."

Matt. 5:48 is an allusion to Gen. 17:1 (God's injunction to Abraham): "I am the Lord thy God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." The Hebrew answering to "perfect" is *tamim* (Aramaic *t'mim*). The Heb. adjective *shalem* (Aramaic *sh'lim* ) is a rough equivalent. (*Shalom* is not an adjective and rarely if ever means moral perfection in BH, though it sometimes means health, or bodily soundness.)


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University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

Email Address:

jefferyhodges at yahoo.com

Blog:

http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

Office Address:

Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
School of English, Kyung Hee University
1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
Seoul, 130-701
South Korea

Home Address:

Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
Sangbong-dong 1
Jungnang-gu
Seoul 131-771
South Korea_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l


University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

Email Address:

jefferyhodges at yahoo.com

Blog:

http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

Office Address:

Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
School of English, Kyung Hee University
1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
Seoul, 130-701
South Korea

Home Address:

Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
Sangbong-dong 1
Jungnang-gu
Seoul 131-771
South Korea
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