Reconsidering Eternal Life in the Old Testament: The Idea of Resurrection Rooted in the Torah
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SubjectFuture life--Biblical teaching
Resurrection (Jewish theology)
Bible. Old Testament--Theology
ABSTRACT RECONSIDERDING ETERNAL LIFE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: THE IDEA OF RESURRECTION ROOTED IN THE TORAH Eun-Jung Kim, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2015 Chair: Dr. Russell T. Fuller This dissertation reconsiders the historical, scriptural and theological grounds for the early presence of the hope of resurrection and eternal life in the OT. Chapter 1 reviews the critical view of late development of the resurrection hope in the OT which has significant exgetical and theological defects. Chapter 2 surveys the history of exegetical tradition regarding the idea of resurrection of the dead in the OT. The survey includes the ancient translations of the Hebrew Bible, intertestamental apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, the rabbinic literature, and Christian writers from early church Fathers. Jewish and Christian interpretative traditions consistently support the presence of the idea of resurrection in the OT. Chapter 3 examines scriptures in the Torah where the idea of resurrection of the dead and eternal life is found. Although the Torah does not employ the wordings “resurrection” and “eternal life,” these concepts are found in the promises of life and the land. Contrary to the major scholarly view, these promises do not merely reflect the corporate nature. Rather, they foreground individuality of the hope of eternal life and bodily resurrection. Chapter 4 examines Scriptures in the Prophets and the Writings where the idea of resurrection of the dead and eternal life is found. This examination shows that the hope of resurrection and eternal life had been already firmly rooted and fully bloomed into maturity in the Prophets and the Writings. Chapter 5 presents the life-death-life structure embeded in the Torah and the rest of the OT by applying the ANE philological scope of the meaning of life to the meaning of life in the OT. The entire OT leads people to hope for the victory over death and the restoration of life eternal. The paper concludes with the importance of the argument for the early presence of the concept of resurrection and eternal life in the OT. The argument is evaluated by its scriptural, theological, and ethical consequences.