The relevance of creation and righteousness to intervention for the poor and needy in the Old Testament
Neville, Richard Warwick
University of Cambridge
Faculty of Divinity
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Neville, R. W. (2000). The relevance of creation and righteousness to intervention for the poor and needy in the Old Testament (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.16158
The text of the dissertation divides into two parts. Part One examines the relevance of human creation to intervention for the poor and needy in the Old Testament, and Part Two investigates the relevance of the roots  and  to the same theme. The study of the relevance of human creation to the concern for the poor and needy in the Old Testament (Part One) takes into account two streams of tradition. The first of these is centred on Genesis 1 and the creation of . The relevance of this theme to the ethic of concern for the poor is never made explicit. Nevertheless, Genesis 9:6 clearly advocates a moral principle intended to govern the treatment of human beings, and it does so on the basis of human creation. This investigation concludes that the link between creation and the value God places on human life in this text owes something to the fact that creation established a relationship between God and mankind that is analogous to that of a father and child. The second stream of tradition, within the theme of human creation, deals with the creation of individuals in the womb. This tradition is explicitly related to the ethic of concern for the poor and needy, and is most clearly attested in Old Testament Wisdom literature. It is concluded that this theme is best understood in the context of family religion and the commitment of an individual's personal god to the protection of the individual. The association between the roots  and  and intervention for the poor and needy in the Old Testament is relatively easy to demonstrate, but more difficult to explain. Part Two of this dissertation investigates the connection. The meaning of the derivatives of each of these roots is examined in contexts dealing with intervention for the poor and needy. It is concluded that these terms have a strong juridical flavour in these contexts, and that this reflects how much the poor and needy depended on the judicial system to deliver them when they are in need of intervention by someone more powerful.
Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, Selwyn College, Frazer-Peckham Trust, Peter and Ann Wells, David and Janet Bousfield, Anonymous benefactor.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.16158