Deuteronomy 4 and Mark 7 Analysis Essay examples

Submitted By Will-Rockson
Words: 2261
Pages: 10

William Rockson
Mr. McNulty
Junior Theology Honors
27 May 2015
Final Exam Biblical analysis is performed to understand the historical context, and the central message of the passage or reading. Source criticism and understanding the literary design of a reading plays a major role in biblical analysis. Comparing Old and New Testament passages is one way of doing analytical research. This paper looks at the relationship between the Old Testament reading of Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8, and the Gospel reading of Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, and 21-23. It examines how the Old and New Testament readings inform each other. Finally it provides a personal evaluation of the readings, and what they might say to Christians today. Deuteronomy 4:1-8 is titled “Advantages of Fidelity.” The passage begins by stating that in order to receive the land that God gave to their ancestors, the Israelites must observe the commandments, but they must not alter the laws that were given to them by God. The reading goes on to discuss the destruction of everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, a false god. It says to observe the laws carefully, because these are the laws that will be the face of their great nation. Mark 7:1-23 is titled the “Tradition of the Elders.” The reading starts off with the Pharisees asking Jesus why his disciples do not “follow the tradition of the elders, but eat with unclean hands.” Jesus responds with a quote from Isaiah that addresses the fact that people worship without their hearts, and only focus on the traditions that humans created themselves. Jesus then says that nothing from the outside can truly contaminate a person, but it’s what is within somebody that can truly taint a person. The book of Deuteronomy is believed to have been written by Moses after the Exodus, and the experience in the wilderness. It is said to have been written before the Israelites returned to Canaan after the Exodus. During this time period, the Israelites would have been stationed at the Plains of Moab, which is east of the Jordan River. Here, they were waiting for God to give them the word to go back across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. This is significant because the covenant was previously broken by the generation who lived during the Exodus, and this would provide a basis for the book of Deuteronomy. The history of the book of Deuteronomy explains many things about the book as a whole. The fact that the book was composed during a time where the Israelites were waiting for God to give them the cue to go back to the Promised Land tells that there is a sense of preparation for the word of God. Not only will there be a sense of preparation, but there will also be a hint that the people of Israel need to revise their thinking and stick to the law. This makes way for cultic worship. Cultic worship in Israel was based on the notion that temple was an “earthly abode for the deity.” (Feder 268) This basically means that Israelites believed that temple was God’s home on earth. The book of Deuteronomy’s goal was to challenge this idea. The idea that God must be worshipped in a cultic manner leads to idolatry. Deuteronomy 4 especially emphasizes the relationship between Israel and God, and how that can only be upheld if they followed the law. The claim that Moses wrote the book of Deuteronomy tells a few things about Deuteronomy 4. The first clear thing is the reference to the Decalogue or the 10 Commandments. These are the laws that were given to the Israelites from Moses and God. This brings us to the point that the law is “an expression of intimacy,” or the basis of the relationship between God and Israel, and it should not be taken lightly. (Feder 269) Deuteronomy also comes from the Deuteronomist source. In relevance to the passage, this means the law is above all, because the law comes from YHWH. Deuteronomists also believe that the covenant made with God is conditional, and it can be broken by disobeying the law. The message conveyed in