Todd Hanneken deposited Creation and New Creation in the Hebrew Bible and Early Jewish Literature in the group Hebrew Bible / Old Testament on Humanities Commons 1 year, 6 months ago
While creation imagery in general is common in the Hebrew Bible and early Jewish literature, this essay will focus on imagery of new creation and what it implies about the former creation.1 It surveys the diversity of thought about new creation to illustrate a basic point: The images and claims about new creation reflect fundamental views of the goodness of the present creation, the status quo. If the status quo is good then a good God created it thus. If the status quo is broken then it was broken outside of God’s will, but will be repaired to God’s good plan. If the status quo is irrecoverably evil, then creation must be destroyed and replaced with something entirely different. The language and images of creation thus correlate to views of particular institutions of the world order.
Three particular institutions of the status quo drew heated controversy: first, the temple and priesthood; second, the covenant and law; and third, the boundaries that define God’s people. When Jewish thinkers in antiquity looked at these institutions they saw either the manifestation of God’s plan for a perfect world order, or a corrupted creation in need of eschatological revision. Imagery of a future new creation expresses a view of the present world.