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Justice Talk in the Tanakh (Old Testament)

Various Brethren Press PDF

Chapter 5:Layout 15/21/101:13 PMPage 103Justice-Talk in the Tanakh(Old Testament)Stephen Breck ReidThe contemporary convention in biblical studies is to identify the first testament of the Bible as the Hebrew Bible. This is an interesting case study in matters of power and justice. Professional societies of biblical scholars dominated by Gentiles recognized that the term “Old Testament” was a confessional category. A group of progressive Protestant biblical scholars started to use the term “Hebrew Bible” or “Hebrew Scriptures” to supplant the term Old Testament. This new language was meant to be more inclusive and acceptable to Jewish scholars in the guild. Another group of scholars maintained that the confessional language of the Old Testament was not only tradition but appropriate, if for no other reason because it was the familiar language of “regular readers.”The result from the debate is the hybridized term HebrewBible/Old Testament currently used in scholarly circles. However, this nod to inclusiveness overlooked the recognition that the Jewish community refers to these same books as the Tanakh. Therefore, in addition to the scholarly societies that created the designation

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Unity and Dissension

Dale W. Brown Brethren Press PDF

another way body.qxd6/8/051:17 PMPage 156important. For many decades ministers added two questions to baptismal vows. One question asked whether an aspirant before baptism would pledge never to drill or join military units. The other asked whether the candidate would promise to solve differences according to Matthew 18:15-20. One of the central responsibilities of deacons was to facilitate maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. When asked how Brethren differ fromMennonites, it has been alleged that Brethren treasure unity over truth.Mennonites more likely may savor truth over unity, whereas Brethren often compromise to maintain unity. In risking disunity Mennonites have held fast to what they regard to be true and right in risking disunity. Such an analysis may account for greater numbers of schisms among Mennonites.Among the Brethren I have perceived passions that impel us to stay together.Thus, it may be helpful to examine how our fathers and mothers in the faith have dealt with differences. In a book focusing on theology, it may be difficult to justify issues that seem to deal with ethics more than theology. In our tradition, however, it is difficult to separate theology from the fruit of discipleship. Many in our tradition, for example, have been attracted to the widespread admiration of Dietrich Bonhoeffer because it is difficult to separate his life from his theology.

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James Quinter

Various Brethren Press PDF

dunkerguide-history-complete35/27/104:55 PMPage 711858-1908James QuinterGentle, persistent progressive by J. Douglas ArcherRespected Brethren leader championed periodicals, higher educationJames Quinter was born in 1816 in Philadelphia. At that time theBrethren supported no schools or colleges and had no regular publications or publishing houses. By the time of Brother Quinter’s death in 1888 this had changed dramatically—thanks in large part to his efforts.Almost all of what we know of his early life can be traced to the Life andSermons of Elder James Quinter (1891), by his daughter Mary. Raised in poverty near Phoenixville, Pa., and breadwinner for his mother and sister from the death of his father when he was 13, Quinter lacked all but the most basic formal schooling. However, what his family lacked in material resources was more than equaled by a passion for education. By 1833, at age 17, Quinter managed to qualify for a teaching position, and he appears to have been one of the first Dunkers to be employed as an teacher. While he held several jobs over the years, education— especially higher education—remained an enduring commitment.

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Christians Reading the Old Testament

Various Brethren Press PDF

Beg+Chapter 1:Layout 15/21/101:06 PMPage 15Christians Reading the Old TestamentRobert C. BowmanThe ProblemChristians who consider themselves New Testament people often have great difficulties with the Old Testament. What is one to do with that book—or, rather, with that part of the Book?Many elements combine to make the Old Testament difficult.In the first place, parts of it are simply boring. Richard Friedman, author of Who Wrote the Bible? once said that if he ever got to the point where he could read the detailed instructions for building the tabernacle in Exodus without being incredibly bored, he would know that he had finally become a biblical scholar (176).If not boring, at least great chunks of the Old Testament seem irrelevant to Christians. It seems to belong to a world that makes no sense to us. Deuteronomy 22:10 warns, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.” Frankly, most of us cannot remember ever being tempted to disobey this commandment.It does, perhaps, give one a sense of relief to know that there are at least some of God’s commandments that we have not broken.

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The Keepers of History

Various Brethren Press PDF

dunkerguide-history-complete35/27/104:55 PMPage 10300 YEARSThe keepers of history by Kenneth M. Shaffer Jr. and Logan CondonArchives provide significant service of preservationWhat becomes of a congregation’s membership records and council meeting minutes when the congregation is disorganized? Are the records destroyed? Does the last pastor to serve the congregation keep the records? Are they stored at the district office?According to the Church of the Brethren polity manual, congregational records become the property of the district, and the district decides where to deposit the records. Typically districts place congregational records at one of theBrethren archives. These records generally include newsletters, bulletins, directories, yearly budgets, annual reports, etc., as well as minutes and membership records. Some congregations transfer their inactive records directly to the district-approved archives on a periodic basis. And districts sometimes place their inactive records at the archives they have selected.

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