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The Love-Fear Antinomy in Deuteronomy 5-11

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[Abstract Examines the lexemes “love” (ʾhb) and “fear” (yrʾ) in Deut 5-11 in order better to understand the way they complement each other in both their cognitive and affective domains. The affective domain of “love” in Deuteronomy has not been appreciated fully in exegetical work on chs. 5-11 because (a) most scholars assume a commanded love can only be cognitive, and (b) the ancient Near Eastern treaty parallels suggest such a cognitive, behavioral interpretation. This study will argue not only that “love” in Deut 5-11 has affective connotations, confirming other recent research on this topic, but will suggest further that love-terminology and fear-terminology have been combined in Deuteronomy in both their cognitive and affective aspects in order to demarcate the connotations of each. The result of this deliberate antinomy is that “love” is restricted in order to prevent an affection devoid of reverence. Conversely, “fear” is restricted to prevent a terror devoid of delight. The two lexemes complement each other in Deut 5-11 deliberately to define the covenant relationship between YHWH and Israel, and thereby create a covenant ethic for ancient Israel., AbstractExamines the lexemes “love” (hb) and “fear” (yr) in Deut 5-11 in order better to understand the way they complement each other in both their cognitive and affective domains. The affective domain of “love” in Deuteronomy has not been appreciated fully in exegetical work on chs. 5-11 because (a) most scholars assume a commanded love can only be cognitive, and (b) the ancient Near Eastern treaty parallels suggest such a cognitive, behavioral interpretation. This study will argue not only that “love” in Deut 5-11 has affective connotations, confirming other recent research on this topic, but will suggest further that love-terminology and fear-terminology have been combined in Deuteronomy in both their cognitive and affective aspects in order to demarcate the connotations of each. The result of this deliberate antinomy is that “love” is restricted in order to prevent an affection devoid of reverence. Conversely, “fear” is restricted to prevent a terror devoid of delight. The two lexemes complement each other in Deut 5-11 deliberately to define the covenant relationship between YHWH and Israel, and thereby create a covenant ethic for ancient Israel.]

Affiliations: 1: Asbury Theological Seminary Wilmore, KY, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853311x560754
2011-01-01
2016-12-09

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