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God, Justice, and SocietyAspects of Law and Legality in the Bible$
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Jonathan Burnside

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759217

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759217.001.0001

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Beyond Sinai

Beyond Sinai

(p.67) 3 Beyond Sinai
God, Justice, and Society

Jonathan Burnside

Oxford University Press

Discovering natural law in the Bible means looking for a connection between divine activity and human activity in the realm of normativity. One way we might find a connection is the existence of continuity between the divine and creation (explored in relation to the story of universal creation). A second aspect is continuity between the created world and human behavior (with reference to selected biblical narratives and prophetic oracles). A third aspect is universal knowledge of certain norms (explored in relation to the primeval history and prophetic oracles). A fourth aspect is continuity between general and specific revelation (including Mount Sinai). A fifth aspect is continuity between divine and human acts of judgment (with reference to the primeval history and the patriarchal narratives). The chapter also considers the various ways in which the biblical presentation of natural law differs from the natural law tradition in both its classical and modern forms.

Keywords:   normativity, creation story, divine judgement, Mount Sinai, natural law, patriarchal narratives, primeval history, prophecy

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