Originally posted by vistesd
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, a one-time Chabad Hasid and leader of the Jewish Renewal movement (found more among Reform and Reconstructionist Jews), once pointed out: “[b]Judaism is not a religion of submission, but of covenant.”
Islam defines itself as a religion of submission. (I should note that Zalman is very much into inter-faith dialogue an ...[text shortened]... l mostly just read and consider whatever various responses there might be.
Thanks in advance.[/b]
my friend, i do not know if i can answer you question, but i shall provide all the background information, in a biblical context, for you, and perhaps others, to use their own powers of discernment, please consider the following.
An agreement between two or more persons to do or refrain from doing some act; a compact; a contract. The Hebrew word berith, whose etymology is uncertain, appears over 280 times in the Hebrew Scriptures; more than 80 of these occurrences are in the five books of Moses. That its basic meaning is “covenant,” comparable to our modern legal word “contract,” is seen from cuneiform tablets found in 1927 at Qatna, an ancient non-Israelite city SE of Hamath. “The contents of the two tablets [of 15 found] are simple. Tablet A contains a list of names . . . Tablet B is a ration list . . . List A is thus a compact in which the men in question . . . agree to enter someone’s service or to carry out certain obligations. List B, written by the same scribe, then illustrates the nature of the compact; the men were to receive specified rations in return for their services. . . . the Israelite concept of berit, ‘covenant,’ was a central theme in Yahwist theology. Here we have the first published extra-biblical occurrence of the word from early times—not later than the first third of the fourteenth century B.C.”—Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, February 1951, p. 22.
In some translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures the word diatheke is variously rendered “covenant,” “will,” “testament” (testamentum, Vg). However, M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia (1891) says, under “Covenant”: “There seems, however, to be no necessity for the introduction of a new word [other than “covenant”] conveying a new idea. The Septuagint having rendered [berith] (which never means will or testament, but always covenant or agreement) by [diatheke] consistently throughout the O.T., the N.T. writers, in adopting that word, may naturally be supposed to intend to convey to their readers, most of them familiar with the Greek O.T., the same idea. Moreover, in the majority of cases, the same thing which has been called a ‘covenant’ (berith) in the O.T. is referred to in the N.T. (e.g. 2Cor. iii, 14; Heb. vii, ix; Rev. xi, 19); while in the same context the same word and thing in the Greek are in the English [in KJ] sometimes represented by ‘covenant,’ and sometimes by ‘testament’ (Heb. vii, 22; viii, 8-13; ix, 15).”—See also NW appendix, pp. 1584, 1585.
Repeatedly in the book of Hebrews (Heb 7:22; 8:6, 8, 9, 10; 9:4, 15, 16, 17, 20) the writer uses the word diatheke with undeniable reference to a covenant in the old Hebrew sense, even quoting from Jeremiah 31:31-34 and referring to “the ark of the covenant.” In translating these verses of Jeremiah, the Greek Septuagint uses diatheke for the ancient Hebrew berith, meaning “covenant.” Also, Hebrews 9:20 quotes from Exodus 24:6-8, where a covenant is unmistakably spoken of.
Application of the Word.
Covenants always involved two or more parties. They could be unilateral (where the party on one side was solely responsible to carry out the terms) or bilateral (where parties on both sides had terms to carry out). Besides the covenants in which God is a party, the Bible records the making of covenants between men, and between tribes, nations, or groups of persons. To break a covenant was a grievous sin.—Eze 17:11-20; Ro 1:31, 32.
The term “covenant” is applied to a sure ordinance, such as that concerning the showbread (Le 24:8), or to God’s creation governed by his laws, as the unchangeable succession of day and night (Jer 33:20); it is also used figuratively, as in the expression “covenant with Death.” (Isa 28:18) Jehovah also speaks of a covenant in connection with the wild beasts. (Ho 2:18) The marriage compact is called a covenant. (Mal 2:14) The expression “owners (masters) of the covenant” has the sense of “confederates,” as at Genesis 14:13.
In effect, any promise made by Jehovah is a covenant; it is certain to be carried out; it can be relied on with confidence for its fulfillment. (Heb 6:18) A covenant is in force as long as the terms of it are operative and the obligation to perform rests on one or both parties. The results or the blessings brought about by the covenant may continue, even forever.