Old Testament Berit, Typically Translated Into English Essay

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Old Testament

Berit, typically translated into English as "covenant," "promise," or "pledge," is a Hebrew term that takes on far more than literally meaning within the Bible. Politically, it is a relationship between peoples, a way to describe that a level of responsibility is owed to a group from an entity (King, ruler, group, etc.) based on fealty, loyalty, and an agreement. Biblically, it is a way to describe that God chose the Jewish people through a covenant with Abraham. In that, Abraham and his offspring were special people who could have a land of their own and enjoy peace and good will through their own promise of relationship with God. The people must, in this example, give a pledge that Yahweh is the one and only god, and that the people will worship and serve that God above all others.

As a historical word, the term berit implies a special type of relationship between a lord and his servants. The lord takes on the role and responsibility to protect the servants; neither required nor expected by law, and in return, servants must make promises of their own to fulfil the bargain. A berit is a relationship agreement; two sided, and is valid only if both sides adhere to their part of the bargain.

Taken further, since Christianity arose out of Judaism, the promise between God and believers goes a step further. It becomes the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the basis of realization of the divinity of Christ, teaching that there are three parts to God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One basic idea of the Trinity, then, within the Torah is that of the covenant of God, the Jews, and the Promised homeland of Israel. That there is but one god is revealed many times, but the Judaic Old Testament belief is that God is one-being, split into three essences, but the same God, or one being. In the Old Testament, there are several proofs that there is but one God:

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is One Lord." (Deut. 6:4)

In the first of the Ten Commandments, 'Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." (Deut. 5:7).

Thus, the covenant of berit moves beyond the Ancient Jewish lands, to modern Christianity, as… [END OF PREVIEW]

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