Amos, Hosea, and Jeremiah essay

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Some Christian scholars think of righteousness in the Old Testament as a call to a legalistic religious system rather than to a compassionate religious system. Tsedaqah was definitely a call to justness, fairness, and upright living, but it was more a demand for a personal relationship with God. More precisely, righteousness in the Old Testament is the fulfillment of the demands of a relationship, between God and with one's fellow people, as given in the Torah. Every relationship has specific but different demands. The relationship that one has with a spouse is quite different with different expectations than that of a relationship with a co-worker. However, both relationships require certain guidelines and parameters; and the association is only good when the criterion is faithfully observed. When God or humanity performs the elements dictated upon it by a relationship, that is the culmination of the Old Testament concept of righteousness. Some Christian scholars think of righteousness in the Old Testament as a call to a legalistic religious system rather than to a compassionate religious system. Tsedaqah was definitely a call to justness, fairness, and upright living, but it was more a demand for a personal relationship with God. More precisely, righteousness in the Old Testament is the fulfillment of the demands of a relationship, between God and with one's fellow people, as given in the Torah. Every relationship has specific but different demands. The relationship that one has with a spouse is quite different with different expectations than that of a relationship with a co-worker. However, both relationships require certain guidelines and parameters; and the association is only good when the criterion is faithfully observed. When God or humanity performs the elements dictated upon it by a relationship, that is the culmination of the Old Testament concept of righteousness.
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Hosea goes much more deeply to the roots of life, its doom and its salvation, than Amos can do. His message will be taken up and carried on to fuller insight by Jeremiah, but will reach its consummation only in the teaching of Jesus as interpreted in the Fourth Gospel. There the true nature and meaning of religion finds its final solution in the thought that eternal life is comprehending fellowship between the Father and his children, fellowship, too, of the children with one another in the great family.(1) There Hosea's despairing realization that the people perish because they do not know God as the loving, faithful husband or father is answered by the elder son, who is the express image of the father, through whom the younger sons come to know God and enter into sympathetic fellowship with him.

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If Amos' message is epoch-making in human history as revealing the only firm warp and woof out of which a harmonious and lasting economic, political, and social fabric can be woven for this world, Hosea's message carries us far beyond this, introducing us to that ultimate interpretation of life in terms of the family which holds true not only for this world, but for the next as well, transforming this life even into the eternal life of the divine family as well as into an ordered society. ...

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