"Torah" & "Nomos"

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"Torah" & "Nomos"

Post  ankh_f_n_khonsu on Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:19 pm

"The Hebrew word torah is an example of a word with a fairly broad sense but translated by Greek word with a narrower sense, nomos (both terms have usually been translated into English as 'law'). The Hebrew word torah, however, is used to refer to the whole body of biblical instruction, which certainly includes the commandments and the statutes of the Pentateuch, but also much more. The Greek word nomos, in the period the Greek translation was made, has a sense fairly close to that of the English word law. According o Charles H. Dodd, it referred to the legal statutes and codes by which good Greek citizens lived. By choosing to translate the Hebrew word torah with the Greek word nomos, the translators introduced an understanding of biblical instruction in the Hellenistic period that focused on the normative regulations of religious life. Dodd summarizes the relationship between these words as follows: "Torah in its widest sense means divine teaching or revelation; nomos in its widest sense means a principle of life or action. When divine teaching is of the nature of commands regulating conduct, and when the principle of life is conceived as dictated by a legislative authority, then nomos and torah have approximately identical meanings." - Karen H. Jobes & Moisés Silva, Invitation to the Septuaginet
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