The Influence of Tradition over the Community of Faith: An Old Testament Perspective
In this article, (The Influence of Tradition over the Community of Faith: a Biblical Perspective), the author tries to understand the way the religious tradition influences the community of faith. The importance of the subject is demonstrated by the impact which a tradition has upon a certain community. The consequences can be serious. As far as the consequences for the Jewish community in history, it is showed that, even though they had lost their country many times, they miraculously preserved their identity. The author argues that tradition kept the community on track, by preserving some customs, practices that have been passed on from generation to generation. The main responsibility for this was given to the leaders of the community: the kings, the priests, and the prophets. When the leaders abandoned the Yahwist tradition, the community lost its identity. Another role of the tradition in relationship to the community is to educate the community. The Old Testament presents situations in which the geographical territory – the Land of Israel, reacted against the Jewish community in order to motivate it to keep the tradition. Two kinds of reactions of the land are presented against the community: The land had the power of driving out the Jews from their country, and the land can exercise pressure upon the community while the community was living into the land, in order to correct its attitude towards the tradition. We have the case of the Samaritan community, who did not keep the tradition of the land and experienced difficulties. As far as the attitude of the New Testament towards other communities living in the land, it was given the example of Jesus who had a favorable attitude towards Samaritans. In some instances Jesus recommends some Samaritans as models to be followed by Jews. Even Jesus himself is identified in Christianity as being the Good Samaritan.
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