Forgotten Dimensions of Holiness

in Horizons in Biblical Theology
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Abstract

This article explores a sometimes forgotten dimension of divine holiness, divine holiness as love. It starts by reflecting on an apparent incongruity between the New Testament summary of the law, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself ” (Lev 19:18) and that verse’s context in Leviticus, where a more probable summary is the call, “Be holy for I, YHWH your God, am holy” (Lev 19:2). It examines the significance of the conjunction of Lev 19:2 and 19:18, and argues that it is appropriate to speak of love as a dimension of divine holiness. In the main part of the article, which looks at the Old Testament more widely, including Exodus, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Hosea and the prayer life of Israel, divine holiness as love is evident on closer examination in three ways: holiness and self-disclosure, holiness and saving activity, and holiness and divine presence.

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