What’s the Christian Ideal? - Redefining Holiness

What is the Christian Ideal? That’s exactly what we ask.

Episode 1
Sep 15, 2017
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Show Notes

This is the first episode in a two part discussion on the Christian “Ideal.” What is the Christian Ideal? That’s exactly what we ask. Why does it seem that humanity has an inner drive to find something transcendent? What is it that we’re all searching for and hoping to attain? In other words, why aren’t things a little more rad in our day to day?

The ancient Hebrew authors of the Bible also wrestled with these questions. They often used the word “holiness” to describe the quest for the ideal life. But today “holiness” is a confusing and loaded word. Spoiler alert: The way the Hebrews understood holiness is not how we do in modern times.

Tim, Jon, and a special guest, Paul Pastor hold an honest discussion asking why we all strive for something that seems just out of reach, and what that might have to do with God’s holiness.

Thank you to all our supporters! None of this would be possible without you.

Show Resources:

The Bible Project Theme Video on Holiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9vn5UvsHvM

"Dictionary of the Old Testament by IVP: Holiness" by J.E. Hartley.

"New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis" by Willem A. VanGemeren

Show Music:

Where’s Love: Jackie Hill Perry; Defender Instrumental: Rosasharn Music

Scripture References
Isaiah 6:3
Psalms 19:1
Ezekiel 47:1
Zechariah 14:20-21
Amos 5:24
John 7:38
2 Peter 1:2-4
2 Peter 1:9
Hebrews 4:14-16
Galatians 2:20
1 Corinthians 15:10
2 Samuel 23:1-2

Podcast Date: September 15, 2017


Speakers in the audio file:

Jon Collins

Tim Mackie

Paul Pastor

Jon: Hi, this is Jon at The Bible Project. We've been working on a lot of things here

at The Bible Project, and one of those things that you might be familiar with

is a series of videos on YouTube called Theme Videos. Theme Videos are

biblical motifs, biblical ideas that you could take and trace from the

beginning of Scripture all the way to the end. It's a theme that develops, that

has its own story arc, and always culminates in Jesus and finds its climax in


We have about a dozen theme videos on our YouTube channel now, and we

have plans for another dozen to complete that series. These themes are so

deep and rich that we can't cover all of it in a five-minute animated video.

These podcasts conversations help fill those out.

But another project we want to do is to make workbooks that accompany as

every single theme video. We've been working on this project. We made a

beta workbook on the theme of Heaven and Earth. We printed about 5,000 of

those and we sent them out to some of our supporters to test them out with

groups. We're getting feedback on those right now. So thank you for doing


We're also starting to lay the groundwork for another workbook on the

theme of Holiness. And that's what this podcast is going to be about. As we

thought about this workbook on holiness and what the big takeaways were,

we decided we needed to have a conversation to flesh it all out. So we turned

on the mics and recorded that conversation.

You're going to hear a new voice on this podcast. His name is Paul Pastor.

He's a colleague of ours, and he's an author, and he's helping us write this

workbook on holiness.

So why holiness? Holiness is a confusing and loaded word. It's a word we

don't use in common English, at least I don't, but it's a word we constantly

use in religious settings. "God is holy." "I want to be holy." "Holy, holy, holy."

What do we actually mean when we're saying, "holy?" Does a negative

connotation to holiness, where someone's holier than thou detached, stuffy,

and stuck up? Is that what we mean or is it something else entirely?

Tim: Most humans have an intuitive sense that there is something transcendent or

beautiful that we sometimes attain to. What we want to focus on is not just

morality, and not just being set apart, but all those things are really ways the

Bible is saying we can participate in something transcendent and beautiful.

Like that thing that it's only God, but it is something that God wants to invite

people into.

Jon: Thanks for joining us. Here we go.

If I remember correctly, the reason why we're having this conversation is

we're writing a workbook. Actually, first, I should introduce up a new person

in the conversation, Paul Pastor.

Paul: Hi, everybody. I'm not a pastor. This is just my name. So I guess I am a Pastor.

Jon: He is a Pastor.

Tim: You're a Pastor. You're Paul Pastor.

Paul: I'm Paul Pastor.

Jon: Paul Pastor is an author, and he's helping us write a workbook. We're going

to try to write workbooks. This is the idea.

Tim: For all the theme videos.

Jon: For all the theme videos. We'll hopefully one day have an accompanying


Tim: We try to hand at one already, had a good learning experience, and decided

we wanted the help of somebody who could write better than we can.

Jon: Who actually does that right. And that's Paul. Paul has been talking with us

about the next workbook, which is going to be on the theme of holiness. As

we were getting ready, we wanted to have a discussion about one aspect that

we think will kind of ground the conference, which is...Well, we were calling it

the ideal.

This idea of God's holiness....I mean, let's back up. Holiness is a really abstract

term, and for our purposes, the shorthand is we're talking about it as God's

otherness is uniqueness. I don't know. Tim, why don't you actually give the


Tim: Yeah, sure. Holiness in the Bible it's a foreign concept to modern western

people's view. It doesn't matter vocabulary. Many concepts we already have

in our head.

In the Bible, most religious people, if they know the word, they connect

holiness with "moral behavior." Or if they've made it through Leviticus and

internalized it, some they'll connect holiness with something about "being set

apart" or "people being set apart from common use."

So "holiness," essentially, I think, in most people's understanding is about

being a "good person" and being "set apart" from bad things. Which is one

of those things where, yeah, okay, that's part of it, but that's just one part.

That's that one part actually doesn't really even make very much sense

without a much bigger picture and within the larger story. That's what we did

in the holiness video.

Then we wanted to unpack what it means for God to be holy, and then what

it means for people to participate in God's holiness, and how Jesus fits in to

that. There you go. It has something to do with being set apart.

Paul: Actually, just before this conversation, Tim and I were perusing some things

he saw in a Bible dictionary. We noted that a lot of people quickly define

holiness as the absence of something, like the absence of sin or the absence

of impurity. And that's certainly included in the biblical narrative.

But there's something more there. There's the present of something. And

that's what we're working to stretch towards here. What is that present thing

and how do we best name it? And what does that tell us about God and


Tim: I've got open in front of me The Dictionary of the Old Testament University

Press. They're big, fat dictionary just on the Pentateuch.

Paul: God bless them.

Tim: God bless them. They have a great entry on holiness. Who wrote this article?

J.E Hartley.

Jon: I don't know him.

Tim: I don't know who that is. He goes on to say, "Holiness is often defined as

either one separation objects consecrated for use in the temple or tabernacle

are removed or set apart." Then he says, "However, separation doesn't get us

to the end of the meaning of holiness because it fails to provide any content

to what it means for something to be holy or set apart in the first place"

Then he says, "Second, holiness and morality or ethics are often so equated

that people use the terms synonymously." And this is where we get the

phrase "holier than thou" in English, where "holier than thou" usually refers to

a religious person who thinks that they live more morally than other people.

He says, "God is described as holy in terms of his moral character, but God's

moral character isn't just his holiness. It's his righteousness, his goodness, his

generosity, and so on."

Then he says this. "In Israel's Canaanite neighbors, they wrote lots of

literature, and their gods are often called holy." Then he notes this. This is

fascinating. He says, "In Canaanite literature, things that are not divine but

connected with the divine or the spirit realm are often called holy, like trees,

or streams, or burial grounds, sacred objects that are closely related to the

gods and the spirit world."

Then he talks about how, in many of the Psalms in the Old Testament, God's

holiness is used and described along with adjectives like majestic, glorious,

awesome, inspiring and beautiful. And he says that's where we should start is

this idea of beauty and power and goodness as the core meaning of holiness.

Jon: That brings us back to I think what we wanted to focus on for this

conversation, is to say, "What is that? What is like this ultimate good? What is

an ideal kind of state of perfection - is a word we will probably start throwing

around in a way?

But if God is holy because he has these things: he is the manifest, awesome,

goodness, and if he created creation, the universe, to be that what does that

look like? What does that state? What is this ideal? What does the Bible have

to say about what it means to be in a state of perfection?

Tim: One of the few times - we may focus on this in the video - the only time in

the Old Testament God's called Holy, holy, holy, which is in Isaiah as vision

where he's inside the temple—

Jon: Thrice Holy.

Tim: Thrice Holy.

Paul: Isaiah chapter 6.

Tim: Isaiah chapter 6. God's holiness in the next line of what they say, is connected

to his status as the creator, the whole earth is full of his glory. So it's God

status as the creator of this world that itself is beautiful and amazing and

awe-inspiring. It's just a manifestation of how much more amazing and awe-inspiring

the beautiful mind that designed it is.

The idea is God's the ultimate of everything. What we want to focus on is not

just morality, and not just being set apart. But all those things are really ways

the Bible is saying we can participate in something transcendent and

beautiful. Like that thing that it's only God, but it is something that God

wants to invite people into. That's what we want to get at.

That's where we're going to start the workbook is to be in touch with most

humans have an intuitive sense that there is something transcendent or

beautiful that we sometimes attain to, or something ethical and good and

noble, the right thing to do, but that I only sometimes do, or only halfway do.

I think that's where we want to start at, is to say, we actually all have a

concept of holiness even if we don't use that word to describe it.

Jon: That's the when if we can do that. Maybe it's not the right move, but can we

start with this general idea of we all hunger for the sense of completeness,

where everything is firing on all cylinders, things are connected, things work

together, things don't decay, relationships are healthy, relationships don't fall


This sense of shalom, this is something that deep in our guts we desire and

we long for, which is very connected to the...You brought up Tim CS Lewis. Is


Tim: Yeah. Many places that theme comes out. But I forget the inconsolable

longing. This is a famous passage in...oh, I forget.

Paul: I don't remember either. But it strikes me how quickly this conversation gets

pastoral, like immediately intersecting our life where it hurts in pain and

pleasure. Just how quickly we see the broken aspect of that through pain or

through suffering. And that feeling, this isn't how it should be.

Jon: I like starting there because this idea of holiness as it pertains to just some

ethic that I'm supposed to have, it sounds challenging. It sounds isolating in

the sense that the holier than thou like, I got to be the holy person and so it's

going to make put me on some different level that I'm going to look down at

people. That's interesting.

Tim: That's like the ethical side. The other one is like, "Oh, God set apart." It says

he set-apartness and he's the holy one. It's interesting. It's very interesting.

Jon: It's like a thought experiment.

Tim: But is that where we want to start to help us really grasp this idea?

Jon: But what Paul just was talking about is this thing that we all wrestle with,

which is, why aren't things a little myriad right now?

Paul: Or if this is how they were supposed to be, why am I feeling so messed up

about it too? Why would I have this emotion if it didn't point me to

something greater than what we're experiencing?

Jon: So what we're longing for there, can we say that what we're longing for there

is holiness?

Paul: That's a really good question. Or is holiness the byproduct of some third


Tim: We should find an analogy to sort out our vocabulary, probably. Holiness is

an adjective that describes the status of God who is set apart because he is

the ultimate embodiment and definition of beauty, goodness, awesomeness.

Jon: So "holiness" is an adjective?

Tim: Holiness is the way we talk about the gap between me and the ideal. If God is

that ultimate everything, then there's the gap that make "what do I call that

distinction because I'm not all those things?" The category of something that

is more ideal than I am right now, that is holy.

Jon: Got it. Something connected to the ideal is holy.

Tim: Correct. But the word doesn't describe what the ideal is. The word is just

describing the status God has as the embodiment of the ideal.

Jon: I think that's where I wanted to start the workbook with this idea of what this

thing is. We need an analogy, but also we need a vocabulary for what that

thing is. We're calling it the ideal. Is there a better word?

Tim: Well, in Isaiah 6:3, it's called "Glory."

Paul: Kavod in Hebrew.

Tim: Yeah, kavod, which is just God's significance as the beautiful mind that

generated the universe.

Paul: Brown-Driver-Briggs, kind of the key Hebrew dictionary also includes

"abundance" as one of the possible translations of kavod.

Tim: Yes, that's right. Fullness.

Paul: This understanding of complete fullness.

Jon: I like that. Fullness, abundance, completeness, those are interesting words.

Paul: Because there's a sense of limitlessness to that. It's really intriguing when you

think about the character of God as somebody who's always giving, always

creating. And that's part of where his glory and his uniqueness comes from is

in the fact that he's limitlessly abundant.


Jon: We have a state which is "abundance."

Tim: Yeah, fullness.

Jon: Fullness. We have a state to describe the discrepancy between something

that's more connected to fullness and abundance than everyday life, which

we call holiness. And then we have just kind of everyday life state - which is


Tim: The biblical word "chol." Common. Common.

Jon: Common.

Tim: Chol.

Jon: I thought you were just saying the word "whole."

Tim: Oh, no. Chol is the Hebrew word.

Jon: Like whole?

Tim: So there's sacred or holy, kadosh, and then there's what is not sacred. What is

common, and not whole. Then that maps on to another set of vocabulary,

which is "pure," the thing that is close to the holy and therefore more like the


Jon: That thing is pure.

Tim: Then the opposite of being in a state of purity, it's being impure. English

translations often have unclean.

Jon: Clean and unclean.

Tim: Then how do you become unclean? We talked about this in the video. You

touch something dead, you yourself have deadness on your skin, like mold,

or skin disease or you're leaking reproductive fluids, male or female.

Jon: I think we are getting ahead of ourselves here.

Tim: Yeah, that's right. But I'm just saying those thing will render you impure. This

is interesting mapping where there's the sacred and the common and there's

the pure and there's the impure.

Jon: So the sacred is the wholeness, the common is impurity and just everyday life

is common.

Tim: Yeah, that's right,

Jon: And when you are living in the common and you encounter something that's

connected to the sacred or full, you would describe that thing as being holy?

Tim: Yeah, you'd describe it as holy. Then if somebody asked you, "What is it that

makes God the ultimate?" You would use words like Isaiah. "I saw God sitting

on a throne and he was awesome, he was majestic, he was beautiful, he

wasn't completely other and completely good."

Paul: That common rhetorical question, who is like God?

Jon: I think there might be a military analogy in this maybe. What is it called when

you're civilian or you're enlisted? I don't know what it would be.

Tim: Yeah, sure, sure

Jon: What is it called?

Tim: Commoner.

Jon: Well, the civilian is the commoner.

Tim: Civilian is the commoner, yeah.

Jon: Then you've got the per—

Tim: Just like an officer or...

Jon: Dad, what's the...? My dad sitting here? You don't know? Okay.

Tim: That's about status.

Jon: It's about status. And so if a civilian—

[crosstalk 00:19:30]

Paul: And purpose too. Status and purpose - they are set apart for something.

Tim: Yes. Good. Keep going.

Jon: So what then would be the word when a civilian encounter someone in the


Tim: High ranking officer

Jon: Especially, a high ranking officer? When you notice that that person is a lot

more high ranking than you, what's the word you would use to describe that?

Paul: I have a word to describe the proper way to encounter that. And that's

protocol. Like if you meet a government official, you're told to go through a

series of protocol, which are the manners that you use to show respect short

not just for the person, but for the position of the person.

Tim: That's right.

Paul: So perhaps there's this element of protocol that we could think about. Like if

we were to meet, say, the President of United States, say the Queen of

England, say any sitting dignitary, there are ways we would move and not

move, ways we would approach them.

Tim: And if you were to take them out of context and ask about the purpose of

those behaviors, they might seem ridiculous or even irrational.

Jon: So we're connecting that to purity laws right now? Is that what we are doing?

Tim: Correct.

Jon: Okay.

Tim: They are like analogy to purity laws or kosher food laws. That's a great. That's

good analogy.

Jon: So now I just need that word that's the analog to holy.

Tim: Maybe we can just use the word "holy."

Jon: Otherness.

Tim: And then I guess that's where the analogy breaks down. Because the military,

in general, isn't the embodiment of beauty, and goodness and ethical.

Jon: But if it wasn't military because I defend and fight and something like that,

but it's a status because I represent complete fullness this - what was the

other word we're using? - abundance, I represent those things, then the

discrepancy would be just holy.

Tim: That's right. When biblical characters like Moses in the burning bush, people

in the temple, Moses trying to go into the tabernacle, Isaiah in the temple,

different psalms that open up describing God's holiness, all of these biblical

texts describe the encounter as encountering light, like brightness, light,

power, overwhelming beauty. They countered—

Paul: There's a sense of fire and danger to it.

Tim: Also there was that double-edged, that the goodness is so good, that it can

be dangerous to you. But yeah, all of it revolves around this idea, this

overflowing embodiment of all that is good and beautiful and powerful

located in a person, a being.

Paul: I have a question then. If that's what we were made for, why the discrepancy?

Why do we need to learn how to re-approach that? I understand sin and the

story of corruption, but it seems complicated.

Tim: Well, that's true. I'm just thinking through the biblical narrative. The way that

Genesis 1 and 2 gets this is through the image. Humans are the image of

God. Humans are like reflective mirror.

Jon: To reflect the holiness.

Tim: Yeah. We are meant to be embodiments of all that is good and awesome.

Jon: Shouldn't be a foreign thing.

Tim: Humans are made as these mirrors that are to reflect the goodness that puts

God in the status of holiness. And then the story of the rebellion and all that,

Genesis 3 to 11. I guess you do have to say it in narrative terms. Humans are

made to be holy because we're mirrors of the Divine.

Paul: So abundance is kind of our natural habitat then?

Tim: Yeah, right. As the story goes, then we are living a sub-human existence.

Paul: That's an interesting way to think of it.

Jon: Right. To be fully human is to be connected to abundance for complete life.

Tim: Yeah, of our Creator and therefore our purpose...

Jon: And therefore to be holy?

Tim: Yes. Probably the one place where this gets—Go ahead.

Jon: What's the Hebrew word for "holy"?

Paul: Kadosh.

Jon: Kadosh.

Tim: Yeah.

Jon: "Holy" is just such a loaded word for me in English. It's just so hard. Yeah.


Tim: But again holiness describes the set-apartness of a being that is the ideal.

Jon: So we wouldn't use that word if we were connected to abundant fullness? We

wouldn't say like, "Oh, that's holy," because we wouldn't need to describe the


Tim: Correct. It's the same kind of thing going on the last page of the Bible. The

renewed creation. There's no temple because all creation is the temple.

Everything's holy because it's the new creation. And God's character is

described as light. That's why there's no need for the sun, or moon, all those

this kind of thing.

Paul: So he's everywhere?

Tim: Yeah, it's everywhere. John in that passage is riffing off of, sheesh, Ezekiel 47, 48, Zachariah 14, all these things that talk about the new

creation. There's in Zachariah 14, where he has a vision of the New Jerusalem

and the new creation, and he says even the little pots in people's kitchens or

the bells on horse’s bridles will be holy. He tries to think of the most common

unremarkable things of everyday life, and says, "Even those will be kadosh."

Paul: Like your hubcaps and tin cans.

Tim: Even your toothbrush will be holy. Something like that. That's the idea. What

we want is both a word and to describe this ideal, and then to say, "Most of

the human experience as most humans know it is both in awareness of things

ought to be better, I ought to be better."

Jon: That there is this sense of something.

Tim: There is some ideal or something that I'm supposed to be but that I'm

perpetually not. And there's something this world ought to be but that it's

not. And now what is that thing that should be?

Jon: Then coming into contact with that thing, it would appear to be holy. That

thing, from this vantage point, the vantage point of the common, the ideal is

other holy, unique.

Tim: Here. I'll share Personally. I just had this experience at the Oregon coast

recently where I was there with my kids and we were building...Actually, we

weren't even building sandcastles. We were there for like four days.

Every day we had shovels and we would try and make in the section of sand

that's getting...every eighth wave comes up, so you have a couple minutes.

And we would try to build the biggest heap of sand possible to withstand the

wave as the tide was coming in. My kids just loved it. We did it for like two

hours, just heaping piles of sand, only to watch them get crashed.

Then after, I don't know, half an hour, I started to have this transcendent

moment of, this is the universe. The waves would start coming, the tide would

be coming in, and I was just like, "We're just making this thing and there's

nothing we can do to make this thing withstand the power and energy of the

waves in the course of time."

Then there was just ocean roaring in my face as we're out there in the surf

and so on in the end. Then I'm just going like, "Oh, my, we're space rock in

the middle of the universe." I was having one of those moments. Then I was

envisioning us here on the planet.

Jon: Building cities?

Tim: Building cities and civilizations. You know, it's one of those moments of the


Jon: And then the wave of time just inevitably gets to wipe them out.

Tim: That's right. I just had such a heightened awareness of my mortality, of the

shortness of my life, of my day to day activities where we're all making the

sand pile bigger and bigger. But I wasn't depressed. I was just awe inspired

by the power of the ocean. It's like it put me in my place. Really, I was just

overwhelmed by the power of the ocean and the waves, and how it's the

majority of our planet.

Jon: It's like the ocean works on a different level than you. It's been there long

before you, will be there long after you. It's got a power that's completely

different. So to you, you live in a very common space and it lives in this very

grand, intense abundance, full—

Tim: It's in abundance of space, of energy, of light, influence, of power, and of

longevity. Like the ocean's been here long before me, it'll be...That's what I

was having at that moment with the ocean. And it was overwhelming to me.

[crosstalk 00:29:13]

Jon: That feeling you had was the feeling of the oceans holiness?

Tim: Correct. That's right.

Jon: It's otherness.

Tim: I would say, other than me, it's holy. But what I'm really describing is all of

these qualities that the ocean has that I do not.

Jon: Well, you're describing the feeling that you're getting the sense of the

difference between you and the ocean is the sense of the holiness. But then

all the qualities you could call it something else? It's grandness, its

awesomeness, it's glory if you were to use those words.

Tim: That's right.

Jon: It's also interesting with this metaphor "the ocean can destroy you very


Paul: And we teach our kids about that. You don't approach it with your back.

There's a protocol of approach when it comes to the ocean.

Tim: Yeah. The same afternoon, my son wanted to drag a big driftwood log out

into the surf and ride the log, and I was trying to tell him, "Dude, that's such a

bad idea."

Jon: Especially on the Oregon coast?

Tim: Oh, yeah, because these waves would just totally lift it up and drop it on your

head kind of thing.


Jon: Here's one thing I'm thinking about. The workbook is on holiness, but of

holiness is just one term to describe this moment of realizing the otherness

of something that you're in the presence of, then it's really just one approach

to begin talking about a much bigger set of ideas.

I sometimes wonder, is this workbook really on holiness or is it on this bigger

idea of being made for something grand, the ideal, longing for it, and

experiencing it sometimes, and that experience being whole the sense of

holiness and then a call to our lives to participate in it, and a sense of awe

and reverence for the author of it? All of these ideas are what we're really

going to be talking about, possibly. And so holiness just becomes one way to

begin the conversation. Or are we strictly going to be just talking about the

term, the word, the vocabulary of holiness?

Paul: Or perhaps the image of holiness, pictures of holiness. We've had

conversations about this before, but the Bible at specific intervals throughout

its story gives the people of God an image that they can see God's holiness.

The intent of meeting of meeting the tabernacle, the temple. Of course, that's

reinterpreted later as Jesus and then the body of Christ. So we get all of these

reminders of what that space of abundance image does the Garden of Eden

really in Genesis, of what that is like to actually see it in our lives, to actually

be able to encounter it and be able to experience it.

Tim: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, we get one contextualized response of the

ancient Israelites. It was the set of symbolic behaviors to participate in

holiness through this ritual purity, but all of it was aimed at removing myself

from things associated with death and mortality, and dedicating myself to life

or purity and the way that their culture can conceive of it.

This is from a different dictionary entry, The New International Dictionary of

Old Testament theology and Ex-Jesus. That's the title of this dictionary.

Jon: Does it have an acronym that goes along with it?



Tim: So ridiculous. Anyway. In their entry on kadosh or holiness - this is Jackie

Node who wrote this essay - he cites theologian Rudolf Otto, which I don't

know that much about him, but he wrote a book called The Idea of the Holy

or Concept of the Holy. He's summarizing the Old Testament on holiness, and

he summarizes these characteristics of the Divine in this way. "A majesty,

vitality, otherness, and compelling fascination," are the way he summarizes

the character traits in the Old Testament that make God holy.

Jon: Wait. The trait is fascination?

Tim: A compelling fascinations. What he's saying is, when people have these

encounters with the Holy God like Isaiah or Moses, compelling fascination. So

they're fascinated I think maybe in a technical sense of that word.

Paul: Yeah. Almost like hypnotized.

Tim: Totally, yeah. That's it.

Paul: They're held there. Their attention is—

Jon: Kind of like what you're talking about with the ocean.

Tim: Yeah, that's it. I was compellingly fascinated. Then he says this. He says, "The


Jon: Oh hold on. Fascinated, bewitched comes from enchanted is it the Latin

fascinators to enchant? A charm.

Paul: Yeah. For something else to hold power over your attention.

Tim: Yeah, that's it. That's good. Then he goes on and he says, "Different sections

of the Old Testament call for a different response to this God. The priestly

tradition and he means here Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, requires a response

of purity and cleanness."

But then he says, "The prophetic tradition demands a response of social

justice, a social cleanness or social purity. The wisdom books stress the

cleanness of our inner integrity and individual moral act." That was kind of

helpful to say different parts of the Bible call towards a different realization of

the ideal.

Jon: What is it again?

[crosstalk 00:36:06]

Tim: In the priestly texts it's the symbolic behaviors, ritual purity. The prophetic

books, it's a cleanness or purity of social behavior.

Jon: It's like righteousness.

Tim: Think Amos. The righteousness flow like a river, that kind of thing. Then in the

wisdom books, it's about a cleanness of inner integrity and moral decision. I

just thought that was very helpful.

Jon: Yeah.

Tim: So what we're isolating, God is the abundant whole complete one.

Jon: Kadosh.

Tim: And different parts of the Bible are going to use different vocabulary and

different environments, practices to push humans to be better image bearers

of that God. A whole bunch of the Bible uses the language of purity and

holiness to do that.


Jon: I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Bible Project podcast. Next week, we'll

finish this conversation on the Christian Ideal of Holiness. If you'd like to

check out our theme video on holiness, there's a link to it in our show notes.

We also have lots of other videos on our YouTube page. It's

youtube.com/thebibleproject. You could find our entire library there. You

could also find it on our website, thebibleproject.com.

If you're enjoying this podcast, feel free to leave us a review. It's actually really

helpful in other people discovering this podcast.

Also, Tim now has his own podcast, a compilation of his lectures and sermons

over the years. It's called "Exploring my Strange Bible." A great episode to

start with if you haven't listened to any of Tim's sermons is an episode called

Science and Faith. Make sure to check that out and thanks for being a part of

this with us.

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