Voice of the Day: Walter Brueggemann


I was asked a question about the commandment against idolatry recently and I wanted to share the following quotes Walter Brueggemann, a universally respected biblical scholar:

“Clearly, if ‘no other god’ has any real power and, therefore, any real, substantive existence, it is grossly inappropriate that Israel should invest such an object with ultimacy. The [Hebrew] word … however, need not be rendered ‘idol.’ It is more properly rendered ‘image,’ a visible representation of Yahweh. The temptation, then, is not the creation of a rival that detracts from Yahweh, but an attempt to locate and thereby domesticate Yahweh in a visible, controlled object. This latter reading, which is the more probable, is also more subtle. It does not fear a rival but a distortion of Yahweh’s free character by an attempt to locate Yahweh and so diminish something of Yahweh’s terrible freedom.”

-Walter Brueggemann

Hat Tip: Sojourners