Kinsman-redeemer

Mark O'Brien markus at upnaway.com
Mon Aug 30 09:39:51 EDT 1999



George--

At 09:35 AM 8/30/99 +1000, you wrote:
>peter_kirk at sil.org wrote:
>
>> I wonder if the best single English equivalent might be "guardian". In
>> English, normally only an orphaned child would have a guardian
>> (commonly a close relative), but in some cultures an orphan's
>> guardian's responsibilities continue at least until the orphan is
>> married. This is not so far from the situation in Ruth.
>
>That's one of the better suggestions, I think, Peter. However, 'guardian'
doesn't quite capture the
>full role of the go'el, who also acted as an avenger of blood. The go'el
had the following traits:
>
>(1) a relative
>(2) a guardian
>(3) a legal representative
>(4) an avenger of blood
>(5) a redeemer
>(6) a restorer of familial order
>
>I suggested "vindicator" to Matthew privately, but I wonder if "defender"
might also suffice? This
>takes in the idea of "guardian" which Peter suggested, but adds the role
of 'avenger' too.
>
>The difficulty in translating this word is that our language is not
adapted to an ancient culture
>and its social structures from 3000 years ago, so we'll always have some
deficiency in translating
>this. It is a label for a specific cultural role which we don't have in
our current western
>societies.
>

I like the "vindicator" slant...  seems to me that this is how the word
functions in Job, particularly.

Best,

M.

-----
Revd. Mark B. O'Brien
Assoc. Pastor, Subiaco Church of Christ, Western Australia
Lecturer in Biblical Studies, South Perth Christian College 
                 (Sydney College of Divinity), Western Australia

markus at upnaway.com
-----
"Knowing demands discipline! Knowing is not a weekend on a tropical beach!"
           -- Paulo Freire




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