paradox of faith as an offense to the Jews, foolishness...

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nicoticola

New Member
Turkish
Hello,

What does offense mean in the following sentence from a Kierkegaard text: "Christianity claims to be the eternal, essential truth that has
come into existence in time. It proclaims itself as the paradox and thus requires the inwardness of faith – that which is an offense to the Jews, foolishness to the Greeks, and an absurdity to the understanding." Do the Jews perceive this paradoxical aspect of faith in Christianity as something insulting or is it perceived as a sin? I'm trying to differentiate because in Turkish translations of the Bible both words are used to translate the word offence.

Thank you,
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It's not clear in the original, unfortunately. I think it means something which is perceived as a sin, since the two phrases which follow it fit better with that interpretation.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Kierkegaard is clearly making a reference to the first epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the first chapter of the epistle (verses 22 through 24), Paul writes the following (Revised Standard Version translation): For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    The word translated as "stumbling block" here (which is also translated elsewhere as "offense") is the Greek word "skandalon". The Greek word literally means a baited trap or snare for animals. By extension, it is used to mean things that make people trip or stumble, and by further extension it means an offense or an enticement that leads people into sin or error. In the particular passage Kierkegaard is citing, Paul is saying that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is a discouragement or obstacle to Jews who might otherwise believe in him, because it contradicted their expectations of a powerful, invincible messianic king.
     

    nicoticola

    New Member
    Turkish
    Thank you so much Mahantongo. This is precisely why I asked about it as one Turkish translation of the said verse uses the expression "stumbling." The Greek origin brings everything together in my mind now.

    All the best,
     
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