purity

purity

The condition of being free from any physical, moral, or ritual contamination. In the Hebrew Bible people may contract impurity by contact with a corpse, certain dead animals, the involuntary flow of fluids from the sexual organs, certain diseases, or the eating of prohibited foods. Certain objects are regarded as pure, but may be rendered impure as a result of contact with a person who has not undergone purification rites. While impure, a person is enjoined from certain actions, primarily contact with the Temple or its religious practices. The process of purification consisted of several stages: a waiting period of from one day to several months, depending upon the nature of the impurity; a cleansing agent such as water (Lev 15:16), fire (Num 31:23), or blood (Lev 14:25); and the offering of a sacrifice. The NT developed the view that impurity is a spiritual quality that comes from within. The blood of Jesus is understood as the agent that has purified all people once and for all. Thus, in Christian theology the elaborate system of biblical purity is abrogated.

Lev 15:16

16If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water, and be unclean until the evening.

Num 31:23

23everything that can withstand fire, shall be passed through fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless it shall also be purified with the water for purificatio ... View more

Lev 14:25

25The priest shall slaughter the lamb of the guilt offering and shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and put it on the lobe of the right ear of t ... View more

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.