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Hebrew Bible.docx

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Carleton University
RELI 2110
Deidre Butler

Hebrew Bible 09/18/2013 Timelines to keep in mind 2800 BCE-2991 BCE: Creation to Abraham 2000 BCE-587 BCE: Israelite Religion Abraham-Destruction of First Temple diaspora—Israelite religion outside the land of Israel 1200 BCE: Exodus 1000 BCE-500 BCE: writing down of Hebrew Bible 538 BCE-70 CE: Judaism in Exile and in Palestine until destruction of Second Temple 230 BCE-400 CE: Rule of Rome 70-640 CE: Classical Rabbinic Period (Talmud closes in 500 CE) rabbis most active in developing the oral tradition which is later written down and developed in the Talmud commentaries Dating the (entire) Hebrew Bible—as a document The Hebrew bible we have now is approximately 2500 years old. Earliest texts probably old legends and liturgical (sacred words that are ritually spoken during a religious service), date from: 1200-1000 BCE (song of Deborah, covenant code, etc.) Political and cultural contexts that can be made th th Most texts from exilic period (6 -5 entury BCE and later) Dead Sea Scrolls (usually dated 150 BCE to 70CE) include Biblical texts fragments. Used to argue canon fluid until fixed. st nd Canon fixed in 1 -2 century CE Canon—texts that are authoritative to a group of texts Take time to be established, often people disagree on the canon Different for the catholic church and protestant church Masoretic text (basis of text used today) finalized in 10 century CE Whether it’s authoritative/non-authoritative Apocrypha: outside of the canon Chapters, verses, vowels (organizational) from late classical to early medieval periods. Hebrew Bible: Sacred Story (narrative) and Laws/Commandments Oral Linear sacred history Redaction issues (editors and authors) Rhetoric Must be really good stories if people have remembered them for this long History and narrative History of the encounter between the Jewish people and god Written Edited Multiple editors, multiple theories about how it’s been edited over time (J, P, E source) Canon Changed over time, became static in the 10 century Coherent? Edited patchwork in some instances Have to be aware of the perspective of scholar or faith-based? Factoids Hebrew Bible—based on Masoretic text Tanakh—acronym: All of the Hebrew Bible: Includes: Torah (5 books of Moses) Nevi’im (8 books of Prophets) Ketuvim (11 books of Writings): 24 books Torah=Teaching Precisely: Refer to only 5 Books of Moses—Chumash—Pentateuch Popularly frequently refers to all of the Hebrew Bible Popular refers to all Jewish learning and practices (most common Chassidic communities) Believers… hearing revelation (been revealed—god has a special message, and it must be transmitted to us), transcendent (beyond this world) , sacred (words, Torah scroll itself— symbolic of the relationship with god) text Meaningful sacred history Written Torah and Oral Torah Written: based on previous oral traditions Oral Torah: heart of the Talmud Knows stories well Stories told throughout the year, whenever something relevant happens Map of understanding of the world and their relationship to it Torah Practices: People of the Book Torah as holy object—Tree of Life (Etz CHayim) Seeing the text as a holy object Yearly cycle, 54 weekly readings (Parshat) Coupled with Haftorah reading from Prophets Honour of being called Torah—Aliya—To Go Up (must be Bar/Bat Mitzvah) Receive an Aliya to go up to the Torah to read it Torah is chanted Blessings before and after reading Torah and Haftorah reading Gender issues This is traditionally all men’s business (orthodox) Honour to reading the Torah, and the skills and piety involved. “It is a tree of life for them that hold fast to it, and all its supporters are happy” joy and celebration around the Torah—public object Reading the Hebrew Bible How to think about Biblical narrative? Hebrew narrative—continuous story (with interruptions of other things going on) from nd Genesis-2 Kings (Tanakh on, continues into early Prophets) Every time the stories are heard, they are heard in the context of all the other stories (believers hear these stories from their birth). Composite of different authors, types of literature Biblical redactor of many sources. How to read? Analytic and Synthetic Analytic: individual text Synthetic: Biblical narrative as whole narrative/unfolding story Who is the reader? How do different readers read? You can prove pretty
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