The Study of World Religions
Friday February 18, 2010
YHWH (Yahweh) - The Jewish name for God. It is usually unspoken. It literally means “I am
who I am.” It denotes a God that is personal, all powerful, and all loving.
Ethical Monotheism- Monotheism means “God is one.” It is ethical monotheism because God
is just and righteous, and he cares about human welfare.
Creation (Nature) – By creation, we mean God has created the world as good and the world
is not something to escape from. It is not an illusion, a source of evil, a realm of suffering, etc.
There is something intrinsically good about being here.
Image of God- Human beings. Human beings are different than plants, animals, etc. Being
created in the image of God means that humans have a specific purpose here, which is to rule
over and care for this world.
Sin- To miss the mark and not fulfilling the role you were created for. For example, if all human
beings were created in the image of God and you go out and kill someone, then you miss the
mark because you fail to realize that everyone was created in the image of God.
Hebrew Bible- It includes 39 books. There are 5 types of books: law, prophetic books,
historical books, poetry, and wisdom literature.
Torah (Law) - The first five books in the Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, the Book of
Numbers, and Deuteronomy (deuter- the second giving + onomy- law = the second giving of
Promised Land- This is the land that God promised to Abraham and to his descendants in the
book of Genesis. The boundaries of this land occupy roughly present day Israel.
Chosen People- God has chosen a specific group of people out of all of humanity, which
initiates a process where the whole of humanity can be reconciled to him. The Jewish people
have realized that being “chosen” may include suffering both on behalf of other people and on
behalf of your faith. This has a profound meaning in terms of the Holocaust. This is how they
make sense of the large number of people that died during this period. In this way, you can
find a spiritual meaning in suffering.
Covenantal History- The history recorded in the Hebrew Bible that is read as conversations
between God and his disciples. It always has a moral point.
Genesis- The first book in the Hebrew Bible that contains stories about the creation and the
calling of Abraham. Genesis comes from the Greek word meaning “to begin.” Exodus- The second book in Hebrew Bible. It contains stories about how God called Moses to
lead the people out of Egypt, where they were being held as slaves. Also, i