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Religious Studies
RS 110
Peter Frick

MODULE 1 The Hebrew Bible − For any religion, information about it is retrieved from the scriptures. Thus the religions are known as: o Judaism  The Way of the Torah o Christianity  The Way of the Cross o Islam  The Way of Submission − For Judaism, the scripture was the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Tanakh o Tanakh was made of 3 words: Torah (Law), Neviim (Prohpets), Ketuvim (Writings) o There are 24 books. Torah Prophets Historical Writings Basically the 1 five books. − Joshua − Psalms − Genesis − Judges − Proverbs − Exodus − Samuel − Job − Leviticus − Kings − Numbers − Deuteronomy − Isaiah The following are Megilloth – scrolls, and are read out − Jeremiah during celebrations etc. − Ezekiel − Ruth − Song of songs − Lamentations − Ecclesiastes − Esther The following books are the − Daniel minor prophets are counted as one book. − Ezra-Nehemia − Hosea − Chronicles − Joel − Amos − Obadiah − Jonah − Micah − Nahum − Habakkuk − Zephaniah − Haggai − Zechariah − Malachi − Questions of hermeneutics o Hermeneutics – attempt to interpret precisely the meaning of scripture. o Understanding religion is a hermeneutic task. o What is the importance of authorship?  Initially believed that Moses wrote the first 5 books but not believed that he may have written it but not in its entirety. What is the importance of whether or not he may or not have written it? o Nature of text; anthropomorphic language – we can never understand God because He is on his own level. o Correct interpretation is important. Origins and history − Creation (Genesis 1-2) creation of man and woman is the most important. God is at the very beginning. o Everyone is made in God’s image – there is a degree of personal freedom; we are rational beings. − Fall of humanity (Genesis 3-4  In Judaism, sin is not an original sin. It is merely disobedience against God’s commandments. − Covenant with Abraham o God is the one that initiated the covenant with Abraham, not the other way around. o He was living in a city called Ur, where there were many seminomadic families living there, and migrated to Haran and then to Palestine then to Egypt according to God’s commands. − The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob o Abraham also had a son called Ishmael, who plays a big role in Islam o The 12 sons of Jacob are the ones that went to Egypt. o Joseph was the youngest son of Jacob and his brothers sold him to Egyptians. o Israel as a nation ended up in Egypt. − Slavery in/exodus from Egypt o Moses was the first highly educated Israelites as he was raised by the Pharaoh’s daughter in the palace and was called to bring the Israelites from Egypt. o He was able to take them out by a series of 10 plagues, which also included the loss of all Egyptian first born sons. − Passover celebration (Exodus 12) o House is cleansed; unleavened bread is made and eaten as a commemoration of the exodus from Egypt. o Haggadah (a collection of stories, prayers, and songs) o Moses became the leader of the Israelites and they were in the Sinai desert for 40 years. − Election of Israel o The covenant that God had made with Abraham was renewed. o This was affirmed by circumcision and the giving of the Torah. − Decalogue/ The ten commandments (Exodus 20) o 365 negative commandments; prohibitions o 248 positive commandments o Total = 613 commandments Way of Torah (Law, instruction, way of life) − Life under Torah – represents the renewal of the covenant. − Noachide laws – 7 universal laws for those who are Jewish or not o The first 6 are prohibiting laws and the 7 is positive:  Idolatry, Blasphemy, Murder, Sexual sins, Theft, Eating blood  Law of establishing a legal system – guarantees a life that is just. − Shema Israel – prayer that was said when they were in the desert leaving Egypt. o Hear, O Israel, the Lord our G
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