The Hebrew Bible
â For any religion, information about it is retrieved from the scriptures. Thus the religions
are known as:
o Judaism ï The Way of the Torah
o Christianity ï The Way of the Cross
o Islam ï The Way of Submission
â For Judaism, the scripture was the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Tanakh
o Tanakh was made of 3 words: Torah (Law), Neviim (Prohpets), Ketuvim
o There are 24 books.
Torah Prophets Historical Writings
Basically the 1 five books. â Joshua â Psalms
â Genesis â Judges â Proverbs
â Exodus â Samuel â Job
â Leviticus â Kings
â Isaiah The following are Megilloth â
scrolls, and are read out
during celebrations etc.
â Ezekiel â Ruth
â Song of songs
The following books are the â Daniel
minor prophets are counted
as one book. â Ezra-Nehemia
â Hosea â Chronicles
â Amos â Obadiah
â Questions of hermeneutics
o Hermeneutics â attempt to interpret precisely the meaning of scripture.
o Understanding religion is a hermeneutic task.
o What is the importance of authorship?
ï§ 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 â we can never understand God
because He is on his own level.
o Correct interpretation is important.
Origins and history
â Creation (Genesis 1-2) ï creation of man and woman is the most important. God is at the
o Everyone is made in Godâs image â there is a degree of personal freedom; we
are rational beings.
â Fall of humanity (Genesis 3-4 ï In Judaism, sin is not an original sin. It is merely
disobedience against Godâs commandments.
â Covenant with Abraham
o God is the one that initiated the covenant with Abraham, not the other way
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 Godâs commands.
â 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.
â Slavery in/exodus from Egypt o Moses was the first highly educated Israelites as he was raised by the Pharaohâs
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.
â 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
â 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.
â 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)
â Life under Torah â represents the renewal of the covenant.
â Noachide laws â 7 universal laws for those who are Jewish or not
o The first 6 are prohibiting laws and the 7 is positive:
ï§ Idolatry, Blasphemy, Murder, Sexual sins, Theft, Eating blood
ï§ Law of establishing a legal system â guarantees a life that is just.
â Shema Israel â prayer that was said when they were in the desert leaving Egypt.
o Hear, O Israel, the Lord our G