Lecture # 1
Difference between a lie and a myth
Lie- not truth
Myth- consists somewhat truth
What is a Myth?
· Narrative – stories
· Often with fantastic elements
· Foundational to a community
· Transmitting values
· Relevant to that community
Lecture # 2
History of Humanity
- Assyrians: people, syria, east iraq. they speak aramic language, and hebrew,
sack Northern Kingdom. They are the enemies of the jews.
- Babylonians: enemies of the jews, cultural regions.They destroyed the 1st
temple of the jews. They were used as a punishment.Thus, the jewish
renewed their covenant obligations to god by making war in order to re-
establish the Israelite nation
- Persians: they destroyed the second temple, and they are ruled by king cyrus,
who is also king of persia. King cyrus helps the Israelis re-build the temple in
515 BCE that was destroyed by the babilalions. Thus, the israelites were
invited to return (c.538 BCE) King cyrus allowed the jews to return to their
homeland after the babylonian conquest.
- After the destruction of the Second Temple, the synagogue became the focus
of Jewish life and worship.
- second temple was destroyed by the romans.
- Ezra – Man who started the collection of Scriptures
· Judaism moves from henotheism (many gods) to monotheism (one god)
· Judaism Vs. “ the religion of the Israelites
Ishmaelite: they settled in egypt for 3 years. They are a shia set that clamed
to be the descendant of ismael.
- People wanted to dress like the greeks and go to greek theatres.
- Greeks and romans mocked the jews. - The jews came up with a solution called “Epispasm” they take a needle and a
thread and take extra skin from a boy private part.
- Greek culture remains dominant.
- The romans speak latin.
Sephardic – Spain, Palestine, Africa
Ashkenazi – Eastern European
Three elements of Judaism
1. One God – monotheist [ shema; is a prayer ]
• Correct thought [Statement (creed) prescription] modern movements,
strict traditional belief binding character of the Torah and Halakhah
2. The torah is the word of God
• The scripture is authoritative in Judaism, the first 5 books in hebrew
scripture, also the whole of scripture, also the whole of corpus of
relevation including oral torah. “Methilogical”
• law, Nevi’m=prophet Ketuvim= writings. they are the 3 section of
hebrew bible in order
• 3. FUTURE SALIVATION: (WE DON’T NEED THE DEFINTION
FOR IT BUT ITS THE 3RD ELEMENT OF JUDAISM.)
Abraham & Sarah
· God commands them to pack and to leave to the promise land.Once
Abraham and Sarah came to the promised land , which is called the
“UR” in C1900-1700 BCE there were people living there ( Canaanites )
Ba’al and Asherah is the gods of canaanites. [The believe of one god but
the exclusion to others Abraham and Sarah weren’t allowed to enter the
land they were promised.
- Thus they wondered around the desert for 40 years
- They came across Mt. Sinai Abraham and Sarah were Childless ( couldn’t
conceive ) They settled in Canaan. As result Abraham Impregnated Hagaar
(the maid) and she gave birth to Ismail
· But later Sarah Conceived and had Isaac
· Abraham was now father to two children
· Sarah is jealous of Hagaar and asks For Hagaar and Ismail be kicked
out of the house
· thus, abraham is the first person of humanity he answers calls of god.
(English name) Jacob/ Israel (has a dream he wrestles with god ) thrives and struggles with
god God of Abraham Isacc and Jacob
the father of jacob
- The three Patriarchs
- 1st abraham: he is one of the 3 fathers and his songs will be the next two
- 2nd isac: father of jacob
- 3rd jacob: the song of isaac, he had12 tribes” children”
The anointing of kings of Judaism: is the pouring oil on their heads, symbolizing
• Hashanah: the first festival of the Jewish Year.
The Israelites in Egypt ; settle there for 3 years
• The Israelites in Egypt: 400 years, they’re community is growing. The Hebrews
were called the Hebrews. politics pharaohs were being threatened from outside by
another nations so hebrews become slaves of Pharaohs. Pharaohs wanted to kill all
the boys of jewish house hold except that boy that a princess finds him on a river
from pharaohs. He then realizes he’s one of the hebrews, being persecuted and
punished, he kills an Egyptian over lord for torturing a slave.
• - Moses
* The pharaoh commands that the first male child of each family be killed
* Refer to the story of Moses and the Pharaoh
* The bush on the fire talks to Moses, he asks the bush who are you. However, it
answers “i am who i am: “YHWH” Exodus 12500 CE
* when moses splits the ocean in half with a staff.
* God is present and he is protecting them.
* passover, is when they pass over the ocean.
[Believe there is only one God]
Henotheism: Belive loyality to worsship one god but to the exclusion to all others.
Joshua: 6th book of the bible, military commander
set up 12, or over by judges
David is the Kind of kings Jews adore, one of the Monarchy
- Most beloved king
- Consolidation of the kingdom: He brings all 12 tribes in to 1 ( creating a
nation called Israel)
- he ruled 1000-960 BCE, he is the one who represents the (golden age of
- most famous king - politically stability, economics stability and wealth
- these people are ruled by king. when they have the approval of god himself.
- he was credited for peace and prosperity
- Jerusalem: David picks a new city to make the capital of his nation, he picks
jerusalem, david concurs it and makes it the capital city of Israel.Thats when
jerusalem enters history. Thus, this place doesn’t favor any of the 12 tribes.
Solomon (ruled 960 – 21 BCE )
- Solomon is also beloved
- Solomon is the son of david.
- Solomon builds first Jewish temple ( completed c. 931 BCE)
- Solomon is renowned for his wealth , wisdom, and international power
- it will last till 586-587 Monarchy Breaks down.
Monarchy breaks down
- 12 tribes- united monarchy- divided into 2 kingdoms
· Judah in the South: in israel
· Israel in the North ( north of the dead sea)
- Changing political power internationally means Israel suddenly has new
• Assyrian sack Northern Kingdom.
· Babylonians Sack Judah ( 587 BCE)
· Nebuchadnezzar: Oh god.
-Destroys the first temple
- Scatters the aristocracy and land owners
· Three Features of this new Judaism
- The Diaspora Jew ( outside Jerusalem) : develop outside of israel,
not all jews that left return. There are still jews in Egypt
- The prophet
- The Septuagint ( LXX) : a greek translation of the Hebrew Bible
developed in the Diaspora.
~ The prophet will come and answer it all [God used the Babylonians as a punishment]
- Sadducees: [ work with roman] – have all the power; literalistic.
They represent priest hood, wealthy governors. When the romans arrived the sadducees worked with them. They have the best
interested in stability. They rejected the idea of the oral Torah.
- Pharisees – believe in resurrection , have the torah ; have all the
people. They belived in Angels
- Sicarii: They have long histories roman occupations. Named by
their socials (use daggers to attack their foes) They were also the
- Zealots:Rebel, they are willing to die for their god. They will
attack roman caravans.
- Christians – Part their own way
- Pharisees: believed in the angels, they can make stuff up because
they have special reservations from god. They all have the people.
· Thus the Pharisees are left after the Romans are destroyed the second
War of Independence
1. takes place in 66 -73 CE
Jewish war Rome destroys the second temple in 70 CE
2. 132- 35 CE
- Bar KochbaRevolt: Jews reformulated their religion to incorporate ,
synagogue, Talmud and Rabbis because after they were unsuccessful to
attempt to free themselves from roman rule in jewish war and bar kochba
rebellion. Soon is squashed by Rome
- highest pint closer to god
- the last temple the jews have is Jerusalem.
Synagogue Vs temple
· A synagogue vs temple: House of assembly jewish house for prayer and
study. It is where religion happens in Judaism many communities with there
own synagogues you only need a priest when there is a sacrifice. With no
temple synagogue becomes a place where religion happens.
· Its lead by a rabbi prayer is the central religious act sacrifice would require
an altar in the center. · Dining room:The dinning room table becomes the central of the religious act.
no temple no sacrifice. no priest no sacrifice
· sacrifices requires an altar which is that central square of dining room table
becomes a central locations.
· Judaism is a religion of purity so you can enter the temple and due your
· The women keeps the purity how the meal is set and how things are run..
· Talmud: is a product of the rabies. The destruction of the temple changed
everything for judaism
· product of the rabies. it is jewish oral Torah, comprised of Torah( the
pentateuch) The famous commentator is Rashi Jewish bible.
· Rabbi: jehuda ha-nasi is also known as Patriarch Judah.
· During the 12 century Rabbi Moses everything is already predestined for you
the Jews and Muslim discussed this.
· The Jews started to get expelled from the lands during the fight of the
Christian and Muslims.
· Jews are blamed for death and plague.
· Poland was new and it opened its doors to Jewish middle class.
· Yiddish new Jewish language due to the nomadic migration in Germany and
· 18 Century
· Jews find new freedom to be whatever they want doctors businessmen.
· Jews where threatened and beat by the Christians.
· Jews and Muslims have discussion together, and not against each other.
· First to bring greek and Roman philosophies to determine if people get free
written originally in arabic.
· deals with concept of free will and God.
Reponses to Persecution
· Kabbalah: is the jewish school of mysticism.
· Massa a king that will free the Jews Nathan of Gaza he will have many
· The Muslim and Christian did not like shabbatai Zvi they asked him to
convert he is the Jewish Massa him and his followers converted to Islam.
· Judaism had a bad track to people claiming to be the Massa.
Messaia:17 new messaia appears (shabbatai Zvi (1666CE&
disliked by muslims capture by muslims
given the option convert or die.
all his followers convert to islam These messiahs are so good for jews
( 18th c) Acculturation Liberal interpretation of Torah.
· The Jews wanted to fit in and be part of the Christian community with food
drinks and politics
· Jewish culture is not what you dress eat or drink is what you believe and holy
and culturally German eating Christian food his son converted to
Christianity its too difficult to be Jewish.
· Judaism liberal spectrum had to modernize Jewish scriptures before
· Ethical kosher don’t eat MacDonald
• Reform judaism: the law of tora is considered binding. Thus, reform judaism
started in Germany.
• Reformism: be jewish and participate in non jewish culture which is known as
reformism. Reform judaism is on the liberal spectrum because they must interpret
jewish scriptures in order to modern by them. Modern reform judaism can eat
• ethical couture: means not eat at mcdonalds. In according to ethics and not purity.
• Conservatives judaism
· If its in scripture you cant take it away if its culture developed you can give
that away dress but if its food or Sabbath not working one day you cant take
· More literal scriptures are timelessness more stricter compare to its liberal
· conservative judaism: occupying the middle ground of judaism. Making
distinction between scripture and tradition, clothes goes our diet stays
tradition vs scripture, takes a stricter interpretation of Tora.
· Jehuda Halevi: spanish hebrew philosopher that migrated to palestine, he
was famous for his work.
· the torah is god words you can never take it away.
· Reform Judaism can do what ever they want.
· strict interoperation of Torah
· as gods word Torah is not to be negotiated with
· most strict about practice. MOre than conservatism.
Zionism · 1860-1904
· Theodor Herzl the Jews will never have security as long as they don’t have
there own lands.
· The holocaust changed every thing for the Jewish communities.
· Independence, security, and language
· mixed reception among jews.
· modern movements to secure a jewish home-land in Palestine, which led to
formation of the state of Israel.
· ancient Israelite ritual meaning “all consuming sacrifical fire,’ used in
modern “all note the destruction of jews and others under the Nazis.
· Adolt Hitler 1993 is appointed( CHancellor of Germany) increasing
persecution and public traits are inherited base on the groups we come from
ex, I am black and I’m a gangster and drug dealers because my people are so
increasing persuction and public harassment of German Jews.
· Racism is an invention there is no such thing as race there is ethnicity.
· The Jews where thriving before the holocaust there was no raism the
Christians did not like the Jews.
· November 9/10/1938 Hitler is elected he plans to exterminate the Jews to
prevent them from thriving and being a threat 10,000 bodies a day killed gas
over load work or assassination or mass graves and melted.
· 6 million Jews died 4 Million in camps and some died due to hunger and the
-Antiochus Epipanes IV: defied the altar by sacrificing a pig on it.
· All the followers of Christians where originally Jewish Jesus was Jewish.
· During the time of Roman occupation the Qumran were mad at the Jewish
temples ruins due to the Romans occupation.
· Many people claimed to be the Messiahs and free the Jewish people there
claims earned them to be assassinated by the Romans.
· Jesus Nazareth was born in 4 BCE he was born in the Galileo
Passion · Passion Jesus preached about god and is seen as a healer and performing
nature miracles raising those of the dead and walking on water his
· He was crucified by the Romans
· Many people came to live in Jerusalem it was a tent over crowding city filled
· Christians believe that Jesus has been resurrected.
Stage Two –Paul:
· Diaspora Paul was a persecutor many names change with identity during the
century Paul lived in Damascus.
· Paul is redefying Judaism he is a Jewish follower of Jesus.
· 40-55 CE Paul traveled a lot and kept in contact through letters.
· Circumcision and no food restrictions (Kashrut)
· Gnostics are Christians in a form of Knowledge sacred knowledge in Jesus he
was never human just pure sprit.
Gnosis:jesus just appeard, he wasn't a human just a spirit
· Hersey wrong belife.
Orthodoxy: good belief.
· Christianity would say: if jesus wasn’t human he didn’t really die and if he
didn’t really die there is no resection pro flash: jesus was really human like
Marcion: rejected Gospel Orthodox pro flesh Jesus was human
Doestics Jesus anti-flesh was not human.
Marcion is one of them and arguing that the world is created by the good
god but by an evil God or Jewish God. All forms of Jewishness that survives
in this new Christian writing should be purged – example: letter of Pauls.
Marcion is anti-Jewish.
Constantine: Roman emperor (273-337) who legalized and promoted Christianity.
· Romans: killed Christians they were murdered for fun and games by lions
they where killed and prosecuted.
· Constantine has a dream he wins a battle and gets to be emperor.
Edict of Milan: 313 CE it’s no longer dangerous to be Christian.
· Christianity expands across the Roman Empire you can only be Christian.
· Imperial Christian army was created stability.
Athanasius: argues that Jesus and God where identical and Jesus always existed.
4TH Century Alexandria Jesus and God where similar cant be same cause Jesus was
born. Nicea: believed Jesus is son of God and that Jesus and God are equal and are co
Theotokos: Mary mother of God in Christianity.
Mary was born without sin made it okay for her to be mother of God.
· believed he is 100 percent human and 100 present divine he had two people
in him he was born human and his divine part always existed.
Monophysites: Jesus had one part to him. Council of Chalcedon 451 compromise
that Jesus had Both human and nature in him.
Christian History, Origins
- 1 Century: Jewish history – All Christians and first followers of Jesus were
Jewish. Importantly, Jesus himself was Jewish. It is not anymore!
• Jewish Sects: The Zealors and Sicarri groups actually have messiah’s. They
develop because, they are rallying around a warrior who stands up and says “I am
the messiah that Israel has been waiting for and I am going to throw off Roman
• occupation.” The problem is that a couple do it at the same time, and they start
fighting each other. So you have got numerous messiah’s stepping up to say they
are the messiah’s and different groups following them to fight the Romans.
- Before and after Jesus, we have a messianic claimants – people claiming to be
the messiah’s. All of them meet the same faith, Rome kills them!
• Galilee: Jesus is born in Galilee – the Galilee is in the North side – Galilee is
mentioned once in Hebrew bible and is given the insulting term “Galilee of the
gentiles” jews that live there are not fully jew because they live so far away from
the heart of Judaism – so nobody knew Galilee because of its bad reputation.
• Crucifixion: Jesus has his protest and arrested by Rome and executed the next
day. Killed in the traditional Roman way of executing political trouble makers
Crucifixion is public and it is slow and it is political. Easy to hang somebody and
leave hanging but it doesn’t really suffer. Crucifixion means suffer and can be
there for days for everybody to see and that is a political statement that Rome
makes to any troublemakers. You die of suffocation when you are crucified. So it
was Romans that killed Jesus and not the Jews – killed by Tome for being the
messiah, the jews might have rejected them as a messiah but it was Rome that
executed him. According to the new testament stories, Christianity spread like wild fire –
probably not accurate – evidence show that the spread was modest and slow. It
takes 120 years after death of Jesus, for Roman non-Christian to mention Jesus or
Christianity. It takes 70 years for a Jewish non-Christian writer to mention Jesus.
• Paul in response to this stops persecuting and becomes the Champion of this
movement – establishing communities of Christ followers around the meditarian –
he is from tarsus but he starts his traveling towards Rome and Spain. He gets
executed but we have no records of his execution or any evidence as he was on his
way to Spain.
• Another form of Christianity developing is Docetics related to nostics – Christians
who champion not faith on Jesus but special kind of knowledge. So if has special
kind of knowledge on Jesus Christ then they are saved. Part of that knowledge is
to recognize that Jesus was actually never human. He took on the appearance of a
human and thats where the word Docetic come from. He was pure spirit – spirit
essentially good and the physical world is illusion and bad. Spirit is the perfect
form of everything. So Jesus must have appeared to be human. So Decetics are
anti-flesh, anti-material. And there are other groups of Christians that are coming
to different conclusions who Jesus was and how people are suppose to relate to
There were also orthodox (different from Judaism) – in Christianity proper
thinking. They think they are the one who has proper belief and thinking.
- Whom to believe? All these groups think they have the proper thinking until
one of them has an army it will be the Orthodox group that will become the official
form of Chrisitanity. They will argue against Marcion that Jesus was fully Jewish
and they will argue against Docetics that Jesus was fully human. Orthodox is pro-
flesh that Jesus was fully human and they are pro-Jewish – Jesus was Jewish.
therefore, this version becomes Christianity.
- All of these variety of grthps changes because of Constantine (who was a
Roman emperor in the era of 4 century) where Christianity has been going
through persecution at the hands of Roman state. Rome thought that Christianity is
a dangerous religion. – Christians were eaten by lions and this was seen as Roman
- Constantine converts and fighting to become an emperor. A night before he
has a dream and he sees a sign that says “conquer in this sign” – the sign is the
Greek letter Chi-Rho which is the first three letter of English and Christian
symbol for the name of Christ. He sees this image and puts it on his standards. And he wins, and he is thinking this God rocks and he wins and becomes the emperor. As
a response, he issues the Edict of Milan, 313 CE- which is an edict of religious
freedom – it says all religions can be free and does not favor Christianity but only
makes it legal for the first time. It is no longer dangerous or illegal to be Christian in
Roman Empire. Christianity grows exponentially. Christianity also changes because
of Constantine, it is now imperial religion – religion with an empire and army.
- But Constantine does not like bickering so he has these groups in his empire
disagreeing with each other. So Arius from Akexandria argues that Jesus was born
like all of us therefore there was a time when he did not exist. Which means that
Jesus is secondary and lesser than God Homou-ousion: similar substance to God.
They were not identical.
- Athanasius would disagree and argued that Jesus had always existed but he
just manifested himself amongst humans at a particular time. And Jesus and God
are identical substance and this is called homo-ousion: same substance.
- Constantine gathers the bishops in Nicea, Turkey in 325 CE and before the
two parties arguments, he issues an edict.
- The edict is the Nicean creed which has the effect of establishing the concept
of the Trinity that Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit are exactly the same – Nicea: “We
believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only sons of God, eternally begotten of the
Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not
made, of one Being (homo-ousions) with the Father...” begotten means not born!
this creed has a political context. So Nicea establishdes that Jesus and God are
equal, they are both Co-eternal which means that Hesus goes back to the creation of
the universe – always existed! Jesus and god are co-eternal and consubstantial. this
results into more debate! – if Jesus and God are the same then what does that make
Mary? The mother of God? Some Chrisitans would say yes and would call her
Theotokos = bearer of God. Some Chrisitians will have find it illogical where a
human is mother of God in the first century – when God always existed. they will
call Mary Christotokos = bearer of Christ, if the messiah.
- They are all Chrisitans but there are different ways of understanding and
rationalizing relationship of Jesus with God. Theotokos will win the debate – thanks
to the emperor – Mary is knwown in Christianity as mother of God. another
debate: if Mary was born like all of us, with sun, how can she really be the mother
of God? So Chrisitanity, specially Catholicism will end up with a position called the
immaculate conception – which refers to the birth of Mary – Mary was born
without sin. According to Christianity, all humans are born with sun, but Mary was
born immaculately without sin.
- There is also a debate about the nature of Jesus’s human part and divine part
– Christians believe that Jesus was 100% human and 100% divine. Nestorius will
argue that Jesus had two persons: human and divine. Only the human part was
born in human fashion – the divine part was co-eternal. - Nestorius was opposed by Monophysites – the human element of Jesus was
completely swallowed up into the divine one. Jesus had one nature – mono (one) +
- The council of Chalcedon, 451 (last major theological debate about Jesus) –
arrive in compromise between Rome and Constantinople – Jesus was one person
(the mono) but with both human and divine natures in him.
- The only reason Vatican two happens and came to some of its decisions is
because the people Catholics on the ground want some change in Catholic practices
– they want some change and modernization. Theology extremely complex and
influenced by all sort of directions – historical, culture and