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McGill University
Religious Studies
RELG 203
Sean Ross

RELG 203 Term List 1. Covenant An agreement between two people that involves promises on the part of each to the other; the concept of a covenant between God and His people is one of the central themes of the Bible, in the Biblical sense, a covenant implies much more than a contract or a simple agreement between two parties à God made a covenant with Noah, assuring Noah that He would never again destroy the world by flood; God made a covenant with Abraham promising to bless his descendants and make them His own special people -- in return, Abraham was to remain faithful to God and to serve as a channel through which God's blessings could flow to the rest of the world; God made a covenant with the Israelites promising to make them his treasured possession among all people and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, if they follow God's commandments; another covenant was between God and King David, in which David and his descendants were established as the royal heirs to the throne of the nation of Israel 2. Akedah The Pentateuchal narrative (Gen. 22:1–19) describing God's command to Abraham to offer Isaac, the son of his old age, as a sacrifice. Obedient to the command, Abraham takes Isaac to the place of sacrifice and binds him on the altar. The angel of the Lord then bids Abraham to stay his hand and a ram is offered in Isaac's stead. The Akedah became in Jewish thought the supreme example of self-sacrifice in obedience to God's will and the symbol of Jewish martyrdom throughout the ages. 3. Tamar The daughter-in-law of Judah, who acquires her for his firstborn son, Er. When Er dies, Judah gives Tamar to his second son, Onan, who is to act as a surrogate for his dead brother who would beget a son to continue Er’s lineage. When Onan refused to "raise up seed to thy brother," the reason that The Lord put him to death, Tamar decided to have children for her dead husband Er through his father Judah. Tamar disguised herself as a harlot and enticed Judah to unwittingly become the father of her children. The later result of the incident was that Tamar gave birth to twin boys, Perez and Zerah. 4. Levites A member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi; the Tribe of Levi served particular religious duties for the Israelites and had political responsibilities as well; Moses and his brother, Aaron, were both Levites 5. Golden Calf An idol made by Aaron to satisfy the Israelites during Moses' absence, when he went up to Mount Sinai à shortly after its construction Moses returns, and, moved to wrath and indignation, destroys the idol, reducing it to dust and throwing it into the brook from which the Israelites are made to drink; has now become a symbol for selfishness and unbridled wealth 6. Tanakh An acronym for "Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim" (Instruction, Prophets, Writings). This is the complete Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is arranged and divided much differently than are Christian bibles. 7. Barrenness Not producing or incapable of producing offspring; God used infertility to show His miraculous power and to carry out His plan for human history; every single one of the Patriarchs has a “barren” wife 8. Josephus A pro-Roman Jewish historian who interpreted and defended the Jewish Bible and religion for Greco- Roman readers. Major works are “the Jewish War” and “the Antiquities of the Jews” (rewritten version of the Hebrew Bible). 9. Jephthah's Daughter Jephthah was asked by the Israelite leaders to lead them in battle against the oppressing Ammonites. Before leaving his home, Jephthah vowed to God, “If You will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand, then it will be that whatever comes forth—that shall come forth from the doors of my house towards me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon —shall be to God, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”When he triumphantly arrived home, the first one to greet him at his door was his daughter. “Alas, my daughter!” he cried out. “. . . I have opened my mouth to God and I cannot go back . . . and he did to her his vow which he had vowed; and she had not known any man.” According to interpretation, Jephthah’s daughter was sent to the mountains to live in seclusion. She never married and dedicated her life to the service of Gd 10. Sibling Strife Prevalent topic in the Bible regarding conflict and competition between brothers and sisters, within the biblical context, younger siblings are generally preferred by God over older; Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Leah and Rachel, Ephraim and Manasseh 11. Allegory A literary device in which characters or events in a literary, visual, or musical art form represent or symbolize ideas and concepts; once interpreted, shows that the literary meaning isn't the only meaning 12. Circumcision The removal of the foreskin from the human penis; God told Abraham to circumcise himself, his household and his slaves as an everlasting covenant in their flesh. Those who were not circumcised were to be ‘cut off’ from their people; Since then Mosaic Law commands that if a woman give birth to a male child, he should be circumcised in the foreskin of his flesh on the eighth day of his life 13. The “Ban” God's command to the Israelites to exterminate 7 tribes living in the land of Canaan (the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites); Although God had promised to give the land of Canaan to the nation of Israel, and although he was using Israel as his means of judgment (rather than a flood or fire and brimstone), he makes it very clear that the primary reason for the "ban" was to execute his judgment on the Canaanites 14. Exile and Return Israelites were treated as slaves in Egypt at the time, as depicted in the Exodus. The theme is recurrent in the Bible. 15. Rembrandt's An oil painting that shows a moment from the Old “Bathsheba at Her Bath” Testament story in which King David sees Bathsheba bathing and, entranced, seduces and impregnates her. In order to marry Bathsheba and conceal his sin, David sends her husband into battle and orders his generals to abandon him, leaving him to certain death. 16. Patriarchal History The history of the line of men (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) God used to establish the nation of Israel; they play significant roles in Hebrew scripture during and following their lifetimes 17. Rib And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. 18. Queen of Sheba A queen from the land of Sheba who heard of the great wisdom of King Solomon of Israel and journeyed there with gifts of spices, gold, precious stones and beautiful wood and to test him with questions. the queen was awed by Solomon's great wisdom and wealth and pronounced a blessing on Solomon's God. Solomon reciprocated with gifts and "everything she desired." Solomon offered to give her everything she desired and asked for "besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty." Then, according to the Bible, "she turned and went to her country, she and her servants." The queen apparently was quite rich, however, as she brought four and a half tons of gold with her to give to Solomon. 19. Temple of A temple constructed under Solomon, King of the United Jerusalem Kingdom of Israel and Judah; during the kingdom of Judah, the temple was dedicated to Yahweh, and is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant; destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE. 20. Lot's Daughters And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. 35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 21. Septuagint The translation of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament into Greek; result of the growing Hellenistic culture of Jewish lands 22. Divine Right of KingsA doctrine asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including the Church. According to this doctrine, only God can judge an unjust king. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act. 23. Enoch The son of Jared, the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah; Enoch "walked with God: and he was no more; for God took him"; therefore, it is interpreted that Enoch does not experience death 24. Ham 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 25. Anointment “To smear or rub with oil” and, by implication, “to consecrate for office or religious service”; in Bible times, people were anointed with oil to signify God’s blessing or call on that person’s life --> a person was anointed for a special purpose—to be a king, to be a prophet, to be a builder, etc.; someone who is anointed is a Messiah/Christos 26. Nathan A prophet who lived in the time of King David; he announced to David the covenant God was making with him (2 Samuel 7), and he came to David to reprimand him over his committing adultery with Bathsheba while she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite whose death the King had also arranged to hide his previous transgression; he tells the dying David of the plot of Adonijah to become king, resulting in Solomon being proclaimed king instead 27. Jonathan The
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