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RLG101 Exam Answers

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University of Toronto Mississauga
David Miller

LECTURES 1. ABRAM, or later ABRAHAM, is a symbolic figure in the Hebrew Bible who becomes the PATRIARCH of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Who was ABRAHAM and why was he so important in later Judaic, Christian and Islamic traditions? Abram/Abraham (ancestor of a multitude of nations) born in Mesopotamia Iraq was the Great Father, The Patriarch (first one), and the Common Father in all three traditions. He and his father, Terah, migrated to Haran. At this time he received the prophetic call from God (Yhwh/Yahwey). Abraham and his wife Sarah (Sarai) then migrated to Canaan Palestine-Israel but famine caused Hebrews to go to Egypt. When he was 75, he returned to Canaan. Sarah was barren so she gave Hagar, slave girl, to Abraham who gave birth to Ismail. Ismail was later Patriarch for Islam. When Abraham was 99, Lord appeared to him and made a covenant, contract circumcision of all males. Once Isaac was born God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son, but once he was about to kill his son, an Angel stopped him saying now we know that you fear God, so dont put your hands on the boy. Therefore, Abraham is a symbol of Absolute Faith, and is also the first monotheist prophet. Abraham - Ismail ------------------------------------Muhammad - Isaac ---------------Moses --------------Jesus 2. ABRAHAM made a COVENENT with GOD in GENESIS. What is a COVENENT and what did it require of ABRAHAM and his people? Circumcision of all males was the covenant/contract. Sarah will bear Isaac and from then onwards all males should be circumcised. God told Abraham that Sarah will bear a son whom he must name Isaac, whereas Ismail will be blessed and given a great nation (Islam). Therefore, when Isaac was 8 days old and when Abraham was 100, Isaac was circumcised. 3. Describe the PROPHETIC EXPERIENCE of MOSES with GOD (YHWH) at Mount Sinai, as it appears in the Hebrew Bible. How does this story differ from MOSES encounter with GOD (ALLAH) in the QURAN? Moses was born to parents of the House of Levi, and was placed in a basket which was put in the reeds of the Nile River. The wife of the Pharaoh saw him and asked her maid to go get him. Therefore, Moses = drawn out, or to bear or beget (produce). The reason why Moses was put in the basket was because Pharaoh was once told that a child will rise up and kill you because Pharaoh thought he was God, and so he decided to kill every son, but keep all girls. But when his own wife picked up Moses, Pharaoh thought he wouldnt be of threat. One day Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, Moses killed Egyptian and fled to Sinai from Egypt. Thats when Pharaoh started hating Moses. One day he was at Mount Sinai, where the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush, without the bush getting consumed. God asked him to remove his sandals as he was on holy ground. In fear, Moses hid his face from God. He was then told by God to go tell the Israelites about God, but when Moses hesitated, God said tell them who I am, the Wholly Other, the Mysterium Tremendum. In Hebrew Bible, God spoke to Moses from behind the bushes, in Quran, God told Moses to visualize but then mountain explodedbasically Moses couldnt visualize God. Furthermore, Moses (80 years old) and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said the Lord says let the Israelis go, but Pharaoh said no, so God cursed Pharaoh with 10 plagues: 1) nile river turns to blood, 2) nile river swarms with frogs, 3) plague of gnats, 4) plague of flies, 5) death of Egyptian cattle, 6) plague of boils, 7 thunder and hail storms, 8) clouds of locusts, 9) darkness, 10) death of Egyptian first-born. At midnight, Lord killed all first born including Pharaohs. 4. Describe in detail the second encounter of MOSES with GOD (YHWH) at Mount Sinai after the EXODUS of the Hebrews from EGYPT. How might you characterize this religious encounter? Pharaoh says take people of Israel, but then changes mind, and stops them. The Egyptians flee but are killed, and the Israelis saved. Moses is then called by God who says tell them all that you are witness to what just happened to all the Egyptians. Tell them that the whole Earth is Gods, and that they are a holy nation. On the morning of the third day, the trumpets were so loud that everyone trembled. Moses brought them up the mountain to see God. But then they saw smoke, and the mountain quaked. Lord then told Moses that send the people down lest (out of fear) that they be perished (destroyed). Then God told them that He is the God, and they there should be no other gods before Him. He said dont make graven (carved out) images of things above in the heavens and in the waters or below earth, and you shall not bow down to them for He is a jealous God. Also dont take Gods name in vain. Then he said 6 days you work, but the Sabbath day is for relaxation, because God made everything in 6 days, and rested the seventh. Overall, God spoke to Moses alone, and asked him to tell the people of the Revelation. 5. In DEUTORONOMY 31.24, shortly before his death, MOSES is said to have finished writing the words of this law in a book (THE TORAH). Symbolically, in Jewish tradition, what does this sentence mean and what is the TORAH? Basically, after Moses was given the Ten Commandments on the two stones, it was put in a sacred container called the ark of covenant (contract), and Moses told some people to put it aside as a reference book. Because he wanted to tell them that since they didnt follow the rules they will have that put aside for them for later reference. He was saying to them that they were rebellious against the Lord when Moses was alive, so what will happen once he dies. The Torah is either written or oral. This is one of the three sections in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), and is divided into five books: 1) Genesis (beginning) creation of Adam and Eve, and also the covenant of circumcision, 2) Exodus (exit) the birth of Moses and the 10 pagues, revelation of the written and oral Torah, as well as the 10 commandments on the two stones, 3) Leviticus basic laws were introduced for example love your neighbour as yourself, 4) Numbers all the battles, sacrifices, 5) Deuteronomy reaffirmation of the covenant, speeches by Moses and his death. Moreover, Moses symbolizes the prophet who led his people to freedom, the law giver, the proto-type (example) of prophetic experience. 6. According to Biblical Historians, which of the four GOSPELS was written first and how does that GOSPEL begin? How did the other three GOSPELS begin and of what importance are the beginnings to Christian theologians?Gospel = good news about Jesus written down by four different people. 1) Mark Begins with baptism in Jordan River (pour water from above the head) of Jesus by John the Baptist, an ascetic (someone who gives up everything and is extreme in practicing religious views) who preached baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. He also said that after him comes Jesus who will not baptize with water like he does, but will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Once he came out of the river, God told him that he is His beloved son the adoptionist adopted by son?, 2) Luke Begins with the birth of John the Baptist and then the birth of Jesus in the days of King Herod, Jesus was 30 years old when he began his mission, also Luke talks about Jesus genealogy back to Adam, different from Mathews who only traces it back to King David, 3) John in the beginning was the word God, Jesus was in the beginning with God. All was made through God, and the word became flesh. Trinity = God exists and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus = sacrificial lamb atoning for the sins of man, 4) Mathew Begins with genealogy of eus from Abraham to King David, to Joseph, then birth of Jesus by Mary who was the betrothal wife (engaged, to be taken home) of Joseph, but she gave birth as a virgin. Joseph was told that Jesus will be born and should be named that, and then in a dream he was asked to take his family and flee to Egypt, because King Herod wants to destroy the child. Also told that Jesus said he has not come to abolish the Torah or the prophets but he had come to fulfil them. 7. In MATTHEW 16, Jesus asks his disciples Who do men say that I am? Only PETER knew the symboli
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