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David Miller

RLG101HS: FINAL EXAM STUDY QUESTIONS INSTRUCTOR DAVID MILLER WORTH 50% OF FINAL MARK 15 QUESTIONS FROM LECTURES, OF WHICH 5 WILL BE SELECTED FOR THE EXAM (WORTH 5 POINTS EACH) 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? Abraham was a man born in Mesopotamia, Iraq in 1850 B.C.E. With his father he migrated to Haran, and while he was there he received the PROPHETIC CALL FROM GOD, who is known as YHWH. In Genesis 12.1 it is written that God said to Abraham, “Go from your country and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation.” He is so important in later Judaic, Christian and Islamic traditions because he is the PATRIARCH claimed by them. Abraham and his wife Sarah migrated to CANAAN but there was a famine there and so the Hebrews were forced to go to EGYPT. At the age of 75 Abraham was rich in livestock, silver, and gold and decided to return to CANAAN. Sarah was unable to have children and so she gave her EGYPTIAN slave girl named HAGAR to Abraham and so Hagar bore Abraham a son, named ISHMAEL. (Ishmael later becomes a patriarch for Islam) Then, when Abraham was 99 years old, God appeared to him and made a covenant (contract) with him. Abraham fell on his face and had another PROPHETIC experience. God himself re-named ABRAM to ABRAHAM, which means ‘ANCESTOR OF A MULTITUDE OF NATIONS – THE PATRIACH.” The sign of the covenant was to have every male circumcised. God gave Abraham’s wife Sarah a son named ISAAC, whom God said the covenant shall be established with him and his offspring. Ishmael was also blessed by God and given a great nation. Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, who was circumcised at the age of 8 days. God tested Abraham’s faith by telling him to take Isaac’s life but when Abraham put a knife against Isaac’s throat the angel of the Lord cried out and stopped him because he knew that Abraham was faithful and feared God. Abraham is symbolic of ABSOLUTE FAITH, and is also the FIRST MONOTHEIST , PROPHET who LED HIS PEOPLE to the PROMISED LAND, and the PATRIARCH of Judaism (thru Isaac) Christianity, and Islam (thru Ishmael). 2. ABRAHAM made a COVENENT with GOD in GENESIS. What is a COVENANT and what did it require of ABRAHAM and his people? A covenant was basically a contract that Abraham made with God where it required Abraham and his people to distinguish God. The key point to the covenant was to ensure that only YHWH was the one to be praised and no one else. Also it required every male among them to be circumcised. YHWH promised Abraham a son from his barren wife Sarah but his name had to be Isaac and he must be circumcised. God also promised Ishmael a great nation and for him to be blessed. The last part of the covenant was a test when Isaac was born. Abraham 1 was told to sacrifice his son, but as he was about to, the angel of God stopped him and told him that he has ultimate faith in God. 3. Describe the first encounter of MOSES with GOD at Mount Sinai, as it appears in the Hebrew Bible. How does this story differ from MOSES’ encounter with GOD in the QUR’AN and what characteristics of the Prophetic Experience do both accounts share? In the first encounter of MOSES with GOD at Mount Sinai, at it appears in the Hebrew Bible, Moses was tending a flock of sheep, when he came to MOUNT SINAI and there the angel of the Lord APPEARED TO HIM IN A FLAME OF FIRE out of a BUSH. Moses looked over in awe and the BUSH WAS BLAZING yet it was NOT CONSUMED. God called to him out of the Bush. “Moses, Moses!” and Moses said, “Here I am.” God told Moses to not come any closer, to remove his sandals, for the place that Moses was standing on was HOLY GROUND. God said further that he was the God of Moses’ fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – The GOD OF THE PATRIARCHS. In fear, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. God informs Moses to go to the Pharoh and tell him to free his people. Moses said to God that if he goes to the Israelites saying that God has sent him, and they ask me what God’s name is, what should he say? God simple said “I AM WHO I AM” (YHWH – YAHWEH) Moses did not question God’s will or commandment. YHWH is wholly other – transcendent – mysterium tremendum. In the story that is in the Qur’an, after Moses has left Egypt he sees a fire on Mount Sinai, and he follows it. He hears a voice that says, “I AM ALLAH!” coming from a tree. Moses feels a sense of mysterium tremendum and Allah orders Moses to set down his belongings, and as Moses does it, it all turns into a SNAKE. Moses starts running away fearing Allah but Allah calls him back telling him not to fear him because he is secure in faith. 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? In Jewish tradition what is the TORAH that was given to MOSES by God (YHVH)? The second encounter of Moses with God at Mount Sinai after the great migration of the Hebrews from EGYPT was when God called Moses to Mount Sinai and said to him that the Israelites were freed. He said to Moses that he kept his part of the covenant and therefore the people should keep theirs – they are the chosen people of God. The second encounter shows the same signs of mysterium tremendum such as thunder and lightning. God tells Moses to make sure no one comes or tries to see God or they will die. God states to Moses that he is the one God and he should be the only one who is prayed to. God declares monotheism religion. He also stated that there should be no images of God, or heaven/hell. The 10 commandments are handed down to Moses. This encounter shows all characteristics of a prophetic experience as well as characteristics shown from Rudolf Otto’s mysterium tremendum. This 2 encounter is beneficial and appreciative of Moses because now if he keeps the covenant his people will be the chosen people of God. 5. 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 GOSPEL “beginnings” to Christian theologians? The first gospel was written by mark and begins with the baptism of john the Baptist who was an ascetic. God then opened up the clouds and says that Jesus is his son; therefore Jesus becomes divine at Baptism and is adopted by god. Like write the next gospel which begins with the birth of john the Baptist and then Jesus. The third was by john who states that Jesus existed with god in the beginning of the cosmos which was created through him, the word. The word then became flesh and walked among us and he is the only son of god. The last gospel was by Matthew and begins with the genealogy of Jesus from Aberham to David, David to Babylon and Babylon to Christ. These beginnings are important to theologists because each suggest different times of when Jesus became divine and whether he is the son of god or not, be it adopted or the actual son. 6. In MATTHEW 16, Jesus asks his disciples “Who do men say that I am?” Only PETER knew the symbolic meaning of the title, CHRIST. What did CHRIST mean in Jewish tradition and how has Christian tradition interpret the title, CHRIST? In Jewish, the Christ, the deliverer of the kingdom of David, was believed to be the messiah, moreover the military messiah who was to bring back the kingdom of David. However, Jews at this time believed that Jesus was actually Elijah, the one who would come before the Christ the military messiah. In Christian belief, the Christ is the son of god whom is human and divine and who was placed on the earth to cleanse the sins of the human race. Jesus however was not the military messiah that the Jews expected; he was a suffering messiah who would suffer to deliver the teachings of god. Peter knew what the Christ meant, which he stated as “the son of the living god”. 7. In the New Testament JESUS CHRIST created two important PROPHETIC experiences, one to Peter, James and John in Matthew 17, and the other to Paul (known as Saul) in Act 9. Briefly describe the elements of each experience. When peter, john and James were on
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