RLGAO2: Final Exam Study File
Material from Quiz #1
Part A: Terms: Identify and demonstrate the significance of each term.
Midrash: Any of a group of Jewish commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures compiled
between A.D. 400 and 1200 and based on exegesis, parable, and haggadic legend.
Considered to be a compilation of interpretations and critical analyses of religious
Diaspora: The dispersion of Jews outside of Israel from the sixth century B.C., when
they were exiled to Babylonia, until the present time.
The first diaspora was a result of the Babylonian invasion, while the second one
occurred as a result of the Roman invasion.
This lead to the establishment of Jewish communities in Greece, Rome, Asia
Minor and Eastern Europe
Menorah: A seven-branched candelabrum used in celebration of Hanukkah. Each candle
represents one day of Hanukkah.
Exodus: The Jewish book of Moses that refers to the departure of the Israelites from
Passover: a religious observance celebrated by a small number of Protestant churches
instead of, or alongside, the more common Christian holy day and festival of Easter.
The redemption from the bondage of sin through the sacrifice of Christ is
celebrated, a parallel of the Jewish Passover's celebration of redemption from
bondage in the land of Egypt.
It also refers to the last meal that the Jewish people had before they left Egypt.
Torah: Can refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures, a scroll of parchment
containing the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures used in a synagogue during
services or the entire body of religious law and learning including both sacred literature
and oral tradition.
Rabbi: A person trained in Jewish law, ritual, and tradition and ordained for leadership
of a Jewish congregation, especially one serving as chief religious official of a
Sabbath: Day of the week set aside for worship and observance of religious duties in
Judaism and Christianity.
The Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday and lasts until sunset the next day,
during which time no ordinary work or act of labor is performed.
For most Christian denominations, the Sabbath is on Sunday; prescribed conduct
varies considerably, but attendance at worship services is a feature common to all. In Islam, Friday is the day of worship.
Synagogue: In Judaism, a community house of worship that also serves as a place for
assembly and study.
Though their exact origins are uncertain, synagogues flourished side by side with
the ancient Temple cult; they existed long before Jewish sacrifice and the
established priesthood were terminated with Titus's destruction of the Second
Temple (AD 70).
Thereafter, synagogues took on even greater importance as the unchallenged focal
point of Jewish life.
There is no standard synagogue architecture.
A typical synagogue contains an ark (where the scrolls of the Law are kept), an
"eternal light" burning before the ark, two candelabra, pews, a bimah , and
sometimes a ritual bath (mikvah).
Themes from Part B: Short essay questions
3. Rabbinical Judaism
Part A: Terms: Identify and demonstrate the significance of each term.
Baptism: sprinkling or immersion in water, the ritual by which a person is initiated into
membership in the Christian community.
Baptism is considered to be a cleansing from sin. It is closely associated with
John the Baptist.
There are two groups: the Anabaptists (the European Baptists) and the English
The difference between the two is the theory that Anabaptists put more emphasis
on baptising adults rather than infants, making reference to the fact that Jesus was
baptised as an adult, and that there is an underlying concept of purification and
Anabaptism is a result of the Reformation Period, while English Baptism is a
result of the Puritan Movement.
English Baptism also emphasizes the selection of one’s religion and the privacy of
Glossolalia: Speaking in strange tongues, which is a principal feature of modern
It means that they were understood by foreigners, not that they could speak
Glossolalia today refers to angelic languages Hijrah: the Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to establish a community in
With dates, the abbreviation AH stands for “year of the hijrah”, counting 354-day
lunar years from the event in 662 CE.
Sacrament: Was originally a term for an oath of allegiance in Latin.
It came to be applied to a wide range of Christian formal actions.
In the twelfth century, as many as thirty sacraments were enumerated, but in the
thirteenth century, seven sacraments became standard for the Catholic tradition:
o the Eucharist
o anointing the seriously ill
Apostle’s Creed: a brief statement of Christian doctrinal belief dating from about the
third century but ascribed to the apostles.
1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and life everlasting.
Atonement: Christ’s restoration of humanity to a right relationship with God, variously
interpreted as divine victory over demonic power, satisfaction of divine justice or
demonstration of a moral example.
Indulgences: releases from specified amounts of time in purgatory, a realm to which in
Catholic doctrine the soul proceeds after death for an unspecified period of preparation to
Mysticism: a tradition cultivating and reflecting on the content of moments of intensely
felt spiritual union with the divine.
It does not just refer to something that is considered to be mysterious, but also
specific traditions that emphasize the certainty of profound personal experience. The certainty of God that a mystic is not based on logic, but rather a fleeting but
vivid experience, in which the beholder will feel a state of ecstasy and/or
displacement from one’s state of awareness.
A final characteristic of this can be seen in a sense of unity or a vision of the
divine, thus bridging the gap between man and God.
Trinity: the conception of God as having three “persons” or manifestations: as father, as
son, and as Holy Spirit.
The doctrine emerged during the late third century and was adopted after vigorous
debate in the fourth century.
Themes from Part B: Short essay questions:
1. Four gospels
2. Eastern and Western christianity
3. Protestant reformation
T ERMS FOR F INAL EXAM
Apocalyptic: involving or portending widespread destruction or ultimate doom. Genre of
literature with coded symbolic visions and their interpretation, often expecting an
imminent battle to end the unrighteousness of the present.
Bar mitzvah: Initiation of a thirteen-year old boy into adult ritual responsibilities in the
Some branches of Judaism parallel it with a Bat Mitzvah for girls.
Exile: One who lives away from one's native country, whether because of expulsion or
However unlike diaspora where the population was spread through the area, the
entire population moved as one.
Gemarah: The body of Aramic commentary attaching to the Hebrew text of the
Mishnah, which together with it makes up the Talmud, in both the Jerusalem Talmud and
the Babylonian Talmud.
Minyan: A select group of ten members required for beginning a synagogue service of
Mishnah: The Hebrew text edited by Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi before 200, arranging
topically the contents of the Oral Law inherited by Pharisaism and ascribed to Moses with an authority paralleling that of the written Torah. Unlike the Midrash, which
analyses the texts per line, the Mishnah was split into six different sections: seeds
(agriculture), festivals, women, damages, holy things (rituals) and purifications.
Pentateuch: The first five books of the Bible, known in Hebrew as the ḥumash (from the
root ḥ-m-sh, meaning "five") or the Torah.
It would appear that the division into these five books had already been made long
before the destruction of the Second Temple.
The five books are:
o Genesis (Be-Reshit)
o Exodus (Shemot)
o Leviticus (Va-Yikra)
o Numbers (Be-Midbar)
o Deuteronomy (Devarim)
They are also known as the Five Books of Moses.
Seder: It means order in Hebrew, and is the term used for the ritual Passover supper
celebrated in the home, whose liturgy is called the Hagadah.
The term is also used for the six divisions of the Mishnah
Septuagint: The Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures, made in Alexandria in
Tefillin: small black leather boxes, also termed phylacteries, containing words of
They are usually tied to the forehead and forearm by leather thongs
Bishop: a supervising priest of the diocese.
In some branches of Christianity, the bishop has the power to ordain certain
individuals into knighthood, conduct baptism and give positions with other
Canon: Scriptural canon is the list of books acknowledge as standard scripture.
The list of acknowledged saints is likewise a canon.
Canon law is the accumulated body of church regulations and discipline.
Clergy subject to the rule of a particular cathedral or congregation are also
sometimes termed canons.
It includes the four gospels that had achieved universal acceptance throughout
Crucifix: A cross with an image of the suffering Jesus mounted on it. Eucharist: The ritual re-enactment of Jesus’ sacrifice of himself, patterned after his
sharing bread and wine as his body and blood at his final Passover meal with his
The Orthodox term it the liturgy
The Catholics refer to it as mass.
The Protestants have dubbed it as the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion.
Logos: “Word” in the sense of eternal divine intelligence and purpose, an idea prominent
in Greek thought at the time of Jesus.
It refers to the theory that God has the ability to create the world through a single
word, to redeem the world via a single word, and to command the world via a
It refers to His omniscience, omnipotence and complete goodness.
It is mentioned in the gospel of John.
Nicene Creed: An ancient doctrinal formulation longer and more explicit than the
Apostle’s Creed and still in use through regular recitation in the Catholic mass.
It is the profession of faith in the Holy Trinity, and makes mention of the Holy
Pentecost: the fiftieth day after Easter, commemorated as the occasion when Jesus`s
followers experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit, and became able to preach and
understood in different languages.
Transubstantiation: The Catholic doctrine that is the bread and wine of the Eucharist
are at the moment of consecration in the service miraculously transformed into the body
and blood of Christ.
Dhikr: It is the act of remembering God’s name, and is often displayed through the
repetition of God’s name.
It is often invoked in group devotional exercises, where Sufi often repeat it in
It is often accompanied by special body movements, and elaborate breathing
Fana: It means “passing away” in Arabic, and is considered to be a supreme stage of
ecstasy in the Sufi mystical tradition.
One of the important phases of mystical experience which is attained by the grace
of God by a traveller on the mystical path is the state of fana fi Allah, "extinction
of the self in God".
This is the state where the person becomes extinct in the will of God. It is
important to mention that this is not incarnation or union. Most Sufis, while
passing through this experience, have preferred to live in the greatest depth of
silence which transcends all forms and sounds, and enjoy their union with the
beloved. A metaphor used by Sufist poets to describe is a moth that seeks to be totally
absorbed by the temptations of an open flame, until it accidentally catches alight
and become consumed by fire
Fiqh: Also known as jurisprudence, it is the process of human comprehension,
interpretation and codification of the sha’riah or sacred law.
Hadith: texts containing traditional reports of Muhammad’s words and examples, taken
by Muslims as a foundation for conduct and doctrine.
A hadith is an individual unit of literature, while the term Hadith refers to the
literature as a corpus.
Hajj: The Arabic term for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, it is one of the pillars of
The Hajj consists of a pilgrimage to Mecca, where Muslims must emulate various
sacred acts in order to show their devotion to their religion
The hajj represents a new stage in the life of a Muslim, and is regarded as a form
Tradition asserts that after performing hajj, a pilgrim is marked free from all sins.
`Id al-Fitr: The holiday that celebrate breaking the month-long daylight fast at the end of
The festival tradition occurs following the actual sighting of the new moon.
People join to meet one another in celebration
Ijma: The consensus of the community’s religio-legal scholars, used as a principle for
extending application of Islamic law.
Some schools made more extensive use of it than others.
Imamis: Referred to as the Twelve by Shi’ites, it is the recognition of twelve imams as
the legitimate heirs to the Prophet. The last of these imams is expected to return as the
Jahiliyah: It means barbarism or ignorance in Arabic.
It refers to the period of time in Arabia before its redemption through the rise of
During this period of time, the tribes of Arabia worshipped more than one deity
Allah was still considered to be the supreme creationist deity, but less attention
was given to him
Qiblah: The direction of Meccha, which Muslims must face when engaging in prayer,
marked in a mosque by a niche inside the wall nearest Mecca
Qiyas: Reasoning by analogy, it is a principle in development of Islamic law.
Shahadah: It is the declaration of one’s faith, or bearing witness as a Muslim. It is a brief declaration in which the individual professes their faith in Allah as the
only God, and that Muhammad is his messenger.
It is also one of the pillars of Islam
Shaykh: Arabic for a senior mater, especially one of mystical devotion.
In Sufi contexts in Persian and Urdu, the shaykh is also referred to by the
corresponding term pir.
Shi`is: One of the two divisions of Muslims.
They trace succession to the Prophet’s descendants
It consists of 1/6 of the entire Muslim population.
Sunnah: The aggregate life-example of Muhammad’s word and deed, constituting for
Muslims a guide to proper conduct. The Hadith literature is the principle source for all its
Sunnis: One of the two divisions of Muslims: they trace succession to the Prophet’s
authority through the institution of the caliphate, and consists of 5/6 of the entire
Surah: A chapter of the Qu’ran. There are 114 of these in total, arranged in decreasing
order of length from the first one, Fatihah.
Ummah: An Arabic term for the Muslim community
Wali: An Arabic term for a Sufi saint, it also means “friend” and implies that the
respected spiritual masters were intimate friends of God.
Zakat: The prescribed welfare of 2.5% of one’s accumulated wealth, collected by central
imperial treasuries in earlier times but now donated to charities independently of state
governments (additional voluntary almsgiving is termed sadaqah).
AREAS OF FOCUS:
Chapter 2: The Jewish Tradition
- Do not study material on ‘documentary hypothesis pp. 48 to top of 50
Rabbinal Judaism: pp. 71-86
Chapter 3: The Christian Tradition
Christian Origins: pp. 203-213 (you do not need to know the material on Marcion or the Gnostics on pp. 214-217)
Emerging Worship: pp. 218-219
Early Church: pp. 219-226
Creeds and the Trinity: pp. 227-230 (but NOT section on “Nestorians”)
Luther: pp. 270-275
Chapter 5: The Islamic Tradition
The Life of Muhammad; the Qur’an; Early Development
Readings: Chapter 5, pp. 340-368
Sunni and Shi’a Islam; Sufism; Islamic Law
Readings: Chapter 5, pp. 368-393; 404-416
TEXT VERSION OUTLINE OF POWERPOINT SLIDES:
o PENTATEUCH; TANAKH (ACRONYM: T N K)
o 1. TORAH
o 2. PROPHETS (NEVI’IM)
o 3. WRITINGS (KETUVIM)
Torah means “the five books of Moses”.
It can also refer to scripture.
They follow the commandments of God.
There is diversity in the world, and it takes the way of a unified
The Torah is the uniting factor for the religion, although this
varies among regions.
The term “pentateuch” refers to the five books of the Torah.
The acronym (TNK) refers to the Torah (all five books), Nevi’im
(prophets), and Ketuvim (writings).
The Torah is the main section of the Hebrew Bible, and refers to
o CREATION STORIES
1. “COSMIC”: CREATION OF ORDER OUT OF CHAOS
2. ADAM AND EVE
GARDEN OF EDEN (TREE OF GOOD AND EVIL) • Genesis is the first book in the Torah, and contains the
• There may be two separate versions, or two versions of the
same time, due to ambiguity.
• There was no written documents at this time.
• They want to preserve both, and it is up to the community
to decided which one to keep, although they consider
keeping both, due to a belief that both contain the real
• One story focuses on God and his creation of the world.
• This version is called the hierarchal story, due to the stages
in which each part of the world is designed and developed.
• The second story refers to the creation of Adam and Eve,
and their fall from grace, due to Eve’s temptation by Satan
to eat from the Tree of Good and Evil. Adam was
considered to be more trusting and unwary, while Eve was
a bit more intelligent and curious.
• Rewards of following God’s commandments would result
in life, while disregarding such commandments would end
o NOAH (COMMONALITY OF FLOOD MYTH IN MESOPOTAMIA)
Noah is considered to be the first person to formally establish a
contract with God.
THE WORLD OF PATRIARCHS AND MATRIARCHS
o COVENANT (CIRCUMCISION)
o ISAAC HEBREW LINEAGE
o ISHMAEL ARABS
o JACOB (“ISRAEL”) ISRAELITES
Abraham establishes the first covenant with God, in which he is
commanded to go to Canaan, and preach the belief in God.
Circumcision was the act that sealed the deal.
The sacrificial story required Abraham to be willing to show his
obedience by sacrificing his son in the name of God.
Isaac is said to be the ancestor of the Hebrews, while Ishmael is
the ancestor of the Arabs.
MOSES AND THE LAW
o 2 KEY EXPERIENCES
1. BURNING BUSH
2. MT. SINAI
o TEN COMMANDMENTS o ARK OF THE COVENANT
o PROMISED LAND (CANAAN)
When in a covenant or relationship with God, another requirement
is to adopt a new name.
Names for God became different, due to the idea that God’s
influence was limited by having only one name. However some
feel that speaking the name of God is taboo.
God displays himself to Moses by capsulating himself in the
image of a bush that is on fire, yet not burning.
Moses’s mission is to free his people from the Pharaoh, and bring
them to the promised land.
The Pharaoh declines, and Egypt is forced to endure ten
After his people are freed, they wander through the wilderness,
until they reach Mount Sinai, where Moses ascends in order to
receive his ten commandments.
The ten commandments are:
• I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt and
out of slavery
• You shall have no other god to set against me
• You shall not attempt to make anything for yourself in the
heavens, on the earth and under the waters to bow down to
• You shall remember to keep the day of Sabbath holy, for it
is the seventh day of the week, and thus a day of God,
• You must honour your father and mother.
• You must not commit murder
• You must not commit adultery
• You must not steal.
• You must not give false evidence against your neighbour
• You shall not covet your neighbour’s possessions.
The promised land of Canaan is already inhabited by the
Canaanites, who are not only more culturally and technologically
advanced than the Israelites, but have also established a strong
hold on the land with fortified cities and well-equipped cities.
Their forms of worship is also considered to be far more abhorrent
to the ways of early Judaism, demanding ritual prostitution and
child sacrifice, but have been considered for emulation by the
Time is considered to be more historical in nature for Judaism,
Christianity and Islam.
The Eastern religions were introduced to the West via abstract
philosophical texts. In the three main Western religions, there is a pattern where there
are several significant events that occur.
The term “messiah” means that some sort of figure who arrives
during the times of great injustice to help the people in their times
In Christianity, “messiah” means someone who will save the
people from committing evil or sin.
The afterlife in Judaism is seen as living through one’s children,
lengthening one’s legacy.
Abraham is considered to be the father of the main religions, and
He is the father of Isaac, the ancestor of the Israelites, and
Ishmael, the ancestor of the Arabs.
o KINGDOM OF JUDAH
SAUL DAVID SOLOMON
o DAVID: CAPITAL = JERUSALEM
o SOLOMON: FIRST TEMPLE (~950 BCE)
o NORTHERN KINGDOM (ISRAEL)
CONQUERED BY ASSYRIANS (721 BCE)
o SOUTHERN KINGDOM (JUDAH)
Around 1000 BCE, Israeli society experienced a shift to
centralized monarchy, as kingship became a necessary institution
to help deal with the Canaanites and Philistines (a group whose
culture was similar to that of the Mycaenean Greeks; the term
“Philistine” is said to be the source for the region Palestine)
The first individual to be appointed this task by God is Saul.
However Saul loses favour with God, and thus is unable to
communicate with him.
The next person to achieve this position is David, who proves his
worth by slaying Goliath of the Philistines.
David’s successor was Solomon, his son by his favourite wife,
Solomon built the first temple to God (yahweh) on the hill called
Zion, using lavish materials.
He also undertook other ambitious projects around the kingdom.
However his build-up of the central government and his use of
conscript labour contributed to an alienation of the ten northern
After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was broken into two
The northern tribes, centered in Samaria was referred to as Israel,
and continued for two centuries until the Assyrian invasion.
After this, they were referred to the “ten lost tribes”. The southern kingdom was centralized in Jerusalem, and was
referred to as Judah.
SOUTHERN KINGDOM: CONQUERED BY BABYLONIANS (TEMPLE
DESTROYED IN 586 BCE)
o 50 YEAR EXILE IN BABYLONIA (586-539 BCE)
o BEGIN SUBSTITUTIONS FOR TEMPLE (WRITTEN SCRIPTURE;
o 540 BCE: RETURN TO JERUSALEM
2 TEMPLE BUILT: 515 BCE
• After the southern kingdom of Judah was conquered by the
Babylonians, the main temple was destroyed.
• The leaders of Judean society were exiled to Babylonia.
• These two catastrophes marked the disruption and
weakening of Judean institutions, and a crisis of
• In order to boost support for the Jewish faith, synagogues
and written scriptures were used as substitutes.
• However, with the re-conquering of Jerusalem by Cyrus the
Great, the Judeans were allowed to return.
• Cyrus was referred to as a messiah and a second temple
SECOND TEMPLE ERA
o MACCABEAN REVOLT (167 BCE)
• 1. SADDUCEES
• 2. PHARISEES
• 3. ZEALOTS
• 4. ESSENES
The Maccabean revolt was triggered by the conflict
between the Judean Hellenizers and the Maccabees.
The Hellenizers supported the infusion of non-
Jewish customs into Jewish cultures, a change that
the Maccabees were strongly opposed to.
After the Hellenistic reformers attempt to develop a
gymnasium on sacred Jewish ground, the revolt
erupted, and ended with a victory for the
This was also the inspiration for the Jewish holiday
The Maccabees would go on to form the
Samaritans: descendants of the northern
Israelite tribes and the people who mixed with them during the Assyrian occupation.
Distinguished from other Jews by their
corpus of scripture: they reject the Prophets
and Writings in the Hebrew Bible, and
accept only the first five books of Moses.
Another distinctive characteristic is their
practice of animal sacrifice.
Essenes: established due to a dislike of a
high priest who was appointed in Jerusalem.
They were more militant in nature, and
placed emphasis on their purity as the
original Jews, which they attempted to prove
via pilgrimages through the desert.
Saducees: represent an upper-class political
and occupational group, who are intimately
connected to temple life.
Pharisees: a group focussed on outward
forms of ritual, and were considered to be
the most popular sect, as they represented
the middle class, such as scribal
occupations, and positions that specialized
in manual labour.
Zealots: a sect that opposed the Roman
occupation and made several attempts to
rebel against them. They are considered to
be affiliated with bandits
ROMANS RECLAIM AREA IN 63 BCE
o 66CE: REVOLT TEMPLE DESTRUCTION IN 70 CE
o RABBINICAL JUDAISM
o TEMPLE-BASED RELIGION COMMUNITY AND TEXT-BASED
o SURVIVAL = CODIFICATION OF SCRIPTURE (200 CE) AND
INTERACTIVE NETWORK OF EXEGESIS
o SYNAGOGUE; PHARISEES RABBIS
During the time of Solomon, Judaism was considered to be a religion
with a close affinity to one sacred temple.
The community would congregate to this temple in order to participate
in rituals of worship.
It was also at the temple that the main important texts were kept.
However after the Babylonian invasion, the main temple was razed to
the ground, and weakened the faith of the people.
As a result, synagogues and the codification of the scriptures became
necessary for the religion to survive.
An interactive network of exegesis (critical explanation and/or
interpretations of religious texts) was required REVELATION AND INTERPRETATION
o Midrash = EXEGESIS (INTERPRETATION)
o WRITTEN TORAH / ORAL TORAH
o 200 CE: MISHNAH
o MISHNAH + SUPPLEMENTARY INTERPRETATION TALMUD
o 2 VERSIONS OF THE TALMUD
The Midrash was considered to be any of a group of Jewish
commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures compiled between A.D.
400 and 1200 and based on exegesis, parable, and haggadic legend:
in short, it was a compilation of interpretations and critical
analyses of religious Jewish texts.
The verses of the Torah were conveyed vocally
Mishnah: The first section of the Talmud, being a collection of
early oral interpretations of the scriptures as compiled about A.D.
200. Unlike the Midrash, which analyses the texts per line, the
Mishnah was split into six different sections: seeds (agriculture),
festivals, women, damages, holy things (rituals) and purifications.
Gemara: commentary on the collection of Jewish law known as the