RLGA02H3 Study Guide - Israelites, Polytheism, Henotheism

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
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I’m actually not quite sure whether this answer covers everything so can someone elaborate on it?
3.2. As suggested on page 74, interpreters were often reluctant to change scripture even when there
appeared to be contradictions in the text. Why?
Interpreters did not take these contradictions in the text as problems. In fact, they used it to their
advantage. They used these contradictions as clues as to how the text was composed, rather than
changing them. Therefore this led to the fact that the three interpretations of the chaos before creation
were not all obtained from one source. They were obtained from three different sources.
3.3 Discuss the idea of the covenant. Compare the idea of the covenant as connected with e.g.,
Abraham and Moses, with other legal codes in other cultural/religious contexts of the time.
The covenant is basically a contract in modern terms. However, this contract is made with the divine. If
one followed the covenant, they will be rewarded. If they did not follow the covenant, they will be
punished. An example of a covenant would be something such as circumcision (Abraham). Circumcision
is the symbol of Abraham’s promise to God, all males must go through this to keep the covenant.
Another covenant that Abraham made with god was sacrificing his son. Abraham did as he was told and
God told him to sacrifice an animal instead. Abraham was rewarded later for being obedient and
following the covenant. Moses also had a covenant which was the ark of covenant. A similar story
occurred with Adam and Eve. However, a member of this discussion group already posted it so there is
no point in repeating it all.
3.1 What is monotheism? What other ways of being religious are ‘out there’? Discuss any issues
that might arise when trying to define religion based on a monotheistic interpretation. Go to the
library website, click on E-resources, access the E-version of the Oxford English Dictionary (or
try this link here), and then find and briefly review definitions of ‘monotheism,’ ‘monolatry,’
‘polytheism’ and ‘henotheism.’ From a theoretical perspective, why is it problematic to think of
‘polytheism’ as a less-developed form of religion than monotheism?
Monothesim is the belief in one God. There are other ways of being religions such as taking part
in cultural events and being active in the cultural community where one experiences narratives,
traditional music/dance, food and much more. It may be difficult to define religion based on a
monotheistic interpretation because one God itself won’t give much information. It will only
have a limited amount of information. Polytheism is the belief in many Gods and not just one
like Monotheism. Monolatry is the worship of one God even when other gods do exist.
Henotheism is basically inbetween monotheism and polytheism. It is problematic to think of
polytheism as less-developed form of religion than monotheism because it involves many Gods
and therefore not less-developed.
3.4. Clarify the various roles of kings and prophets within Israelite religion. What does messiah mean in
this specific context? See especially page 97 for a full treatment of “messiah.”
The roles of the kings within the Israelite religion were to save their people from threats such as ones of
foreign dominations. Canaanites and Philistines were one of the main threats. God chose the kings
which were Saul David and his successors. They were chosen to be kings due to the fact that the
Philistines weren’t doing any good. Therefore, the Israelites needed some relief from them. The role of
the prophets within the Israelite religion was to communicate with their people and deliver what God’s
message is to them. The prophets are also chosen by God. A messiah means anointed one as we’ve
learned in the lecture. It can either mean the current king or even the future king. A messiah is usually
the ideal king usually related to the divine. The messiah is supposed to bring God’s justice to the world.
A lot is expected from them.
4.1. Very brief: Mosaic is made up of many little colourful pieces (color representing all different and
unique pieces)make up one big picture just like all the concepts of Jesus make up one big picture of
Jesus. Someone already explained this well. Therefore I won’t go into details.
4.2. Compare and contrast some of the basic themes, topics, and perspectives in the Gospels.
Firstly, all gospels tell the life of Jesus. There are four gospels. Mark was the first one, followed by
Matthew, Luke, and John. Mark’s gospel does not include the early life of Jesus. Mark’s gospel was also
known as the winged lion. The gospel of Matthew is symbolized as the winged angel. This is due to the
fact that an angel notifies Mary that she was going to give birth to Jesus. Matthew and Luke’s gospels
contain very similar information. Luke’s gospel has a major part of Jesus being born and recognized as
the messiah. Also, in this gospel, Jesus is presented as saviour of gentiles. Gospel of John presents
Jesus as God in human form.
4.5. Magesterial refers to governing officials or people in authority. Therefore this term is used in
majesterial reformation to describe how Christian reform movements were successful due to the
support of officials. Magestieral reformation allowed authority over the church.

Document Summary

As suggested on page 74, interpreters were often reluctant to change scripture even when there appeared to be contradictions in the text. Interpreters did not take these contradictions in the text as problems. In fact, they used it to their advantage. They used these contradictions as clues as to how the text was composed, rather than changing them. Therefore this led to the fact that the three interpretations of the chaos before creation were not all obtained from one source. Compare the idea of the covenant as connected with e. g. , Abraham and moses, with other legal codes in other cultural/religious contexts of the time. The covenant is basically a contract in modern terms. However, this contract is made with the divine. If one followed the covenant, they will be rewarded. If they did not follow the covenant, they will be punished. An example of a covenant would be something such as circumcision (abraham).