Thursday, January 11, 2018

Genesis Discussion (Option 2: Genesis 25-50)

"Torah" can rightly translated as "law," but the Torah is a lot more than just rules and regulations. "Torah" might also be translated as "rule," "instruction," or "principle," and it is sometimes useful to think of the Torah as simply "the way," i.e., instruction on the way we ought to live our lives.

Please read (or at least skim through) the stories in Genesis 25-50. Which of these stories do you find most interesting? In what way does this story give as an example of the way we ought (or ought not) to live our lives?

On the midterm study guide, I've listed FGS I, FGS II, and FGS III as potential ID's.  FGS = Favorite Genesis Story.  You can use the story you pick out (or one of the stories other students comment on) for "FGS" ID's.

Genesis Discussion (Option 1: Chapters 11-25)

"Torah" can rightly translated as "law," but the Torah is a lot more than just rules and regulations. "Torah" might also be translated as "rule," "instruction," or "principle," and it is sometimes useful to think of the Torah as simply "the way," i.e., instruction on the way we ought to live our lives.

Please read through as much as you can of the lives of Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 11-25). In what ways do the lives of these two figures reflect "torah" in the latter sense? Cite one of the stories in this section where either Sarah or Abraham seems to you a particularly good example of how we ought (or ought not) to live our lives.

On the midterm study guide, I've listed FGS I, FGS II, and FGS III as potential ID's.  FGS = Favorite Genesis Story.  You can use the story you pick out (or one of the stories other students comment on) for "FGS" ID's.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Genesis 1-11

Please read through my Genesis Study Questions and then read Chapters 1-11 of Genesis. I am more concerned with the quality of your reading than the quantity, and if this material is difficult for you, I'd much prefer that you read carefully the first four or five chapters than struggle though the whole assignment.  If you are familiar with this material and find it relatively easy, read through the whole thing.

Once you've read the assignment, pick out a key verse from the assigned chapters and do one of the following:

1. Explain why you think this verse the key to understanding what the selection is about.
2. Explain why you think this verse is the best/most memorable in the assigned reading.
3. Explain why you think this verse is the most difficult/hard to understand in the passage.

If you would prefer, you can take whatever study question you find the most interesting and add your answer to that question here.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome!

How is this blog different from all other blogs? Well, for one thing, it invites you to join in the long tradition that began with the men of the Great Synagogue, continued through the periods of the Tannaim and the Amoraim, (teachers and interpreters), and continues today in churches and synagogues throughout the world. You have here the opportunity to contribute your questions and comments to an ongoing discussion of the most interesting, most important, most studied--and most often misunderstood--books ever written, the books of what Jews call the Tanak and Christians the Old Testament.

To get started, here's a test of the History 413 blog system. If you don't already have one, please create for yourself a "Blogger" account by following the instructions at http://www.blogger.com/. Be sure to create a blogger profile which includes your e-mail address. Otherwise, I can't reply directly to your post.

To make sure your e-mail address is accessible to me, please log on to your blogger account. Click "edit profile" (toward the top on the right). Then click the box that says to make your e-mail address accessible.

When you have created your blogger account and your profile, click the "comments" link below, and answer one or more of the following questions:
  1. Would you rather make comments on a blog, or write a term paper?
  2. Which Old Testament figure do you identify with the most, and why?
  3. Which is your favorite book of the Old Testament, and why?