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Judaism. Philosophy 33 Mark Pursley. The Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible is a collection of 24 books in three divisions: The Law (Torah), the Prophets, and the Writings.

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Judaism

Judaism

Philosophy 33

Mark Pursley


The hebrew bible

The Hebrew Bible

  • The Hebrew Bible is a collection of 24 books in three divisions: The Law (Torah), the Prophets, and the Writings.

  • The Torah consists of five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Prophets are divided into the former prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings), the latter prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve.)


Canons of scripture

Canons of Scripture

  • The Writings consist of eleven books: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Qoheleth (or Ecclesiastes), Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Chronicles.

  • The 12 minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi) are counted as one book.


The christian old testament

The Christian Old Testament

  • The (Latter) Prophets are moved to the end to point towards the New Testament (so called because it is believed to supersede the Old).

  • The Roman Catholic OT has several additional books, and the Greek Orthodox church adds even more.

  • The Christian OT for Protestants has the same content as the Hebrew Bible but arranges it differently

  • (producing 39 books)

  • The former prophets are placed with the historical material and Daniel is placed with the prophets.


The septuagint lxx

The Septuagint (LXX)

  • Centuries later, Church Fathers still differed in their lists of OT books.

  • Eventually, it was different religious communities who decided which books to include in their canons of Scripture.

  • The first references to a fixed number of books in the Hebrew Bible occur in the first century CE (Josephus; 4 Ezra)

  • A Greek translation of the HB (reportedly done by 72 elders) contains a larger selection of books.


The dead sea scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls

  • The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 included fragments of Hebrew manuscripts more than a thousand years older than the earliest texts known before. Previously, the oldest HB texts were Greek translations. Some of the Dead Sea texts agree with the HB, others with the Samaritan Bible and others with the LXX.


History of israel

History of Israel

  • When Israel emerges on the scene in the Near East the great civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia had already flourished for nearly 1,500 years.

  • Historians date the emergence of Israel in the highlands of Canaan to the period between 1250-1000 BCE. Abraham is sometimes dated around 1800 BCE, and the Exodus at 1250 BCE


Ancient near eastern religions

Ancient Near Eastern Religions

  • Mesopotamia (between the rivers- Tigris/Euphrates): Settled by Sumerians. The earliest known texts (mid 4th century B.C.E.) are Sumerian. A polytheistic religion. Creation myths: Enki and Ninhursag in the pure land of Dilmun. A struggle between male and female sources of life. When the male claims pre-eminence, the female emphasizes her power by withdrawing her life giving power. Cycle of creation, death, rebirth.

  • Enuma Elish- Apsu (male, fresh water) Tiamat (female, sea) beget Ea (earth) Anu (sky) ....


The epic of gilgamesh 3rd cent bce

The Epic of Gilgamesh (3rd Cent. BCE)

  • After the flood, the gods were grateful to Utna. and conferred eternal life on him. Utna.’s wife persuades him to tell Gilgamesh about a rejuvenating plant growing in the sweet waters beneath the earth. Gil. finds the plant, but a snake eats it when he stops for a swim. Gil. gives up his quest and follows Siduri’s advice- to enjoy life while he can.

  • Gilgamesh, a mortal with some divine ancestry, gets depressed when his friend Enkidu is sentenced to death. Sets out to find Utnapishthim (an immortal). When the gods decided to destroy the world by a great flood, Ea realized that with no people there would be no sacrifices. So he tell Utna. to build an ark for his family and pairs of all animals.


Judaism1

Judaism

  • Revelation: Torah as the expression of the divine will. God speaks to select individuals in a culture elected to follow his commandments and receive his blessings.

  • Covenant: Obedience to the divine will yields national prosperity, disobedience brings punishment.


God heard their groaning ex 2 24

God heard their groaning Ex. 2.24

  • Redemption: Divine intervention to deliver his people. Exodus; return from exile (539); founding of the state of Israel; Messianic hopes.

  • Prophecy: Proclaiming God’s will through divine inspiration: right worship; social justice.

  • Ethics: Obedience to divine commands.


Yahweh a personal god

Yahweh: A Personal God

  • A God who established a covenant with his people; and who raised up alien powers to punish them when they rebelled; who sent his prophets to call them to repent, so that they might become a light to all nations.

  • The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God who delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt and established them in the promised land.


An early hebrew creed

An Early Hebrew Creed

  • My father was a wandering Aramaean. He went down to Egypt to find refuge there, few in numbers; but there he became a great nation, great mighty and strong. The Egyptians ill-treated us, they gave us no peace and inflicted harsh slavery upon us. But we called on Yahweh the god of our fathers. Yahweh heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression; and Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with mighty hand and outstretched arm, with great terror, and with signs and wonders. He brought us here [to Canaan] and gave us this land, a land where milk and honey flow. Here then I bring the first-fruits of the produce of the soil that you, Yahweh, have given me. (Deuteronomy 26:5-8)


I am a jealous god ex 20 5

I am a jealous God Ex. 20.5

  • The stories of God’s interventions in history are retold in the synagogue, in family worship and rituals, and at the annual festivals of Passover, Yom Kippur; and Rosh Hashanah.


History of israel1

History of Israel

  • 853- Elijah

  • 842- Elisha

  • 830- E

  • 800- Amos

  • 750- Hosea

  • 740- Isaiah

  • 745- Micah

  • 640- Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk.

  • 13th Century BCE: Moses, The Exodus.

  • End of 13th, beginning of 12th century BCE. Joshua, Judges, conquest of Palestine. 1020-1000 BCE Saul. 1000- 961 David.

  • 961-22 Solomon. J

  • 922- Dissolution of the united kingdom.


History of israel continued

History of Israel, Continued

  • 516- Rebuilding of the temple.

  • 450- Malachi, Mission of Ezra and Nehemiah

  • 400- Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah.

  • 190- Jesus Ben Sirach

  • 167: Abomination of Desolation, Daniel.

  • 164- Re-consecration of the temple.

  • 125- Qumran monastery

  • 640 BCE- Jeremiah

  • 597- First fall of Jerusalem, Ezekiel.

  • 587- Second fall of Jerusalem. P

  • 587- 39- Babylonian Exile, II Isaiah.

  • 539- Haggai, Zechariah, III Isaiah.


Hebrew scriptures

Hebrew Scriptures

  • Torah (Pentateuch), first five books, traditionally ascribed to Moses. A weaving together of oral traditions from circles of priests, prophets, and sages, a redaction of sources.

  • J-- Yahwist, 10th cent. B.C.E.

  • E-- Elohist, 8th cent. B.C.E.

  • P-- Priestly source, 550 B.C.E.

  • D-- Deuteronomy, 622 B.C.E.


Evidence of multiple authorship

Evidence of multiple authorship

  • Flood story- a redaction of two accounts from Priestly and Yahwistic sources.

  • J- flood lasts 61 days, caused by 40 day rain.

  • P- 12 months + 10 days, return to chaos, two halves of the primeval sea reunited.

  • Two creation stories: Gen. 1.1-2.4a(from the Priestly source) & Gen 2.4b- 25 (from the Yahwist source).

  • Revelation of the divine name to Moses: Ex.3; Ex. 6.

  • Beersheeba Gen. 21.31; 26.33.


Authorship of the pentateuch

Authorship of the Pentateuch

  • 2. In Gen. 12.6 & 13.7 we read: At that time the Canaanites were dwelling in the land. This indicates an author many centuries after Moses, when the Canaanites had been assimilated or driven out- this was not true during Moses’ life time.

  • 3. Gen. 36.31 mentions a king in Israel, indicating an author after the time of Saul.

  • 4. Gen. 50.10ff; Num 22.1; 32.32, etc. the other bank of the Jordan, is used for territories east of the Jordan river. This author was therefore living in Palestine, which Moses never entered.

  • Somewhere between the 4th and 2nd centuries BCE the tradition developed that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch. This tradition was accepted by the early Christian Church. However, contemporary biblical scholarship has undermined this view.

  • 1. The phrase “until this day” (Deut.3.14; 34.6, etc.) indicates an author after the time of Moses.


History of god

History of God

  • Abraham’s God was El, the high god of Canaan. He introduces himself to Abraham as El Shaddai (El of the Mountain) And Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the El Shaddai; walk before me and be thou perfect. (Gen. 17.1) (Cf. El Elyon- Most high God or El of Bethel). El is a mild deity who appears to Abraham as a friend, sometimes assuming human form (epiphany, Gen. 18).

  • Later Israelites view the holiness of god as a terrifying experience. Come no nearer! Take off your shoes for the place on which you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. At that Moses covered his face, afraid to look at God. (Ex. 3. 5-6)


Torah highlights

Torah Highlights

  • Gen. 1-11: Primeval History: Eden; Flood; Babel.

  • J’s creation Story: Man is made from the dust of the ground (as in the Babylonian myth of Atrahasis) and animated from the breath of life. Tree of life, tree of the knowledge of good and evil (universal knowledge or power of discernment between good and evil?) The idea that gods jealously guard their superiority over humans is widespread in the ancient world. (J.C. Collins)

  • Serpent- talking animals are commonplace in fables.

  • Eating the forbidden fruit- become self-conscious. Punished for their hubris- the desire to be like God.


Priestly creation story gen 1 1 2 4a

Priestly Creation Story Gen 1.1-2.4a.

  • In the beginning, God created… or In the beginning, when God created….

  • Seven days of creation:

  • 1. Light; separation of light and darkness.

  • 2. Firmament; separation of lower and upper water.

  • 3a. Dry land; separation of water and dry land. 3b. Vegetation.

  • 4. Sun, moon, stars; separation of day and night.

  • 5. Water and air creatures.

  • 6a. Land creatures, human beings. 6b. Vegetation given as food to birds, animals, humans.

  • 7. God rests.


Gen 4 11 snowball effect of sin

Gen. 4-11 Snowball effect of sin.

  • The fall in Gen. 3 estranges humans from God “Adam, where are you?”

  • In ch. 4, we find humans estranged from each other “Cain, where is Abel, your brother?”

  • 6-9 Flood narrative. Every inclination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 6.5-6

  • 11 Babel. Let us build a tower with it’s top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves. 11.4


Torah highlights1

Torah Highlights

  • 12-50: The Patriarchs: Abraham; Issac; Jacob/Israel, 12 sons father the twelve tribes of Israel.

  • Exodus: Hebrew enslavement in Egypt. Call of Moses, Exodus, 10 commandments, Tabernacle= Ark of the covenant, throne of the invisible Yahweh.


Torah

Torah

  • Numbers: Laws of the camp. Leaving Sinai, Miriam’s leprosy.

  • Deuteronomy: Review of Israel’s history and laws. Death of Moses.

  • Leviticus: Laws, offerings, sacrifices. Burnt offerings, sin offerings, peace offerings, cereal offerings, clean and unclean, blood sacrifice.


The decalogue 10 commandments ex 20 1 17 deut 5 6 21

The Decalogue (10 Commandments) Ex. 20.1-17; Deut. 5.6-21

  • 6. Do not kill. (Ex. 20.13; Deut 5.17)

  • 7. Do not commit adultery. (Ex. 20.14; Deut. 5.18)

  • 8. Do not steal. (Ex. 20.15; Deut. 5.19)

  • 9. Do not bear false witness. (Ex. 20.16; Deut. 5.20)

  • 10. Do not covet. (Ex. 20.17;Deut. 5.21)

  • 1. You shall have no other gods but me. (Ex. 20.3; Deut. 5.7)

  • 2. You shall not make a sculpture or any image. (Ex. 20.4; Deut. 5.8)

  • 3. You shall not take the name of Yahweh in vain. (Ex. 20.7; Deut. 5.11)

  • 4. Remember and keep holy the day of rest. (Ex. 20.8; Deut. 5.12)

  • 5. Honor your father and mother. (Ex. 20.12; Deut. 5.16)


Dating the 10 commandments

Dating the 10 Commandments

  • Archeological evidence indicates that early Israelites worshipped Baal, the goddess Asherah, and another goddess known as Anat-Yahu, in addition to Yahweh. The prophets who demanded worship of Yahweh alone in the 8th and 9th centuries may have inspired the first commandment. Statues of cherubim were part of the Jerusalem cult in the kingdom periods. The date of the commandments, therefore, is uncertain.


Strange commandments

Strange Commandments (?)

  • Lev. 19.19 You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle, you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed nor wear a garment upon you with two kinds of material mixed together.

  • Lev. 19.28 You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you.

  • Lev. 20. 14f. If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is immorality; both he and they shall be burned with fire…. If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; you shall also kill the animal.

  • Ex. 21.7 If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do.

  • Ex. 21.17 He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

  • Ex. 32.27f Thus says the Lord God of Israel, put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gatethroughout the camp and slay every man his brother , and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.


Former prophets

Former Prophets

  • Joshua (conquest of Palestine); Judges (Deborah, Samson); Samuel (Saul, 1st King, David); Kings (Solomon, divided Kingdom, Elijah, Elisha, exile).

  • Prophet: Nabhi’ “called” 1st= Abraham (Gen. 20.7); Moses (Deut. 18.15ff; 34.10). Announcing the word of God through preaching and symbolic action.


Herem the ban joshua cleansing canaan

Herem, “the ban” Joshua: Cleansing Canaan

  • 11.6 And the lord said unto Joshua…I will deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hamstring their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.

  • 11.14-15. And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.

  • “The ambiguities of history should not blind us to the fact that the unprovoked conquest of one people by another is an act of injustice, and that injustice is often cloaked with legitimacy by claims of divine authorization.” John J. Collins

  • 6.21 they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.

  • 7. 24-26: And Joshua and all the Children of Israel with him, took Achan… and his sons and daughters, and his oxen and sheep and his tent, and all that he had and brought them to the valley of Achor…. And all Israel stoned them with stones and burned them with fire….

  • 10.23-28 They brought forth those five kings out of the cave….and afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees; and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.


Pre axial polytheism

Pre-axial Polytheism

  • You shall have no other gods before me. Ex. 20.3

  • 2nd Kings 3.26f The power of Chemosh (god of the Moabites)

  • Let us make man in our image. Gen. 1.26

  • See, the human has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Gen. 3.22

  • Bene elohim- the divine council 1 Kings 22. 19-22, Psalms 103.21, 148.2’ 89.6f, 82. Job 1-2; Gen. 6.2,4.

  • Elyon, elohim, and Yahweh- Deut. 32. 8-9


Latter prophets

Latter Prophets

  • Foretelling or forth telling? (Is. 45.21; 46.9)

  • Compelled to speak: Amos; Hosea; Isaiah; Jeremiah; Jonah, etc.

  • Warnings about the future consequences of sin; Exhortations to spiritual dedication to ensure divine blessing.

  • Psychic seers: 2Kings 6.12, Elisha.


The axial age in israel

The Axial Age in Israel

  • For the customs of the peoples are vain; for one cuts a tree out of the forest…. They deck it with silver and with gold, they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. They are upright like the palm tree but speak not…. Be not afraid of them for they cannot do evil, neither can they do good…. They are all the work of skillful men. But the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting king. Jeremiah 10.3-10.

  • You may multiply your prayers, I shall not listen…. Take your wrong-doing out of my sight. Cease to do evil. Learn to do good, search for justice, help the oppressed, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow. Isaiah 1.15-17.


Wisdom in israel

Wisdom In Israel

  • Wisdom Literature in Israel (including Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and some Psalms) addresses practical concerns. He who meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears. Prov. 26.17.

  • Personal effort and individual initiative are encouraged. Go to the ant, O sluggard: Consider her ways and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her food in summer, and gathers her sustenance in harvest. Prof. 6.6ff.

  • I commend enjoyment, for man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of life which God gives him under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8.15.


Proverbial wisdom

Proverbial Wisdom

  • Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. 11.4

  • The righteous are delivered from trouble, and the wicked get in to it instead. 11.8

  • Those who spare the rod hate their children. 13.24

  • Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without god sense. 11.22

  • A continual dripping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike. 27.15

  • Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up. 12.25

  • The poor are disliked even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. 13.20

    There are three things that are too wonderful for me, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air, the way of a snake on a rock. The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a young girl. 30.18f


Later hebrew history

Later Hebrew History

  • 70 C.E. Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Rabbinic Judaism.

  • Mishnah: Code of Jewish Law (3 C.E.)

  • Talmud: (learning, study) Rabbinic discussions of the Mishnah.

  • Halakha: Legal portions of the Torah.

  • Mitzvot: Acts of obedience.


Jewish history

Jewish History

  • Conservative: Torah is God-given but some departure from original requirements is permitted.

  • Reform: Torah contains eternal principles in a particular historical setting, as the setting changes so does the application of principles.

  • 600-1900 C.E.: Classical Age- Rise of Islam, Maimonides (1135-1204).

  • Modern Age: Contemporary Judaisms: Orthodox: Torah, traditions, God-given.

  • Reconstructionist: God as unifying concept.


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