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The Ancient Israelites and the Hebrew Bible. Revision of Weeks 11 - 14. Who are the Jews?. AKA Hebrews, AKA Israelites (One of the) first monotheistic religions = worship of one God. Their history, beliefs and laws are recorded in the Tanakh and the Talmud. . 1. What is the Hebrew Bible?.

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The Ancient Israelites and the Hebrew Bible

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    who are the jews
    Who are the Jews?
    • AKA Hebrews, AKA Israelites
    • (One of the) first monotheistic religions = worship of one God.
    • Their history, beliefs and laws are recorded in the Tanakh and the Talmud.
    1 what is the hebrew bible

    1. What is the Hebrew Bible?

    AKA TanakhAKA The Old Testament

    the holy book of judaism
    The Holy Book of Judaism
    • The Tanakh is the chief holy book of Judaism
    • Judaism’s other holy book is called the Talmud.
    • The Talmud is largely composed of an oral tradition of interpretation of the the Tanakh that was eventually written down.
    the hebrew bible is also part of the christian bible
    The Hebrew Bible is also part of the Christian Bible
    • The Hebrew Bible is the first part of the Christian Bible – what is called the Old Testament.
    • Jesus was a Jew, as were the first Christians.
    • At first Christianity was a new development within Judaism, only after time did it become a separate religion.
    the structure of the bible
    The Structure of the Bible
    • The Hebrew Bible aka the Old Testament (Christian & Jewish):The Law – The five books of Moses The Prophets – history of the united monarchy and the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, including Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings. The WritingsNew Testament (Christian):Gospels - the life and death of JesusActs of the Apostles - the work and teaching of the early founders of the ChurchEpistles - letters from Christian leaders, particularly Paul, to Christian communitiesBook of Revelation
    tanak tanakh aka the hebrew bible aka old testament
    TaNaK (Tanakh)aka the Hebrew Bible, aka Old Testament
    • An acronym for the three parts of the text: Torah (law); Nebi’im (prophets); Kethub’im (writings)
    • A total of 24 books (39 by the Christian system of counting)
    torah also called books of moses or pentateuch
    Torah (also called Books of Moses or Pentateuch)
    • Genesis
    • Exodus
    • Leviticus
    • Numbers
    • Deuteronomy
    the torah as a collection
    The Torah as a Collection
    • First part of the canon established
    • It was pulled together after the fall of Jerusalem in 587/86 BCE.
    • Regarded as fixed by the 4th century BCE
    • Most authoritative texts in Judaism
    the origins of the torah according to the torah
    The origins of the Torah according to the Torah
    • According to biblical tradition, the Torah was revealed to Moses at Sinai.
    • Aron Tendler, Associate Rabbi, Yeshiva University: “We believe the Torah was written by the hand of Moses but dictated to him by God himself in a totally divine manner, no different than you would dictate a letter to a secretary.”
    prophets nebi im or nevi im
    Former Prophets





    Latter Prophets

    Major Prophets




    Minor Prophets

    (Book of the 12)

    Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

    Prophets (Nebi’im or Nevi’im)
    writings kethub im or kethuv im



    Song of Songs








    Writings (Kethub’im or Kethuv’im)
    the tanakh
    The Tanakh
    • The Tanakh is written primarily in Hebrew
    • We do not have any original manuscripts; we only have copies of copies
    • Codex Leningradensis is the oldest complete Hebrew manuscript we have. It dates to 1008 CE
    the documentary hypothesis
    The Documentary Hypothesis
    • The Documentary Hypothesis is the theory that the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (aka The Torah aka The Five Books of Moses aka the Pentateuch) derive from four distinct sources. These four sources sometimes overlap and are sometimes inconsistent.
    when did god create woman1
    When did God create woman?
    • Chapter 1: 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Chapter 2: God creates Adam. At first he is alone. Almost as if the creation recounted in chapter 1 had never happened. Then creates all the animals and has Adam name them and only then creates Eve.
    when did god create birds1
    When did God create birds?
    • [On the 5th day, prior to creation of man and woman on the 6th day] 20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.” [Man and woman created on the 6th day].
    • Gen 2:19 Animals and birds created after Adam, in conflict with chapter 1.
    when did god create plants1
    When did God create plants?
    • Gen 2:4-7 seems to announce a wholly new beginning. Seems to say humanity was created before plant life but Chapter 1 has vegetation created on the third day (along with the earth) and humanity created on the sixth.
    what is god like1
    What is God like?
    • Chapter 1: God is a cosmic sovereign.
    • Chapters 2 and 3: God is a divine craftsman. He Himself shapes Adam out of the mud and breathes air into his nostrils. God walks about the Garden (Gen 3:8). When Adam and Eve hide from him, he calls out “where are you?” Apparently, he does not know. At the end, God makes clothes for the pair – another hands-on act.
    god vs lord god
    ‘God’ vs ‘Lord God’
    • God is referred to quite consistently in chapter 1 by the word “God” (elohim).
    • Starting at Gen 2:4, exactly where the story of Adam and Eve begins, he suddenly becomes “the Lord God”. The word “God” is now preceded by YHWH (the proper name of the Hebrew god). “The Lord God” is used consistently until the end of chapter 3.
    • The writer who referred to him as God saw him as a cosmic deity.
    • The writer who used the name “the Lord God” conceived of him in more personal terms, a sort of divine humanoid who walked around and shaped things and made clothes.
    the yawehist j is the source of the adam and eve story1
    The Yawehist (J) is the source of the Adam and Eve story
    • Story of Adam and Eve a product of the author known as J: uses YHWH; anthropomorphic conception of God; focused on humanity; the effect of past events on humanity’s present condition
    • People have to work for food, women have to suffer the pain of childbirth because of the first humans’ disobedience.
    • Human beings are called man (adamin Hebrew) because that’s what the first created human was called. This in turn was because he was made out of the ground (adamah)
    adam and eve as allegory1
    Adam and Eve as allegory
    • Interesting theory about the meaning of Adam and Eve – seems to reflect the moment humanity discovered the secret of agriculture.Figuring out that seeds can be collected and then deliberately planted in fields was a great step forward for humanity. But agriculture brought with it certain pains – working long hours under the sun, earning one’s bread “by the sweat of your face” (Gen 3:19)
    adam and eve as allegory2
    Adam and Eve as allegory
    • At a similar stage of historical development, people began to wear more clothes.
    • At a similar time, human beings discovered that childbirth is the result of an “act of planting” nine months earlier. Before this discovery, a father may not understand he has any specific relationship to this or that child. Afterwards, the man “will cling to his wife and they shall be one flesh” (Gen 2: 24).
    noah and the flood
    Noah and the Flood

    What doublets occur in Genesis, Chapters 6 – 9?

    noah and the flood1
    Noah and the Flood

    Q) What similarities exist between the Mesopotamian and biblical flood stories?

    is the bible s story of the conquest of canaan accurate

    Is the Bible’s story of the conquest of Canaan accurate?

    Jericho and other archaeological evidence

    merneptah stele
    Merneptah Stele
    • Dated to 1209/1208 BCE
    • Inscription by the Ancient Egyptian king Merneptah (reign:1213 to 1203 BC)
    • Found at Thebes
    merneptah stele1
    Merneptah Stele
    • “Canaan is captive with all woe. Ashkelon is conquered, Gezer seized, Yanoam made nonexistent; Israel is wasted, bare of seed.”
    merneptah stele2
    Merneptah Stele
    • The determinative accompanying Gezer, Ashkelon and Yanoam indicate they are city-states.
    • The determinative accompanying Israel indicates it is a foreign people, perhaps a nomadic tribe.
    merneptah stele3
    Merneptah Stele
    • Scholarly debate about translation for Some scholars suggest it doesn’t refer to Israel but Jezreel.
    • Only known Egyptian reference to the Israelites
    • Earliest known reference to the Israelites