under construction


REL 101: final exam for spring 2014
 

The final exam will consist of 4 parts:

 

1) Terms (30%): identify 30 of 35 terms for which a brief description will be given

 

2) Bible content analysis (20%): identify 4 biblical passages and discuss themes & issues expressed in them

 

3) Short answer questions: 6 short answer questions (30%)

significant topics:

creation myths

documentary hypothesis (= source hypothesis)

JEPD & their characteristics

ancestral history

exodus & wilderness

Mosaic covenant / tradition

settlement in Canaan (3 models / theories of settlement)

monarchy & United Monarchy

Davidic covenant / tradition

prophetic literature

comparison of Isaiah of Jerusalem (8th cent.) & Jeremiah (7th cent.)

exile

Psalms

Priestly History

Deuteronomistic History

Wisdom literature

Chronicler’s History

apocalyptic thought & literature (e.g., Dan & Rev)

Hellenization

Apocrypha

Synoptic Problem

2-document theory (= 2-source hypothesis)

Farrer hypothesis

Griesbach hypothesis

Lk-Acts’ salvation history

Synoptics v. John
Gentile problem in early church

Christian freedom (esp. in Corinth & Galatia)

Pauline letters: undisputed (authentic) & disputed

pastorals

relative chronology of significant characters & events (e.g., was Abraham before or after David?)

4) 2 essay questions from below (20%; be as detailed as possible, using biblical examples to illustrate your points whenever possible):

NB: the exact wording or content may differ a little on the actual exam.

NB: only 2 will be on the exam.

 

Write an essay providing the historical-critical explanation of the process through which the books of the Torah (Pentateuch) were composed and brought together. In your answer show your understanding of the documentary hypothesis and the significant characteristics of the various sources (e.g., who, what, when, where, why, how).

 

Describe and compare the two major theological traditions in ancient Israel. What are the features of each? How are they similar? How are they different? What sorts of problems arose as a result of the differences? Provide specific examples from the Bible (both OT & NT) passages we read or discussed.

 

In what ways does an egalitarian ethos emerge in the controversy over monarchy, the prophets, the Gospels, Paul’s letters, and western civilization?

 

Describe the Synoptic Problem. Also explain the three hypotheses covered in the class that try to address it. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each theory?

 

Discuss the problems that arose in the earliest Christian communities as a result of the mission to the Gentiles, especially as they are portrayed in Acts, Romans, and Galatians. What were the controversies, decisions, and compromises?

For review
 

the midterm


See the R-drive file for other helpful resources (files).





In preparation you should review & master the following (also check out the R-drive ["Profnote" & "NaFiles" folders] for all the files that may be of help in preparation):

previous quizzes or exams (on the R-drive)

all the terms highlighted in the terms list (on the R-drive)

general content (including groups of books, e.g., Wisdom literature) & theology & approximate dates of the Bible books we covered in class (see intros in the Study Bible & Harris)

basic chronology of main people & events (see Harris for more info; see helpful review in NOAB: 526–33 ES [NB: these pages appear after the NT]):

1280                exodus

1000                David’s United Monarchy

922                  division of the kingdom

722                  fall of Samaria (Israel) to Assyria

587                  fall of Jerusalem to Babylon

332                  Alexander the Great includes Palestine in his empire

167–164          Antiochus IV Epiphanes

164                  Maccabean revolt

142–63            independent kingdom under Hasmonean dynasty

30–14              Augustus Caesar

4 b.c.               Herod the Great dies (Jesus’ birth prior to this)

a.d. 26–36       Pontius Pilate procurator of Judea (Jesus’ crucifixion)

47–56              Paul’s missionary activity

64–65              Christians persecuted under Nero after Rome burns

66–73              Jewish revolt against Rome; Christians flee Jerusalem

70                    Romans, under Vespasian, capture Jerusalem & destroy the Temple

90                    Jamnia council (Jewish canon)

132–135          Jewish revolt against Rome (last time)

significant characters in the Bible covered in class or in Harris (e.g., Adam & Eve, Abraham & Sarah, significant kings [e.g., Saul, David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, Ahab, Manasseh], Elizabeth, Mary, Jesus, Peter, Paul)

Bible passages assigned in the “Project/text” column of the course schedule

other significant Bible passages or verses (esp. those covered in class or in Harris)

e.g.: “Now if you are unwilling to serve YHWH, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve YHWH.”

development of the Tetrateuch & Pentateuch (see ‘JEPD’ on R-drive; view it in “Print Layout” mode)

NB: YHWH & Elohim distinction is generally not as significant outside the Pentateuch



It was the Priestly writer (P) who contributed the basic structure of the Tetrateuch in the exilic or early post-exilic period. Available to him was the Old Epic tradition, which existed in 2 versions:

J (Yahwist; Judean)

E (Elohist; Ephraimitic)

 

composed in the south under the United Monarchy (c. 950)

composed in the north after the split of the kingdom (c. 850)

 

Sinai

Reuel (Moses’ father, Ex 2.18)

Horeb

Jethro (Moses’ father, Ex 3.1; 18.1)

 

Canaanites

Amorites

 

YHWH (Yahweh; Jahweh): anthropomorphic imagery

’Elohim (in stories about pre-Mosaic period): reveals himself in dreams

 

Jerusalem (Zion: e.g., Ps 78.67–72)

interest in northern shrines (e.g., Bethel, Shechem)

 

southern heroes (e.g., Judah)

presence of northern heroes (e.g., Joseph, Rachel, Ephraim)

 

D (Deuteronomic / Deuteronomistic)

c. 650 & later

tradition best represented in Deut, reflecting literary style & theology prevalent at the time of Josiah’s reform (621)

Horeb

emphasis on prophecy (Dt 13.1–5; 18.15–22)

P (Priestly)

c. 550 & later

literary corpus marked by style & cultic interests of the priestly circle of Jerusalem, which became prominent in the period after the fall of Jerusalem (587)

blessing as fruitfulness & multiplying

covenants with God that mark important moments

genealogies that establish connections between people and events

social & religious roles of priests





 

another look at the sources (from http://www.cs.umd.edu/~mvz/bible/doc-hyp.pdf)

 

J

Yahwist

E

Elohist

P

Priestly

D

Deuteronomist

stress on Judah

stress on northern Israel

stress on Judah

stress on central shrine

stresses leaders

stresses the prophetic

stresses the cultic

stresses fidelity to Jerusalem

anthropomorphic speech about God

refined speech about God

majestic speech about God

speech recalling God's work

God walks and talks with us

God speaks in dreams

cultic approach to God

moralistic approach

God is YHWH

God is Elohim (till Ex 3)

God is Elohim (till Ex 3)

God is YHWH

uses “Sinai”

Sinai is “Horeb”

has genealogies and lists

has long sermons

 

Israel in Canaan (distinction & syncretism [from time of Judges])

Israel

Canaan

sole allegiance to YHWH

transcends nature (beyond sexuality)

El &Asherah; Baal & Asherah/Anath/Astarte

participation in nature

not sexual (no consort)

sexual rites; fertility

divine power disclosed in history (nonrecurring, linear)

Exodus from Egypt = fundamental

divine power disclosed in nature (recurring, circular)

agricultural prosperity = fundamental

obedience to covenant (emphasis on ethics)

maintenance of natural order & harmony

magical control of gods for human welfare

desire for security in precarious environment

liberation from bondage

egalitarian ethos (prophetic condemnation of social injustice)

aristocratic maintenance of status quo

Dominant traditions

Mosaic Tradition

Davidic Tradition

theocratic; egalitarian

monarchic

exodus Tribal Confederacy est. in Shechem (Josh 24)

United Kingdom

Sinaitic covenant

royal theology (2Sam 7; 1Sam 16.13)

multiple shrines (e.g., Bethel, Shechem)

Zion theology (Jerusalem is inviolable)

charisma

dynasty

people (conditional covenant with Israel)

nation (unconditional covenant with David)

General contents of all the biblical books we covered so far

sources: Harris; introductions in the study Bible; R-drive files “prophets & psalms”:

below are some sample content summaries (highlighted material is especially important)

Gen 1-11                     primeval history (Elohim)

1.1-2.4a                 P account of creation (from exilic time)

2.4b-25                  J account of creation (from 10th cent.)

Was this ever meant to be an historical account?

Does P’s version function as a statement of faith? How so?

Compare J’s claim that all people came from one human couple with the Judean imperial program of the United Kingdom.

Gen 12-50                   patriarchal history (El Shaddai)

12.1-25.18             Abraham cycle

25.19-36.43           Jacob cycle

37-50                     Joseph Cycle

Are the patriarchs historical persons or eponyms?

Could the story of Simeon & Levi be the story about what the tribes of Simeon & Levi experienced?

Ex 1.1-15.21                exodus (YHWH)

Who went through the exodus? Who went down to Egypt? Who came out of Egypt?

What function does the event of exodus have as a root metaphor for all people under oppression? (NB: the book of Exodus combines the exodus tradition & the Sinai covenant tradition)

Role of YHWH?

Yahwism as an egalitarian ideology?

Ex 15.22–18.27           wilderness experience

Ex 19.1--Num 10.10    Sinai/Horeb

Ex 19.1–24.11       covenant

Ex 24.12–31.17     cultic instructions

Ex 31.18–34.35     golden calf & covenant renewal

Ex 35.1–40.38       execution of Ex 25–31

Lev 1–7                 sacrifices

Lev 8–10               priests

Lev 11–15             clean & unclean

Lev 16                   Day of Atonement

Lev 17–26             Holiness Code

Lev 27                   vows

Num 1.1–10.10      prepare to depart

How can we explain that the historical credo in Dt 6 & 26 (= “Hexateuch in miniature”) does not mention Sinai?

How do the Ancient Near Eastern treaties (suzerainty treaty) help us understand the covenant of God with Israel (NB: components of the treaty)? (See Harris)

Num 10.11–36.12        wilderness

Dt–2Kgs                      Deuteronomistic History

Deuteronomistic theology (summary in Judg 2.6-3.6; 2Kgs 17.7–41)

all historical events governed by divine providence

Dt 31.1-34.12         from Moses to Joshua

Josh & Judg           settlement

Which model do you think best explains the shape of the people of Israel in the Bible: conquest, infiltration or revolt?

Josh 24                  Tribal Confederacy in Shechem

Who joins the Tribal Confederacy?

What is the basis of the covenant in this chapter?

1Sam 9.1-10.16; 11                 pro-monarchic (“Saul tradition”)

1Sam 7.3-8.22; 10.17-27; 12   anti-monarchic (“Samuel tradition”)

What are the issues in this debate over establishing a kingship (see also Judg 8)?

2Sam 2                  David anointed king of Judah

2Sam 5                  David anointed king of all Israel; Jerusalem conquered

2Sam 6                  Ark of the Covenant brought to Jerusalem

2Sam 7                  Nathan’s oracle (Judean royal theology)

Yahwist (J)

1) Israel as the source of blessing (Gen 12.1-3)

2) cosmopolitan outlook

3) hidden social critique (Gen 2.4b-25)?

Zion tradition

1) YHWH = suzerain

2) YHWH gave an unconditional promise to David (royal theology in 2Sam 7)

3) YHWH chose Zion as his dwelling place

4) YHWH keeps Zion from enemies’ attack

Ps 82 as an imperial program?

2Sam 9-20; 1Kgs 1-2         Court History (Succession Narrative)

1Kgs 11                 reason for split of united monarchy

1Kgs 12                 secession of northern tribes (922)

2Kgs 17                 fall of Samaria (722-21)

Prophecy

inseparably linked to the period of Israel’s nationhood (after the end of the tribal confederacy through the exile)

The so-called minor prophets: summary of their message

The following are major emphases of the individual prophetic books of the Twelve, given in the hope that we can begin to recognize the distinctive voice of each prophet.

1.   Amos powerfully expressed the need for social justice, and announced the coming Day of Yahweh. (eighth century)

2.   Hosea was the only native northern prophet; he had an unfaithful wife who was a living parable of Israel's unfaithfulness to God. (eighth century)

3.   Micah was the Judean prophet who championed the cause of the rural underclasses over against the aristocracy of Jerusalem. (eighth century)

4.   Zephaniah preached the coming Day of Yahweh. (seventh century)

5.   Nahum condemned Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian Empire. (seventh century)

6.   Habakkuk asked how Babylonia, an evil nation, could be used by God to punish his own people? (seventh century)

7.   Obadiah condemned the Edomites for taking advantage of the plight of the Judeans. (sixth century)

8.   Haggai urged the recently returned refugees to rebuild the Jerusalem temple. (sixth century)

9.   Zechariah provided spiritual and moral support to the returned refugees in Jerusalem through visions. (sixth century)

10. Malachi used the disputation style to probe the spiritual commitment of the postexilic community. (fifth century)

11. Joel had a vision of a locust plague, which served as a sign of the coming Day of Yahweh. (fifth century)

12. Jonah tried to avoid his commission to preach repentance to the Assyrians, was swallowed by a fish, and ultimately but unhappily convinced Nineveh to repent. (fifth century?)

Kings & prophets of the Assyrian Period

Kings of Judah                        Kings of Israel                                    Hebrew Prophets

Amaziah 800–783                   Joash 802–786                                               

Uzziah 783–742                      Jeroboam II 786–746                          Amos c. 760–750

Jotham 742–735                     Zechariah 746–745                             Hosea c. 750–725

                                                Shallum 745                                        Isaiah of Jerusalem c. 740–700

                                                Menahem 745–737

                                                Pekahiah 737–736

Ahaz 735–715                         Pekah 736–732

Hezekiah 715–687                   Hoshea 732–724                                 Micah c. 730

Kings & prophets of the Babylonian Period

Kings of Judah                        Kings of Babylon                                 Hebrew Prophets

Manasseh 687–642

Amon 642–640                                                                                    Zephaniah c. 640–622

Josiah 640–609                       Nabopolassar 626–605                        Jeremiah c. 627–562

                                                                                                            Nahum c. 620

Jehoahaz 609                          Nebuchadnezzar 605–562                  Habakkuk c. 608–598

Jehoiakim 609–598

Jehoiachin 598

Zedekiah 597–587                                                                               Ezekiel c. 593–571

Gedaliah                                 Amel–Marduk 562–560                       Obadiah c. 587

                                                Neriglissar 560–556

                                                Nabonidus 556–539                            Second Isaiah c. 546–538

Isaiah

Chapters   Book                      Title                                         Period                                  Date

1–39          First Isaiah             Isaiah of Jerusalem                  Assyrian                                742–701

40–55        Deutero-Isaiah       Isaiah of the Exile                    Babylonian Exile                  546–538

56–66        Trito-Isaiah            Isaiah of the Restoration          Restoration of Judah             538–520

Jewish Leaders                      Persian Kings                                     Hebrew Prophets

Sheshbazzar 538                     Cyrus 550–530

Zerubbabel c. 520                   Cambyses 530–522                             Third Isaiah 537–520

                                                Darius I 522–486                                 Haggai 520

                                                                                                            Zechariah c. 520–518

                                                                                                            Malachi c. 500–450

                                                Xerxes 486–465                                   Joel c. 400–350

                                                                                                            Ezra c. 450

                                                Artaxerxes I 465–424                           Jonah c. 400 (?)

                                                                                                            Nehemiah c. 445                                             Second Zechariah c. 400

NB: the 3 great crises (Harris) & their relationship with prophecy

Prominent Heroes & Villains

David                                                                           Solomon (1Kgs 11.1-13)

Solomon (1Kgs 3-10)                                                    Jeroboam I........................ Israel, 922-901

Hezekiah.......................... Judah, 715-687                  Ahab (& Jezebel)............... Israel, 869-850

Josiah.............................. Judah, 640-609                  Manasseh                         Judah, 687-642

Cyrus................................ Persia, 550-530                  Tiglath Pileser III............ Assyria, 745-727

                                                                                    Sargon II......................... Assyria, 722-705

                                                                                    Nebuchadrezzar II..... Babylonia, 605-562


Know the basic characteristics of the following & their message (see Harris):

Amos

Hosea

Isaiah of Jerusalem

Deutero-Isaiah

Jeremiah

Ezekiel

Psalms

categories of psalms (Harris)

see also R-drive file “biblical poetry” & “prophets & psalms”

Wisdom literature

practical & skeptical/speculative/reflective

universalism & individualism

challenge to traditional Israelite faith & worldview

human experience (cf divine revelation)

Chronicler’s history

contrast with Deuteronomistic history

historical significance of Ezra & Nehemiah & the stage of Israelite faith they reflect (Judaism)

Apocalyptic thought & literature

Dan & Rev

characteristics of apocalyptic writing (Harris)

Apocrypha

1Macc, Tobit, Bel

Alexander the Great & Hellenization; Seleucids & Ptolomies; Antiochus IV

Gospels: Synoptic Problem & Jn

Mk, Mt & Lk v Jn (see R-drive file & Harris)

two-source hypothesis (Mk & Qs as independent sources for Mt & Lk, written independently)

advantage: easier to imagine/claim; disadvantage: hypothetical source Q(uelle = source)

Griesbach hypothesis (Mt as source for Lk; both as sources for Mk)

advantage: no hypothetical source; disadvantage: harder to imagine/claim

Acts & Paul etc.

7 authentic (undisputed) letters

disputed/pseudonymous letters (how do we judge?)

issues in the Pauline churches (e.g., Jew-Gentile relations, faith & works, delay of parousia, “false” teachings)

Pastorals & catholic epistles & Revelation

How do all these reflect the early stages of the Christian religion? What developments can we see?

Examples?

issues in the early church (e.g., institutionalization & organization of the church, role of women, delay of parousia, “false” teachings, persecution)

Geography: It would help to know the significant places listed below.

Water

Aegean Sea

Black Sea

Caspian

Dead Sea

Euphrates River

Jordan River

Mediterranean Sea

Nile River

Persian Gulf

Red Sea

Sea of Galilee

Tigris River

Regions & natural features

Ammon

Anatolia (Asia Minor)

Arabia

Bashan

Canaan/Israel/Palestine

Edom

Egypt

Galilee

Gilead

Greece

Macedonia

Mesopotamia

Moab

Mt. Carmel

Mt. Gerizim

Negeb

Philistia

Phoenicia

Samaria

Sinai

Sumeria

Syria

Cities & Kingdoms/empires

Assyria

Assyrian Empire

Babylonia

Babylonian Empire

Beersheba

Damascus

Dan

Davidic/Solomonic Empire

Egyptian Empire

Hebron

Israel

Jericho

Jerusalem

Judah

Megiddo

Shechem

Sidon

Tyre

All the tribes of Israel

NB: there's a catch with Levi (Levites)!

 

Questions you should be able to answer (Be as detailed as possible, using biblical examples to illustrate your points whenever possible.):

 

Provide the historical-critical explanation of the process through which the books of the Torah (Pentateuch) were composed and brought together. In your answer show your understanding of the source hypothesis and the major characteristics of the various sources.

 

Compare the distinctive features of the two accounts of creation recorded in Gen 1.1–2.25, commenting on the sources they represent. Also discuss themes or convictions common to both.

 

What is the most significant event, or root experience, in the memory of the Israelites? Why? How does this experience influence the various economical, historical, literary, political, religious, theological developments or issues in the Hebrew Bible?

 

Discuss the developments from the Tribal Confederacy to the divided kingdom, describing the main stages of development, as well as identifying the main figures in the biblical narrative and the theological and historical issues or themes that we may discern within the developments.

 

What are the three models/theories proposed for understanding the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan? Describe each theory and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each view.

 

Compare the perspectives embodied in the Deuteronomistic History and the Chronicler’s History. Which books does each include? List as many characteristic features of each as you can. What historical periods are covered in the literature? What historical situation(s) does the composition of each reflect? Why were they written?

 

Discuss the rise of monarchy in ancient Israel.

 

Describe and compare the two major theological traditions in ancient Israel. What are the features of each? How are they similar? How are they different? What sorts of problems arose as a result of the differences?

 

What is the nature and function of Hebrew prophecy? In answering this, refer to prophets from the Bible to show what you mean and provide specific biblical passages (references).

 

What are some general characteristics of the Psalms. Describe three types or categories of psalms.

 

What are some significant features of wisdom literature in general? What types of wisdom literature are there, what distinguishes them, and which books of the Hebrew Bible belong to them?

 

In what ways does the theme of egalitarian ethos emerge in the Hebrew Bible?

 

Compare Daniel and Revelation. What kind of literature are they? What common elements do they share? What kind of worldview does each espouse, especially with respect to their respective historical context?

 

Show your understanding of the contrast between the Synoptics and John.

 

In the historical understanding of the Bible, what is meant by the claim that the time of the literature is not the time of the tradition?

 

Final tips

For more review, see the reading guides & the review Qs in Harris.