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Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and His 12 Sons: Heroes of God’s Promise in the Book of Beginnings (Genesis)

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  • Intro, Title slide

    1. 2. Previously on
    2. 3. God’s Word comes to us clothed in the particular culture and historical experience of the chosen people to whom He revealed His will with divine inspiration.
    3. 4. reading the Bible in context
    4. 5. the hall of heroes
    5. 6. The Bible was not written in a day or even in just a thousand years... ...rather, it GREW and developed out of the collective experience, learning and faith of a community.
    6. 7. Revelation + Inspiration Tradition oral & written compilation redaction Codex Canon translations versions translations translations editions
    7. 9. Revelation + Inspiration Tradition oral & written compilation redaction Codex Canon translations versions translations translations editions
    8. 10. Season 1 TORAH TORAH Leaders of the Way
    9. 11. The Old Testament
    10. 12. Quick facts <ul><li>The Hebrew Bible, in full </li></ul><ul><li>Also known as the Hebrew Canon </li></ul><ul><li>Completely written in Hebrew </li></ul>
    11. 13. Three words are concealed in the acronym: TANAK. These are the Hebrew names given to the three sections into which the Jewish people divide their Bible. TANAK is to the Jews as Old Testament is to the Christians. It is the acronym often used by the Jewish people to refer to their Bible. It reveals how the Old Testament is divided.
    12. 14. TORAH * Refers to the first five books of the Old Testament * The word “Torah”: from a Hebrew verb which means “ to direct”, “to point the way”. Usually used to refer to divine instruction or guidance. Often translated as “law”; used in reference to the many laws found in the Old Testament (613 in the first 5 books alone!) * The first part of the Old Testament to be translated into a foreign language (Greek - Alexandria, Egypt, between 280-230 BC) * a.k.a. PENTATEUCH (from the Greek: “ρεητε ” =five; “τεμχος”= a scroll), telling us no more than that the first part of the Jewish Bible was written on 5 scrolls.
    13. 15. NEVI’IM The word Nevi’im means “Prophets”. This is a more apt title for the second section of the Old Testament rather than the one used by Christian Bibles: The Historical Books. There is no book of the Bible that intends to provide history lessons, only religious instruction in particlar historical contexts. So, strictly speaking, “historical books” is misleading. So, Prophets it is: earlier and later, major and minor. (21 books in all)
    14. 16. KETHUBIM The word Kethubim means “The Writings”. This last section consists of 13 books in the Hebrew Canon. We add six more books included in the Catholic Canon. Books in this section come from varied times and places and are of varied literary types. The common strand or theme running through most, if not all, of them is Wisdom. RCC
    15. 17. Source Criticism <ul><li>a.k.a. LITERARY CRITICISM </li></ul><ul><li>the attempt to establish the sources used by the author and/or redactor of the final text. </li></ul><ul><li>- identify & date for historical reliability </li></ul><ul><li>- detailed study of the biblical text itself </li></ul><ul><li>(how a text is written-- </li></ul><ul><li>style, vocabulary, grammar, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>- extant source which can be compared </li></ul>
    16. 18. <ul><li>source </li></ul>source source source redactor redaction criticism form criticism / tradition history
    17. 19. Conclusion: <ul><li>The material of the Pentateuch is composite-- that is, composed and/or compiled from a variety of previously existing documents or sources-- </li></ul><ul><li>written by different people or different communities over a long period of time. </li></ul>
    18. 20. Documentary Hypothesis <ul><li>proposed in 1876 by Julius Wellhausen and eventually supported by many scholars, even by the Church, over the next 100 years. </li></ul>Identified 4 main sources of the Pentateuch, represented by the letters J E D P Yahwist Elohist Deuteronomist Priestly
    19. 21. four sources <ul><li>Yahwist(J) </li></ul><ul><li>Material that primarily used the proper name for God (YHWH). </li></ul><ul><li>Written or preserved in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, between 9th & 8th century BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of it is epic narrative, </li></ul><ul><li>traditional recounting of the origins of Israel as a people and their journey through history under God’s guidance. </li></ul><ul><li>Contains traditions of Davidic monarchy and Jerusalem as center of worship. </li></ul><ul><li>Has an extremely eloquent style. </li></ul><ul><li>1/2 of Genesis, 1st half of Exodus, plus fragments of Numbers. </li></ul>
    20. 22. four sources <ul><li>Elohist(J) </li></ul><ul><li>Material similar to J, but used the generic term for deity: Elohim, in referring to God. </li></ul><ul><li>Originated in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Majority of the scholars date its origins to around the 8th century BC (some opinions differ, saying it could be older than J) </li></ul><ul><li>Contains tribal traditions of the conquest of the land and traditions about the covenant and worship centers outside Jerusalem. </li></ul><ul><li>Has moderately eloquent style. </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 of Genesis, 1st half of Exodus plus fragments of Numbers. </li></ul>
    21. 23. four sources <ul><li>Deuteronomist (D) </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional or preaching material that used language, concepts and theological perspectives very similar to that of the Book of Deuteronomy and some of the Prophets (e.g. Jeremiah). </li></ul><ul><li>Exact time frame of composition under debate: could have been a tradition subjected to constant reapplication and revision from as early as 621 BC to the post-exilic period. </li></ul><ul><li>Contained much of the legal material focused on faithfulness to God based on the covenant, and obedience as proper response to God’s grace. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of Deuteronomy and fragments in other books that contain references to the Law. </li></ul>
    22. 24. four sources <ul><li>Priestly (P) </li></ul><ul><li>Material that focused on the concerns of priests serving in the Jerusalem temple. Partly duplicates J and E, but alters details to stress the centrality of the priesthood. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the material now extant was produced after the exile, in the 5th century BC or later, but contains traditions from all periods of Israel’s history (like D). </li></ul><ul><li>Included technical record keeping (lists, dates, numbers, genealogies, laws)related to the proper functioning of the temple and associated actvities, as well as theological material related to the keeping of religious law. </li></ul><ul><li>1/5 Genesis, portions of Exodus and Numbers and most of Leviticus. </li></ul>
    23. 26. Questions <ul><li>Possibility of some sources not written </li></ul><ul><li>but oral traditions? </li></ul><ul><li>The redactor: simply a compiler? or editor? </li></ul><ul><li>or a creative writer himself? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the intention of the author/redactor in arranging materials this way or that? </li></ul><ul><li>What can we learn about God from a particular arrangement of material? </li></ul>
    24. 27. Developments <ul><li>“ Sources” still generally accepted but with significant modifications and vastly simplified. </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than “sources” as specifically written documents, scholars now talk of TRADITIONS: </li></ul><ul><li>Scripture grew out of the on-going life of a worshipping community rather than being simply composed by a single individual at one time and merely edited. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus not on the “authors” of Scripture, </li></ul><ul><li>but to its function within the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Shift of concerns from historical to canonical and theological, from studying components of a canon to discerning why it was “shaped” that way. </li></ul>
    25. 29. MODERATOR ADVISORY <ul><li>We will not go into detailed, exhaustive analysis of Biblical texts (Exegesis). </li></ul><ul><li>Rather, we study significant features of </li></ul><ul><li>each book, hoping to clarify certain issues and </li></ul><ul><li>drawing up lessons that are relevant for </li></ul><ul><li>our faith and life as Catholics. </li></ul>
    26. 30. Episode 3 A Good Beginning A Good Beginning
    27. 31. Genesis= “ origin, beginning”. The book opens with the words: “In the beginning...” Genesis= Book of Beginnings Apparently covers all human history (?) from creation to the death of Joseph (the dreamer). Stories in it told over many years, put together over a long period- finalized only about 500 years BC Our first example of a book put together out of many different traditions over a long period of time
    28. 32. The Creation Story Genesis 1-3
    29. 33. The Creation Story synopsis synopsis
    30. 34. The Creation Story features features <ul><li>God’s creative power over the world, from the very beginning of all life (transforming nothingness into goodness) </li></ul><ul><li>The stewardship of humans over creation (caretaker of the integrity of creation) </li></ul><ul><li>Sin as man’s abuse of God’s trust, attempting to appropriate life for himself without God </li></ul><ul><li>Life= fidelity, both of God and humans </li></ul>
    31. 35. The Creation Story issues issues <ul><li>the existence of creation stories in almost alll cultures: different views of one reality-- supreme good being, origin of the universe, humans as “special” creatures </li></ul><ul><li>Evil in the world as consequence of sin </li></ul><ul><li>Complementarity of man and woman (no room for a third sex?) </li></ul>
    32. 36. The Flood Story Genesis 6-10 Genesis 6-10
    33. 37. The Flood Story synopsis synopsis
    34. 38. The Flood Story features features <ul><li>God as ship architect: the specifics of the ark that Noah built </li></ul><ul><li>The flood as chaos opening to a second creation </li></ul><ul><li>details of descendants of world population from Noah’s sons </li></ul>
    35. 39. The Flood Story issues issues <ul><li>Again, existence of flood stories in other cultures outside Israel </li></ul><ul><li>the question of a very “human” God- deciding to destroy then promising not to do it again. </li></ul>
    36. 40. The Patriarchs Genesis 12-50
    37. 41. The Patriarchs Abram / abraham Abram / abraham
    38. 43. The Patriarchs ishmael & isaac ishmael & isaac
    39. 44. The Patriarchs esau & jacob esau & jacob
    40. 45. The Patriarchs the 12 sons of JACOB the 12 sons of JACOB
    41. 47. The Patriarchs joseph the dreamer joseph the dreamer
    42. 49. Guided Reflection
    43. 50. The Grace of our Origins...
    44. 51. The Grace of our Origins... <ul><li>Where did I come from? - ancestry, conception, birth-- culture & history </li></ul>
    45. 52. The Grace of our Origins... <ul><li>How did I grow and develop? - training, education, learning, value-formation-- social links, relationships, significant others </li></ul>
    46. 53. The Grace of our Origins... <ul><li>Who/what influences me most? - personal life, work, faith-- decisions, choices, commitments </li></ul>
    48. 55. Read: THE BOOK OF EXODUS especially these sections: - the burning bush - the Passover dinner - the 10 commandments - the Ark of the Covenant Homework