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Rel 103, Week 2 Notes

by: Collin Wilbanks

Rel 103, Week 2 Notes REL 103

Collin Wilbanks

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About this Document

Notes from week 2 of class. I had a family emergency and could not attend class on the Friday of this week (September 2nd), so they are incomplete. But these are the notes from the prior two days.
Intro to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Mary F Thurlkill
Class Notes
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Collin Wilbanks on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to REL 103 at University of Mississippi taught by Mary F Thurlkill in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 112 views. For similar materials see Intro to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Religion at University of Mississippi.


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Date Created: 09/05/16
29 August 2016 What is scripture? Comes from latin ‘scribere’ (to write down) Community decides that these stories need to be passed down orally until they are eventually written down Based on the story teller’s context and memory Begins as an orally-transmitted story until the story eventually gains sacred status, and it is then considered holy scripture. Jewish history based on the idea of what Jews wanted to be, not necessarily historical fact (Ex. Abraham — was he real? Or was the story of his obedience a reflection of what the Jewish people aspired to be?) By its nature, scripture is static and incomplete. It cannot be added to today. What is Jewish Scripture? TaNaKh Ta— Torah - first 5 books of the bible (Torah means law). Old Testament of Christian bible is pretty much the same as Jewish bible, just in different order. First 5 books are in the same order though: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Na — Nev’im - the prophets. Ezekiel, Isaiah, etc. the people who keep reminding the Jews that they must focus on God and not false idols Kh — Ketuvim - means writings. Wisdom literature like Daniel, Psalms, Proverbs, etc. Never touch Torah scrolls with hands. Adorn the scrolls to beautify them. People can touch the covering but not the scroll itself. Who wrote the TaNaKh and when? Traditional Jews: the TaNaKh was revealed to Moses at Mt. Sinai, Moses disseminates these scriptures to Joshua, the elders, etc. (not just the Torah, the whole TaNaKh). Begins as oral interpretation and then eventually written as scripture. Rabi’s claim that God gave Moses and Joshua a well of sacred knowledge that allows them to remember these laws that God originally gave to Moses, and that Jews continued to pull from this well of knowledge for hundreds of years. Literary emphasis: the scholarly understanding is that these are a series of sacred stories written by redactors over hundreds of years, and that they were originally written by Jews, not by a oral transmission of laws from God himself to Moses. Perspective: c. 2,000 bce — Abraham as a historical figure c. 1,000 bce — scrolls and oracles c. 587 bce — beginning of Babylonian Exile (priests had been going to temples to make sacrificial offerings for people’s sins) c. 539-323 bce — Persian period/Second Temple (scribal movement — the Jews couldn’t make sacrifices anymore as they were forced to resettle and had no temple. So they began studying scribes and scripture to center themselves and once again connect with God. Persians gave their land back and they were allowed their temple sacrifices, but this is where the TaNaKh is believed to have come to be because there were still Jews constantly writing these stories.) c. 323-63 — Greek/Hellenistic period (the Septuagint - when the scriptures began to be written in Greek) c. 63-70 bce — Roman period (revolts, temples destroyed, no more sacrifices, much more emphasis on scripture writing c. 100/200 ce — Rabbis have final agreement on TaNaKh What is the scripture’s story and context? A story of possession and loss. Constant trials and tribulations because of turning from God, but then He forgives and gives back to them. Constant cycle. Ex. the entire book of Judges. Parallel narratives: Adam, Eve, and Eden :: Israel and the Land A story of “God among us" With the covenant, the Jews accept the ‘yoke of the Torah’ which has 248 positive and 365 negative commandments ‘Yoke’ meaning their responsibility as a chosen people 31 August 2016 Tradition: how do we know what it means? Rabbinic Judaism, Pharisees, “ancestral tradition" Rabbis were Jewish teachers — focused on ancestral tradition. Pray, study, pray study, etc. These teachers who focused on ancestral tradition also called Pharisees For orthodox Jews, the interpretation of the Talmud is just as divinely inspired (interpretation pulled from the well of knowledge) as the hebrew bible itself The Talmud is composed of the Mishnah (oldest section c.200/225 CE) + Gemorrah (c. 425/525 CE) Talmud is what Rabbis refer to when Jews ask if they are allowed to do certain things. Rabbis use parables and stories in the Talmud and apply them to present situations 6 books of the Mishnah written by Rabbis — commentary on every passage of the hebrew bible Gomorrah is commentary on the Mishnah — also done by Rabbis


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