Terms or Ideas to Learn  

Chapter 1

Reading is available on Blackboard here until bookstore gets the book in stock. (Note: you have a special advantage because I've already highlighted the reading!)

Note: I am looking for evidence that you read the material, so don't search for your information on the Internet (it will be wrong). Use the book.

  • How is bible like other anthologies? How is it unlike them? Explain.
  • What were three criteria for including a book in the Jewish canon?
  • At what approximate dates was each section of the Jewish canon "closed"?
  • Explain two ways the Jewish and Catholic canons are different.
  • Approximately when, according to the book, was the Christian canon "closed" first, and what happened to open or change it again?
  • How is the Masoretic text of Jeremiah different from the Dead Sea version, and what are the "implications" of those differences, according to the text?
  • Explain what is meant by one of the following: textual criticism, source criticism, or tradition criticism.

Chapter 2

  • Explain the difference between Israelite and Israeli.
  • Which of its "overlords" first called the promised land "Canaan"? What is the broad meaning of Canaan, and what is the more narrow definition?
  • How did Judeans become the "memory holders" of all Israel?
  • Why was Israel's defeat by Babylon in the early 6th century BCE a "national and religious crisis"?
  • Why does much of the legal material of the bible (especially in Leviticus) concern the "offices of the priesthood" and sacrifice in the Jerusalem Temple?
  • The book says that the priests and scribes in exile collected the stories of Genesis and Moses because they "spoke profoundly to their own experience." Explain, with an example.
  • What evidence do we have of the persistence of northern (Israelite, or Ephraimite) traditions in Judah via migration?
  • The prophets and the writings reflected the questions of those who returned to Judah during the Persian period. What are two of the six questions listed by the book?
  • Box 2.1 talks about how the Christian and Jewish ideas about Jerusalem are different. Explain one difference and the possible reasons for it.