Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Joshua and Judges


Image result for samson ben victor
For Thursday, February 13, please read through my Study Questions on Joshua and the Book of Judges and then read Joshua Chapters 1 and 24 and Judges Chapters 1-2, 6-9, and 18-21.

Please also read the story of at least one of the following Judges: Ehud (Judges 3), Deborah (Judges 4-5), Jephthah (Judges 11-13), or Samson (Judges 14-16).

The first question for your next midterm exam asks you to talk about the figures in Joshua and Judges as "heroes with warts" or "warts with a hero." You might think about that question as you do the readings.

For the post here, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of whatever figure in these chapters you find the most interesting (Joshua, Gideon, Deborah, Abimelech, etc.)  What do you think of this person?  What's admirable/not so admirable?  A hero with warts?  A wart with a hero?  For extra credit, you can comment on an additional figure. Please put "extra" comments in a separate post.

By the way, the picture here is Ben Victor's statue of Samson.  Been took my History 413 class here at NSU quite a few years ago.  And, just in case you are wondering, he didn't use a younger version of me as his model for Samson.



Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Deuteronomy Discussion II

Please read through as much of you can as the remaining chapters of Deuteronomy. Cite here one law you think is particularly good--part of what makes Deuteronomy a fine law code. Cite also one law that you find disturbing, difficult or hard to understand--something that one might *not* (at least at first) think of as part of a particularly good law code.

Remember that there is an exam coming up next Tuesday!  I may be revising the study guide slightly.  Be sure to check the online study guide as you prepare for the exams.

The study guide lists IDL I, II, and III as potential ID terms.  The two laws you cite here would probably make good "IDL's" (Interesting Deuteronomy Laws).  The selections other students choose would probably work well too.


Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Deuteronomy--Discussion I

In Deuteronomy, as in Exodus, the writer gives us a lot of preliminary material before he gets to the actual “rules and regulations” of the law. Please read through the Deuteronomy study questions, then read carefully the first six Chapters of Deuteronomy. I'd like you also look through the various "statute" laws of the chapters 7-15, but you don't need to read that material quite so carefully.

What is there in this preliminary material (Chapters 1-6) you find particularly, interesting, important, or worth discussing in class? In what way does this material show Deuteronomy to be a particularly fine law code or something more than just a law code?

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Exodus 32-34

Please read Exodus 32-34.  How do the main stories here (the Gold Calf story and Moses in the "cleft of the rock") tie in to the theme of Exodus as part of one of the finest of all law codes and something more than just a law code?  What does the writer here suggest about the way religious worship is tied to questions of law and justice?  What's attractive about Golden Calf worship?  Why is it a danger to building a just society?

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Exodus--Discussion I

Please read my Exodus study questions and then Chapters 1-20 of Exodus.

Your third midterm study question asks you to address the idea that Exodus is an example of the Torah being the finest law code that the ancient world produced because it is more than just a law code.  We finally will get to "statute" law in Exodus, but, first, we've got 20 chapters that give more background to the law.  Please comment here on one or two things you see in these chapters that strike you as particularly important as background to a law code or things that show the Torah to be something more than just a law code.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Genesis 25-50

"Torah" can rightly translated as "law," but the Torah is a lot more than just rules and regulations. "Torah" might also be translated as "rule," "instruction," or "principle," and it is sometimes useful to think of the Torah as simply "the way," i.e., instruction on the way we ought to live our lives.

Please read (or at least skim through) the stories in Genesis 25-50. Which of these stories do you find most interesting? In what way does this story give as an example of the way we ought (or ought not) to live our lives?

Remember that on the midterm study guide, I've listed FGS I, FGS II, and FGS III as potential ID's.  FGS = Favorite Genesis Story.  You can use the story you pick out (or one of the stories other students comment on) for "FGS" ID's.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Genesis Discussion II

"Torah" can rightly translated as "law," but the Torah is a lot more than just rules and regulations. "Torah" might also be translated as "rule," "instruction," or "principle," and it is sometimes useful to think of the Torah as simply "the way," i.e., instruction on the way we ought to live our lives.

Please read through as much as you can of the lives of Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 11-25). In what ways do the lives of these two figures reflect "torah" in the latter sense? Cite one of the stories in this section where either Sarah or Abraham seems to you a particularly good example of how we ought (or ought not) to live our lives.

On the midterm study guide, I've listed FGS I, FGS II, and FGS III as potential ID's.  FGS = Favorite Genesis Story.  You can use the story you pick out (or one of the stories other students comment on) for "FGS" ID's.