Read “The Canons of the Bible” (New Oxford Annotated Bible, 2185-2191). Which section of the Bible was most likely first to be canonized?
Name one way book in the Protestant canon that is not found in the Jewish canon. Name one book in the Roman Catholic/Orthodox canon that is not found in the Protestant or Jewish canons..
R Jan 10 The Academic Study of the Bible
Read the Biblical Flood Story (Genesis 6-9). Give a basic summary of the plot.
Read the “Babylonian Flood Story from the Gilgamesh Epic” (on Pilot). Compare this to the Biblical version by making a list of specific details that are similar or different.
T Jan 15 The Exodus and Conquest
Read “The Ancient Near East and Ancient Israel to the Mid-First Millennium BCE” from “Beginnings” to “The Early History of Israel in the Land of Canaan” (pp 2236-2240 in New Oxford Annotated Bible). List one reason why it is often difficult to compare the biblical stories to other historical records.
Skim the Exodus traditions in Exodus 1-15. Give a simple summary of the story. Pay particular attention to the poem in Exodus 15. What main ideas are repeated in this poem?
Now, read 1 Samuel 12:6-18. Samuel is telling the Israelites about their history with God. What story does he start with? Why do you think that is?
Read Joshua 11. What impression do you get of the Israelite’s military accomplishments? Now compare Judges 1. Does this chapter give a different impression? Use Map 2 in the back of your New Oxford Annotated Bible to keep track of the place names.
R Jan 17 Early Tribal Israel and the Monarchy
Read “The Ancient Near East and Ancient Israel to the Mid-First Millennium BCE” from “The End of the Kingdom of Judah” (pp 2240-2242 in New Oxford Annotated Bible). List one reason for the split of the northern and southern kingdoms after Solomon’s death.
Read the Jacob traditions in Genesis 25:19-34 and chapters 27-35. Make a list of the various tricks people play on each other in these stories.
Read the Song of Deborah in Judges 4-5. List the tribes that are mentioned in Judges 5:12-18. Which ones came to help Deborah and which did not?
Skim 1 Samuel 8-12, 16-20, 31; 2 Samuel 2-10 and 1 Kings 1-10. Make a list of the different reasons given for the rise of the monarchy in 1 Samuel 8-12. Did the authors think that the monarchy was a good or bad idea?
T Jan 22 Royal Psalms and Royal Ideology in the ANE
Read Psalm 2, 21, 72, and 110. Make a list of any ideas or phrases that are repeated in these Royal Psalms (include citations).
Read Psalm 9, 15, 46, and 48. Again, make a list of any ideas or phrases that are repeated in these Zion Psalms (include citations).
Do you see any similar ideas about kingship expressed by Hammurabi?
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