Midterm study guide



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MIDTERM STUDY GUIDE

for

RelC/J 1210 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Fall 2012
The Midterm
The midterm will take up the full 50-minute class period on Wednesday, October 10, and will cover the material that was discussed in lectures and sections and all assigned readings (primary and secondary, whether or not they were discussed in lectures and sections.)

Please bring an exam booklet to the test. No books or notes may be used during the midterm.



Students with disabilities that require adjustments in the format or requirements of the midterm must contact their teaching assistant and the professor to confirm those arrangements by Friday, October 5th.
Its Parts
The mid-term will have several parts; you will have choice within each. The sections include:
Identifications. You will be asked to identify and comment briefly on the significance of names and terms. Please be sure to both define and give the significance of the term or name for biblical scholarship and/or the biblical narrative. Rather than resort to Google and Wikipedia, consult your Harper Collins Study Bible, the textbook, and your lecture notes for reliable definitions.
Quotations. Quotations will be drawn from primary sources, which include not only the Hebrew Bible, but the Enuma Elish and the Haggadah. Name the book (or source), the speaker and the one who is being addressed (where applicable), mention where the quotation occurs in the document and comment on its significance. For quotations from the Hebrew Bible, you should provide the book and the circumstances of the quotation but not the chapter and verse.
Short essay. You will be asked to write a short critical essay on a major theme in the Hebrew Bible or on a major issue in biblical scholarship. Your essays should include an introduction with a clear thesis statement, arguments with textual evidence, and a conclusion.
Memorized passage. You should be prepared to reproduce a short passage from the Hebrew Bible (from the NRSV translation, of course) that you have memorized. Please see the syllabus for more information. Some suggested passages are: Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 3:1-6, Exodus 6:2-8, or Job 38:1-7. The passage you select must be coherent and must be at least three verses long (as in the examples above.)
How to Prepare




  1. Read over your notes from the lecture and section and try to summarize the major themes and issues that we have discussed. Note any important terms. Talking through the major issues with other students may help you to synthesize them.




  1. Re-read those portions of the biblical text that we covered in class or that were highlighted in the assigned secondary readings if you feel that your recall is weak.




  1. Read over any notes you may have made on the assigned secondary readings. Be able to identify and explain the authors’ theses.




  1. Memorize your passage. Practice writing it out.




  1. Prepare and think through the terms and essay topics on this study sheet; the strongest exams will show evidence of your knowledge of the biblical readings, your lecture notes, the Coogan textbook, and the other secondary readings.


Topics for Review
The essay may or may not be limited to the topics below; the following provides a basis for review:
What contributions do modern critical methods make to our understanding of the Hebrew Bible? Be able to identify these methods, their assumptions, their strengths and weaknesses. How does each explain the many doublets in the Bible? Be able to refer to specific examples of how each method would be used to interpret certain passages of the Bible and make reference to the modern biblical scholars that we have read or read about in this class (Wellhausen, Levenson, Douglas, Alter.)
How are the approaches of ancient interpreters similar to and different from the methods and assumptions of modern biblical scholars? Again, be able to provide specific examples of scholars and of how they would interpret specific biblical texts.
What are the merits and challenges of making a comparison between ancient Near Eastern materials and the Hebrew Bible? How do ancient Near Eastern treaties illumine the biblical notion of covenant? (Consider, for example, Hittite treaties.) How do ancient Near Eastern creation myths illumine biblical depictions of creation? (Consider, for example, Enuma Elish.) Be able to refer to specific examples of how ancient Near Eastern materials have been compared to the Hebrew Bible and to evaluate their contribution, if any, to our understanding of the Hebrew Bible.
What can we know about the religious ideas and practices of the ancient Israelites? How did the religion of the ancestors in Genesis differ from the religion practiced by later Israelites? How was Israelite religion similar to that of its neighbors? How was it different? How do different biblical authors portray the Israelite deity? What characteristics did the Israelite deity share with other deities in the ancient Near East? What were the various ways in which the divine-human relationship was conceived in ancient Israel? Be sure to refer to specific texts that you have read in order to support your claims.
What role(s) do women play in the Hebrew Bible? Do their roles differ from those of men? In what sphere(s) do women operate? Be sure you are able to refer to specific biblical characters and narratives in order to support your claims.
In lectures, discussions, and readings, we have encountered several literary themes (favored younger son, sibling rivalry, exile, trickery, barrenness, initiative to fulfill God’s promises, to name a few) that recur in the biblical narratives. Choosing one literary motif, discuss several (three or more) specific occurrences of the motif in the Bible. What literary function(s) does the recurring motif serve in the story, and what is its significance for interpreting the biblical passages?
Terms for Identification


586 b.c.e.

Aaron


Abel

Abominations of Leviticus

Abram/Abraham

Robert Alter

Amarna Letters

Apocrypha

Apodictic Law

Aqedah

Aramaic


Apsu

Ark of the Covenant

Asherah

Baal


Babylonian Exile

Benjamin


Berit

Bitter herbs

Book of the Covenant

Canaan


Canaanite Religion

Canon


Casuistic Law

Chaldea


Circumcision

Code of Hammurapi

Clean/Unclean

Collective Memory

Cosmology

Covenant


Covenant Formulary/Treaty Form

Creatio ex nihilo

D, E, J, and P sources

Day of Atonement

Decalogue

Deuterocanonical Books

Deuteronomic Code

Deuteronomy

Dinah


Divine council

Documentary Hypothesis

Doublet

Mary Douglas



Edom

El/el

El Shaddai

Elohim

Endogamy


Enoch

Enuma Elish

Ephraim/Manasseh

Eponymous ancestor

Esau


Etiology

Euphrates/Tigris

The exodus

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Four Questions

Genealogies in P

Golden calf

Hagar


Haggadah

Hamor


Historical (or Source) Criticism

Hittite treaties

Holiness Code

Isaac


Ishmael

Jacob/Israel

Jethro/Reuel

Jordan River

Judah

Joseph


Ketuvim

Laban


Law of talion

Leah


Levant

Jon Levenson

Levi/Levites

Literary Approaches to the Bible (“Bible as Literature”)

Lotan/Leviathan

Marduk


Matzah

Masoretic Text

Meribah

Merneptah Stele (or Stela)



Mesopotamia

Midian


Midrash

Mistvah/mitsvot

Monolatry/monolatrous

Monotheism

Moriah


Myth

Nevi’im

Noah


Noahide Covenant

Parity treaty/Suzerainty treaty

Passover

Pentateuch

Primeval History

Pseudepigrapha

Rachel

Rameses II



Rebekah

Redaction Criticism

Reed Sea

Ritual Decalogue

Sabbath

Sarah/Sarai



Scapegoat

Septuagint

Shechem

Shema


Richard Simon

Simeon


Sinai Covenant

Sinai/Horeb

Slave laws

Song of the Sea/Song of Moses

Tabernacle

Table of Nations

Tamar

Tanakh

Tetragrammaton

Theophany

Tiamat


Tithe

Torah

Type-scenes

Ugarit/Ugaritic

Julius Wellhausen



Yhwh

Yom Kippur



Zipporah


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