Religion 201 Notes
Essential – citing a divine authority, assumes a believer, defending a point of view
Nominal – clearer, defendable, scientific
Christian, protestant, Anabaptist group.
Primitive – no modern conveniences – work off the land.
Sectarian – no participation in military. Also, no social security participation.
Matthew 5:43-48 (scripture defining Amish schoolhouse example of forgiveness
Texts preserved by human memory, collected over time, in a community of like-
minded authorities, that guide and direct that community. Texts become tradition
when they become that which is handed down. Tradition can die and texts can
lose their meaning.
Scriptures are organized into canons… most often closed by the decision of a
group such that these texts become authoritative for the community. These are
classic texts, not because someone says that must be but because through a history
of interpretation they continue to be meaningful.
Ancient Israel: 2000 – 6
Little is known about real historical record except through Jewish legends and
Stories that are projected back about specific figures: Abraham, Moses, etc.
All we have is the Torah, that the first Jew was a monotheist. Abram, the
wandering Aramean, a tribal chieftain who rebelled against his own father’s
idolatry. In one legend even smashing his father’s idols. God – the God, the
Jewish god, Yahweh, Elohim – told Abraham, to leave home and head south “to
the land that I will show you.”
Only one mention of Israel on a 1207 B.C.E stone column
Around tenth century BCE formation of national cult: a tribe that identified with
its leaders and kings
922 BCE: Northern and Southern Kingdoms separate. Form Israel and Judah
722 BCE: Assyrians conquer Northern Kingdom of Israel; Israel was much more
developed than the southern kingdom of Judah. The prophets interpreted Israel’s
fall because of their turn to idolatry; the worship of foreign Gods; the great king
Josiah comes along in 6
century B.C.E. to redeem the nation. He destroys every
trace of idolatry in the Temple and finds the great scroll, the Torah, what many
scholars believe is Deuteronomy. Many believe that the Torah, the five books of
Moses completed under Josiah
The Torah (four different authors):
The J author, used the name of Yahweh for god, Jahweh in german, wroe most of
Genesis, at least parts of Exodus.
The E author, who called God Elohim, also contributed much to Genesis and