Midterm study guide
What it is, what it means, where it comes from, connect it to course.
Atra-hasis: Main protagonistic character of ancient Mesopotamian legend which Biblical
“Noah’s ark” is based upon. Both stories are similar in that the main character,
Noah/Atrahasis build an ark to escape a flood, and that the whole story turns the smelling
of a sacrifice. It is different in polytheism vs. monotheism, and the biblical compassion of
God. There is nothing in Mesopotamian legend to suggest God is compassionate. This is
a new story, presented as old. Separates ancient near-Eastern though from western
thought. Other possible words: Enki, Enlil, Anu, sacrifice, sacredness, new presented as
Mal’ak/satan: Mal’ak is the Hebrew word for angels. Angellos, in greek, means
messenger. Cherubim are like the Egyptian sphinxes, a hybrid being, body of lion, wings
of eagle, head of man. They are guardians. Archangels are chief messengers. Seraphim
have three pairs of wings. Seva’ot are lords of hosts. Other possible words: Angellos, any
of the angels.
Satan: The Hebrew word for devil/diablos. Means adversary, nemesis. Used as a common
noun until very late chronologically. By new testament, Satan is one character, usually
seen in an adversarial relationship with God. Beezelbul (later changed to Beezlebub),
means the prince lord (lord of the flies, later). Lucifer means “he who bears light.”
Nephilim: To fall, the fallen ones. Other possible words: Lucifer, diablos, Beezlebul,
nephilim. Milton makes the serpent into the devil. There is only one example of this in
Theodicy: Deals with the nature of God. Combines two greek words, theos (God), and
dike (righteousness). Three problems: Problem of ignorance of Adam and Eve, who had
no moral compass before apple; problem of appropriateness of punishment; problem of
efficiency (why hasn’t God restored us sooner?) Three props: There is a god, and he is
omnipotent; God is entirely righteous; and Evil is real. The three props together are not
reconcilable. There is no problem of theodicy in Atrahasis, because the Gods were dumb
and mean. Milton dealt with the problem of theodicy in Paradise Lost, where he attempts
to justify the ways of God to his readers. Other possible words: God and righteousness,
problems of theodicy
Patriach: Patri = father, arche= first God has a relationship with the patriarchs.
Designating Abe, Isaac, and Jacob in book of genesis. He makes a series of promises to
abe to protect him and bless him. The patriarchs who have covenantal blessing don’t
necessarily have it easy. They have to get circumcised, abe’s name gets changed, and he
is asked to sacrifice his son.
Court History: The story of David is one of the very first pieces of sustained literature in
history. Unlike other biblical stories, only has one strand. 2 Sam 9-21, 1 Kings 1-2.
Reflects dtr view, and how they viewed kingship. As a general rule the text is laconic