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christianity - 222 JUDAISM REVIEW QUESTIONS What is a...

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Unformatted text preview: 222 JUDAISM REVIEW QUESTIONS What is a Jewish covenant? Describe three major covenants. What major themes did Maimonides see as central to Jewish faith? 3 What does the Baal-Shem Tov teach about life after death? N-I DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1 What are the two different creation stories in Genesis? Discuss major themes, different sequences of events {especially plant/human creation), mastery of nature, and gender issues. What do these differences in creation accounts telf us about how to interpret the Torah? 2 What are the important differences among the three major branches of contemporary Judaism? Which make most sense to you and why? 3 Compare the article “Women in Jewish Life" by Ellen Umanksy in this chapter with the article "The Image of God as Dominating Other" by Judith Plaskow in chapter 1. Do they agree with each other or differ markedly? How? What do you think? ’ INFORMATION RESOURCES Bernstein. Ellen, ed. Ecology and the Jewish Spirit. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998. Cohen, Arthur. and Paul Mendes~Flohr, eds. Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought. New York: Free Press/Macmillan, 1987‘. Commentary Magazine <http://wmiv.Commentarymagazine.com> Fackenheim, Emil. God’s Presence in History. New York: New York University Press, 1970. Gillman, Neil. The Death of Death. Woodstock, VT: Jewish tights Publishing, 1997. Glatzer. Nahum. Hammer on the Rock: A Short Midrash Reader, trans. Jacob Sloan. New York: Schocken, 1948/1962. Heschel, Abraham. The Prophets. New York: Harper and Row, 1962. Holz, Barry. The Schocken Guide to Jewish Books. New York: Schocken, 1992. Janowitz, Naomi, and Maggie Wenig. "Sabbath Prayers for Women," in Carol Christ and Judith Plaskow, Womanspirit Rising. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1992. Jewish Film Archive Online <http:l/www.Jewishfilm.com> Jewish Links <http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/comenetz/ iewishlinkshtmb Jewish Virtual Library <http:l/www.jewishvirtuallibraryorg> Jewishnet <http://www.Jewishnet.net> Kaplan, Mordecai. Judaism as a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of Jewish Life. Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1934/1994. Landman, Isaac, ed. Encyclopedia Judaica. 16 vols. New York:'Macmillan, 1972. Neusner. Jacob. An introduction to Judaism. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991. Onishi, Norimitsu. "Reading Torah Women‘s Group Tests Tradition," in The New York Times. Feb. 16, 199?, Metro Section, pp. 43, 49. Rubenstein. Richard L. AfterAuschwitz. indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1966. Scholem, Gershom. Major fiends in Jewish Mysticism. New York: Schocken, 1946. Silverman. Lou H.. et al. "Judaism," in Encyclopedia Britannica. Voi. 22, pp. 379—456. London, 1997. Swartz, Michael, et al. "Judaism," in Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. LindsayJones. 2nd ed. Vol. 7, pp. 4968—5022. New York: Macmillan, 2005. CHAPTER 9 CHRISTIANITY Christianity is such a widespread and influential religion that, around the world, dates are now commonly measured from the approximate birth date of Jesus, prob- ably a few years before 1 CE. According to Christian tradition, he was born in lsrael to a poor family under Eowiy circumstances, and his spirituai help was often offered to those who were neglected or rejected by society. When hebegan preaching openly at the age of about 30, he was sharply critical of religious hypocrisy. Himself a Jew, he upheld the spirit of the teachings of the Torah while pointing out their abuses by religious authorities. To his followers, however, he was not just a reformer. He was known as a miracle worker; many who came to him were healed. Some became convinced that Jesus was the Messiah for whom they had long been waiting. . Jesus spoke often about the kingdom of God, but it seems that he was refer- ring to a spiritual rather than a political realm. Nonetheiess, the religious authorities and the Roman rulers of the region ultimately had him crucified in Jerusalem. Three days tater, according to varied accounts in the Bible, he was miraculously resur— rected and appeared again in the flesh to his closest disciples. charging them to carry on his work. They, too, became great healers and preachers, despite per- secution. One of the persecutors was reportedly transformed by a wsron of Jesus, becoming the Apostle Paul. His extensive travels and writings were extremeiy influ- ential in shaping Christianity as an organized religion and theology. According to the biblical accounts, Jesus brought a message of love for ail, especiaily the weak. He' urged radical inner transformation and promised that God was forgiving to sinners who sincerely repented and turned toward him. Paul's teachings brought the additional beliefs that Jesus was the incarnation of God and that Jesus' death offered atonement for the sins of a believer of any nationaiity. With this understanding, many Christians feel that, while other reli- gions may have their saints and prophets, only Jesus offers the way to receivmg God's grace. . . ‘ Christian belief is not unitary; on the contrary, those professmg beiief in Jesus have over time separated into some 21,000 different denominations in three major divisions: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic. and Protestant. Today there are lively conservative and liberal movements throughout Christianity. 224 CHRISTIANITY Jesus the Christ Stories of the life and teachings of Jesus and their theological interpretation appear in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, written in Greek and some Aramaic (spoken by Jesus). The Christian Bible also includes a version of the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, labeled as the Old Testament. The New Testament begins with the four Gospeis—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—and also includes material on the activities of Jesus‘ followers after his death, including letters from Paul to the newly developed Christian congregations. The first three Gospels were written down between 70 and 90 cc. Mark is the oldest, and they all show evidence of earlier sources, oral and written. They are similar, and are thus called the Synoptic Gospels. But they also differ: Matthew has a genealogy of Jesus' family line, Mark has no appearances of the resurrected Christ, and Luke has a long birth narrative. The fourth Gospel, John (c. 95 CE), shows a more mystical and Greek influence (the Light, the Word). Paul's letters, or Epistles, were written between 48 and 64 CE, before the Gospels took their present form. Other New Testament books were written down as late as 150 CE. The foliowing selections are taken from a mid-twentieth-century translation of the Bible, the RSV. The Annunciation from Luke In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the Virgin’ 5 name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, 0 favored one, the Lord' 15 with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ”Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and_ bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High,- and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, ”How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, ”The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be 'born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:26-35) The Magm'ficat from Luke And Mary said, ”My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God _ my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For CHRISTIANITY 22 5 behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed: for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted Those of low degree,- he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.” (Luke 1:46—55) Jesus’ Birth from Luke In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all . the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Jesus' Birth - Quirinius wasgovernor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of . Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling. cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around'them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid: for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people: for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:1-14) Jesus’ Ministry Begins from Matthew And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel'of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So. his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs,1 epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis2 and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 423—5), 1 Demoniac—person possessed by a demon. 2 Decapolis—Greek for "ten towns, " a confederation of ten cities near the Sea of Galilee. . r l l a ...
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