Thought Paper 3

Thought Paper 3 - Ric/721 7704’ 77/01/4177"...

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Unformatted text preview: Ric/721 7704’ 77/01/4177" PAPER 3/ Wily/6’17 NOVEL/8776’ WRIT/4’48 A/Vfl 77/5 ADI/£177 {/ka 0F 705/7” As we continue to explore the sources ofEarly Judaism throughout the semester, you will discover that the manner in which early Jews wrote about their culture and lives varied greatly from author to author. Sources range from historical works that interpret the past to apocalypses that proclaim the impending end ofthe age to commentaries that interpret scripture. Earlier this week, we discussed the book of Esther and the genre of “historical fiction.” These writings are often “novelistic” narratives, which present a fictional account of a particular character(s) in a historical setting. They often convey instruction or moral teachings. This Thought Paper will continue to explore that genre by having you examine another “historical fiction,” the apocryphal book ofTobit. In studying Tobit, you will have the opportunity to grapple with some ofthe larger problems of textual studies, issues of genre, literary purpose, and historical setting. Reading Assignment: 1. Reread VanderKam’s introduction to Tobit (pp. 69-71), which you should have read for Monday. This reading will provide you with some historical background and introduce you to the broader themes of the work. 2. Read the apocryphal Book of Tobit completebg. VanderKam ’s summary will not supplement for reading the entire work yourself Note: Tobit can be found in any Bible containing the Apocrypha (NRSV is preferred), and an online version ofthe NRSV text can be found at http://www.rosings.com/users/nrsv/nrsvbible.hUn#TOBIT . Thought Paper: Write a one-page Thought Paper in which you... 1. Establish the historical setting / background ofthe text. (Znyour paper) Note: The historical setting, the setting in which the text was written, is different from the literary setting, which is the setting of the story. For example, The Lord ofthe Rings’s historical setting is largely Depression-era, WWII England but its literary setting is Middle Earth in the Third Age. 2. Identify the message(s) ofthe Book ofTobit and, using evidence from the book itself, defend your position (7% of your paper) 7/02,}?! 7 3. Explain how this “historical fiction” relates to other themes discussed in the class thus far. (5% of your paper, 2-3 lines) Dylan Green JWST 106.608 People often misinterpret the Bible as historical fact. The Book of Tobit provides an example as to why the incorrect believe; the ekistence of an event or story can lead readers to incorrectly picture the time period of its writing. Popular belief says that the Book of Tobit writer lived sometime during the Second Temple Periodeand because the author does not mention its desecration of the Temple by the Seleucids it probably occurred before this event: Though it has been illustrated that Tobit lacks historical factuality, the narrative’s message still holds great importance. Through the Book of Tobit, the author attempts to explain that readers should “not turn [their] face[s] away from anyone who is poor, and the face of God will not be turned away from you” (Tobit 4:7). Said differently, pious and selfless actions will not go unnoticed by GodfTobit has his vision taken from him in an unfortunate accident, which causes him to become bitter as, “[he] cannot see the light of heaven” (5:10). Occurring simultaneously, Sarah, daughter of Raguel, finds herself severely depressed as the demon Asmodeus has killed all seven of her husbands. However, “the prayers of [Tobit and Sarah] were heard in the glorious presence of God” who sends the Archangel Raphael “to heal both of them” (3:16). In return for His intervention all God asks of those in the story—through Raphael—is to “acknowledge and reveal the works of God, and with fitting honor to acknowledge him” (12:7). The message of these simultaneous stories resonates today, despite the fact that neither are believed to tell of actual events. This theme of almsgiving and giving respect to God is found elsewhere in the Jewish tradition. Most prominently one can find it in the struggle between Jerusalem and Samaria over who rightfully could have a Temple for their citizens to pay their respects to God. ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course RELI 106 taught by Professor Magness during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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Thought Paper 3 - Ric/721 7704’ 77/01/4177"...

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