Ch 3Judasim

Ch 3Judasim - Chapter 3: Jewish Traditions Overview Judaism...

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Chapter 3: Jewish Traditions
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Overview Judaism gave rise to two other world religions: Christianity and Islam. Each of these religions trace their spiritual lineage to the biblical patriarch Abraham. Judaism is the smallest of the three, yet its historical influence is far greater than its numbers would suggest. This is because it was with the Jewish people that monotheism—the belief in one God—originated. Judaism is most commonly inherited rather than chosen, thus Judaism is frequently considered an ‘ethnic’ religion. A substantial number of North Americans, Europeans, and Israelis identify themselves as Jews but do not take part in the religious tradition. Today, Jews probably number just under 14 million worldwide. A substantial number in Israel.
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Overview, cont’d. In North America there are three major groupings of Jews: Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. Jews believe that God expects all human beings to follow the same fundamental moral code. In addition, Jews understand themselves to be bound to God by a covenant. For this reason, Jews see themselves as God’s choosen people in the sense that they have been elected to fulfill a special responsibility: to serve as God’s representatives in the world.
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Origins The Biblical Period The Hebrew Bible is a sacred scripture for Christians and Muslims, as well as Jews. The earliest known references to Israel in secular historical records date from the 13 th century BCE. (Marnepta Steele) The first eleven chapters of Genesis are entomological stories recording the primeval history of the universe. The Eden story explains that pain and evil are the consequences of human disobedience and lack of moral discernment. The story of the flood was virtually universal in the mythologies of the ancient Near East. In the Hebrew version, the flood is punishment for the evils that humans have perpetrated and clears the way for a fresh start.
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The central organizing concept in the ancient Hebrews’ religion was the covenant. God promises Abraham that he and his descendants will have the land of Canaan for their own—but both sides must live according to specific obligations. God’s providence is expressed in the form of a treaty between two great chiefs. The narratives of the patriarchs as national ancestors are followed by the dramatic account of Moses as leader and lawgiver in Exodus. God identifies himself to Moses and gives his personal name, represented in Hebrew by the four letters YHWH. Conventionally, scholars write this Hebrew word as ‘Yahweh’, though without the vowels it is impossible to know how that name would have been pronounced.
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This note was uploaded on 01/29/2012 for the course RELI 1001 taught by Professor Eaglen during the Fall '08 term at UGA.

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Ch 3Judasim - Chapter 3: Jewish Traditions Overview Judaism...

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