final exam essay questions

final exam essay questions - Jodi Krakower Lit & Arts C-70...

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Jodi Krakower Spring 2006 Essay Questions GENERAL ESSAYS A. Evaluate the following thesis: the debate between Judaism and Christianity is fundamentally a debate about the interpretation of the Bible - Introduction o HS/OT serves as basis for both Judaism and Christianity o The majority of the “Torah”/”Old Testament” deals with a single underlying theme God looking out for the world There is only one God God is active God of Justice o The HS/OT is regarded as canonical Perfect no mistakes since God wrote it (omnisignificant) Eternally true infallible and inerrant (Chicago Statement of Inerrancy) o There are some similarities in the ways in which exegetes from the two religions interpret the Bible (HS/OT) Not interested in context of books or literal verse o However, both religions are very different today This is mainly due to the different ways in which the two religions interpret and re-interpret the same text - Main Arguments o Ways to interpret the bible Results of Midrashic inquiry can be peshat (simple, plain meaning) or derash (involved, derived meaning) Results of an inquiry can be aggadah (non-legal, narrative) or can be halakha (law, ritual) o The distinction between Judaism and Christianity Theology Legal observances Peoplehood o Jewish vs. Christian Interpretation Jews: accept literal meaning of legal categories of Torah, but derive many laws through interpretation Take God’s word about certain laws very literally Christians: rely on typological and allegorical readings Typology – events in OT re-type/are symbols of Xian experience Allegory – sustained mode of symbolic reading Also, see Christ as key to understanding the Bible (Justin)
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- Examples in the way in which they interpret the exact same text to derive different laws o Circumcision (Gen 17) Jews – extremely important, commandment given by God in the Torah Mitzvah that is associated with “berit” Need to be circumcised in order to be righteous in the eyes of God See it as a contract between God and chosen people o God promises land and fecundity, demands circumcision in return o Sign for God to see distinguishing mark Christians – don’t need to be circumcised to be righteous People before the first mention of circumcision in the Bible were considered righteous (Adam, Noah) Say that God would rather circumcision of the heart o Spiritual circumcision circumcise the foreskin of your heart b/c that blocks obedience to God’s will o Take away anything that will prevent you from obeying the law o Food laws Jews – example of expansive exegesis, still rely on strict interpretation of Scripture Torah says don’t eat pork, so Jews won’t eat pork Torah says “cannot cook a goat in its mother’s milk” o Rabbinic exegesis of this: goat = meat, milk = any milk, cook = cook and eat thus, Jews will not mix dairy with meat
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course LIT & ARTS C-70 taught by Professor Cohen during the Spring '06 term at Harvard.

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final exam essay questions - Jodi Krakower Lit & Arts C-70...

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