religion essay

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The Bible: A Time Capsule
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•Not just written by human beings •It is the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. •Testament- another word for covenant
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Inspired Word of God
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•God ensured they contained all the truth necessary for our salvation •Religious Truth- not historical accuracy or scientific explanation •God inspired the biblical writers and guided the Church as it selected the 46 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament
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Word of God is Active:
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1.Creation- God brought the world into existence by speaking God’s Word 2.Proclamation of the prophets- the Holy Spirit inspired those chosen to speak God’s Word 3.Jesus Christ- Jesus is the eternal Word described at the beginning of the Gospel of John 4.Tradition and Scripture- through them we receive God’s revealed truth •REVELATION- God continued to reveal himself to us through creation, events, persons, and most fully, in Jesus Christ. This self-communication of God and his will to us is called Revelation. •WORD OF GOD- that which God communicates through Revelation the Church
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Old Testament Influence
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•Writing process spanned about 1,000 years •The Church's Guidance- Tradition -Tradition of the Church comes from God's revelation •The Church's Guidance: Magisterium -Magisterium- the official teaching voice or office, consists of the world's bishops together with the pope. •The New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament •Jewish Bible 3 main parts: the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings
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A God Who Acts in History
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•Salvation History: The Story of God's actions and the people's responses over many centuries •Founders and the Promise -God and Abraham -Prophets spoke out against both kingdoms' injustices to the people and infidelity to God -During the exile the Jewish leaders began collecting writings and forming the core of the Bible
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Catholic Canon of the Old Testament
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•Consists of 46 books
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The Pentateuch
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•First 5 books of the Bible (Jewish- Torah) •Books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
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Religious Truth
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– not historical accuracy or scientific explanation
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testament
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another word for covenant
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salvation history
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The Story of God’s actions and the people’s responses over many centuries
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Ten Commandments
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the laws given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai as the fundamental rules of conduct for the Chosen People
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Canon
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Official set of Hebrew Scriptures was defined by the end of the 1st century A.D.
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Tradition
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Is the oral preaching from the followers of Jesus all the way to what is expressed in the Church’s doctrine’s teachings, and worship.
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Patriarchs
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a title given to the fathers of the Old Testament who were divinely selected to guide the Chosen People.
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Monotheism
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the belief in and worship of one true God
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Exodus
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– the name given the second book of the Bible, which describes the departure of the Israelites from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. It is celebrated at Passover as the liberation of the Chosen People.
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Yahweh
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– I am the One who is always present
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Dispersion (Diaspora)-
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refers to a community of people who live in exile from their native land. The Diaspora of the Jewish people began when the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and many Jews were taken into exile in Babylon
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Dead Sea Scrolls
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a Hebrew canon of Scriptures from 250 BC, older than any Old Testament in existence by one thousand years.
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Pentateuch
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First 5 books of the Bible (Jewish- Torah)
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historical books
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a continuous narrative of Israel’s history from the conquest of the land of Canaan to the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile
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wisdom books
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this genre of literature extols the virtue of wisdom and gives practical advice on what it means to be wise. The emphasis is on what can be learned by experience and applied in daily life.
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prophetic books
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– a prophet is a person chosen by God to communicate a salvific message. A biblical prophet was primarily a communicator of a divine message of repentance to the Chosen People and not necessarily a person who predicted the future. Seventeen prophets have books in the Bible named after them.
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catholic canon
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Consists of 46 books, Christianity’s religious roots were in Judaism
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The First Creation Story
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•The familiar \”seven-day creation\” story- creation takes place in six days before God rests on the seventh day, the Sabbath •The material God uses for creation is water
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2nd Creation Story
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•God’s handiwork begins from the land, not water •Portrays God as more of a craftsman- God makes man out of mud
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Jacob
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•The stranger calls him Israel, meaning \”one who has contended with divine and human beings.\” •He has been named Israel by God, and his descendents, the chosen ones will be known as Israelites.
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Tower of Babel
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Shows how sin has spread to affect even the behavior of the nations who seek glory in power might, wealth, superiority, and dominance- without a thought for God.
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Noah and the Flood
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Powerful truth- whoever hears and obeys God’s word will be saved and whoever does not, will be lost.
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Cain and Abel
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•God blesses Abel’s and encourages Cain to rise above his jealousy •Cain murders Abel and denies any responsibility when questioned by God.
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What word means \”to laugh\” in Hebrew?
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Isaac
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Jacob
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-Orders his family to purify themselves of their pagan religion and initiates them into the worship of the God of Israel
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In scripture, the exaggeration of age means the person was
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wise
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Sodom and Gomorrah
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•The cities are destroyed and Lot’s family is saved, yet his wife is turned to a pillar of salt.
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Ishmael’s Destiny
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•Tradition has made Ishmael a Bedouin, a nomadic Arab, and the father of the Arab peoples. •Islam, religion of the Muslims, developed many centuries after biblical times among the Arabs •Muslims claim Abraham as their father in faith through the line of Ishmael.
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-Abraham is considered the ancestor of all 3 great monotheistic religions of the world today:
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Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
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Abraham’s Test
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•God calls Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. •Point of the story- focus on the faithfulness between Abraham and God
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Truths about Creation
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•Catholic understanding of the Creation account is that no contradiction exists between the biblical story and the theory of evolution. •Genesis story- about the religious meaning of the origins of the universe, not the scientific facts about those origins. •The Church affirms that much scientific evidence supports the evolution theory, but does not change the religious truth of the Creation account. Religious truth of the Creation account- the truth that God is the source of all goodness, including our own existence as humans made in God’s image
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Sin enters the World
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•Created with freedom, humans can choose to rebel against God. The misery that follows from results from free human choice •God does not create injustice in the world; human beings do by their own bad choices. •All suffering- even that from natural disasters, illness, and death- stems from the sin of Adam and Eve, not from God.
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Hagar
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– A concubine and the mother of Ishmael
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Joseph
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– Son of Jacob who has the ability to interpret dreams`
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Lot
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Abraham’s nephew
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Abraham
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– God made a covenant with this man that his offspring will come a great nation, a blessing for the world
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Sarah
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Abraham’s wife
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Rebekah
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Isaac’s wife who has twin boys
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Esau
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– He is tricked out of his birthright
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Leah
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Laban’s daughter and Jacob’s first wife
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Rachel
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Laban’s daughter and Jacob’s second wife
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Jacob
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God transfers the blessing given to Abraham and Isaac, the Promise of the land of Canaan and a royal line that is to be a blessing to the nations, to this man
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Law of Moses, the Mosaic Law, or simply the Law
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the whole collections of laws from Exodus through Deuteronomy
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Book of Exodus
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Proclaims the great truth that God freed the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from oppression and slavery in Egypt, then formed them into a chosen nation, Israel, and created an everlasting bond with them through the Covenant of Sinai.
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Book of Exodus
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•The reigning pharaoh, or king, of Egypt hates and fears the people of Israel and enslaves them •Royal command: all Israelite males must be slain at birth
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Young Moses
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•His mother tries to save him from the royal command of death by placing him in a basket on the river. •The pharaoh’s daughter saves Moses. Moses grows up knowing he is really an Israelite- although he is raised by the Pharaoh’s daughter as an Egyptian prince. •Miriam- Moses’ sister •In the nomadic Midians, he meets a priest, marries his daughter, and becomes a shepherd
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Burning Bush
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•Though the Israelites have forgotten about the God of their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they cry out in agony. •While tending sheep in Midian, Moses sees a bush aflame but not consumed. •God tells him to remove is sandals, because he is on holy ground •God commands him to go to Egypt and order Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. •God becomes angry and says that Moses’ brother, Aaron, will accompany him and do the talking- but Moses is to go!
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Yhwh
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•Hebrew letters called a \”tetra-grammation\” (\”four letter word\”) •Meant \”he creates or causes\” or simply \”I AM\”- meaning the God did not depend on anyone or anything for his existence
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\”Let My People Go\”
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•Pharaoh is unmoved by the command -He would not get work done -He thinks Moses is taking Israelites from their work and Pharaoh doubles their burden
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When Pharaoh ignores Moses and Aaron’s demand again,
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the 10 plagues begin
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Heading Out
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•At last the people of Israel leave with all of their belongings and animals. •Promised Land- the land of Canaan first promised to Abraham
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The Great Escape
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•They sing a canticle for the victory of God -A song Miracles are not just works of overcoming natural phenomena, like parting the sea. Perhaps the most wonderful miracles are those in which hearts that seem hard and unmovable are turned around by the power of God
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Trust in the Lord
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•Israelites were saved from slavery and oppression by the power of God •In the wilderness they had to learn over and over to keep trusting in God
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The Covenant of Sinai
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•Moses returns with the message – the Lord has brought them safely to this place and that if they keep the Covenant, they will be the Lord's holy nation, dearer than all other people Moses leaves the people behind to go up the holy mountain and receive God's message. Then the Lord gives Moses the Ten Commandments.
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10 Commandments-
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•Also called the Decalogue
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1st: No other gods
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•1st commandment did not say that no other gods existed, but it declared that there was only one God of the Israelites and they should worship no other. •Making a god out of something that is not God. Treating something like money, popularity, or grades like God, deserving our complete allegiance and worship
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2nd: God’s name
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•Forbade the use of God’s name in an irreverent, sacrilegious ways •Christians: forbidding any disrespectful use of God’s name or any other holy figures- swearing, making false promises in God’s name, and perjury
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3rd: The Sabbath
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•Called the Israelites to keep Saturday, their seventh day, free for worship in honor of God’s rest on the seventh day in the story of the Creation. •It was very important for the Jews in exile, they were trying to preserve their identity •Christians chose Sunday in honor of the Resurrection
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4th: Parents
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•Originally the law addressed adults and sought to protect aging parents •The humanity of society can be judged by how it treats its youngest and oldest citizens •For Christians -Family life should support all family members
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5th: Murder
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•More accurately translated as \”you shall not murder.\” •Jesus denounced other forms of destructiveness- anger, slaying with words, contempt, and vicious gossip. •Scandal- an attitude or behavior that leads someone to sin- can cause spiritual death
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6th: Adultery
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•Its purpose was the protection of marriage and the family •Adultery: a married person’s having sexual relations with someone other than her or his marriage partner
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7th: Stealing
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•A sin that accuses God of caring for us inadequately as well as a sin against the neighbor whose goods are stolen •Today this commandment applies not only to individuals but whole societies •Stealing also includes cheating (e.g., on taxes or on a test), doing shoddy work on the job and vandalism •A sin that accuses God of caring for us inadequately as well as a sin against the neighbor whose goods are stolen •Today this commandment applies not only to individuals but whole societies •Stealing also includes cheating (e.g., on taxes or on a test), doing shoddy work on the job and vandalism
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8th: False witness
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•Forbids giving false testimony, especially in cases being judged by elders or in courts •Christians today -Called to be truthful in everything they say and do -Should not use the words to harm the reputations of others
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9th: Coveting a married woman
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•Has to do with covetousness, or greediness and both reveal a profound understanding of the path of sin •Sin begins in the mind and the heart •Warns us against lust and calls us to keep our hearts pure through prayer, modesty, and discretion
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10th: Greed for another’s property
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•An envious craving that is the first step toward injuring one’s neighbor •Calls people to trust in God more than wealth
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Other Laws of Israel
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•The Book of the Covenant -Follows the 10 commandments in Exodus -Treats laws of worship, civil laws, and laws of controlling morality -Some of the laws are seen as unjust today
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Law that Frees
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For the Israelites keeping the Commandments was a sacred pact with one another as well as with God. They recognized that rules can actually free people by giving them lines or boundaries that everyone in the community pledges not to cross
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Covenant of Sinai
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Moses builds an altar with 12 pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. He has young bulls sacrificed for offerings- dividing the blood in two bowls Half is splashed on the altar – a symbol of the Lord's presence Other half sprinkled on people- a sign of be binding of God and the people Moses proclaims the Covenant of Sinai
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Symbol of blood
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For Israelites it was a sign of life Rites like these were practiced as a way to seal covenants between kings
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Infidelity, Then Forgiveness
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While Moses is gone on the mountain top for 40 days and nights, the people feel abandoned and ask Aaron to make them an idol. Aaron gathers all the gold from the people and fashions a golden calf He claims the calf is the Lord, the God who brought them out of Egypt The people offer sacrifices to the golden calf When God seems to be absent, we quickly make gods of things that seem more real to us- or that at least are more visible.
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Idealism-
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The dreamer, the one with vision. The idealist sees things as they could be and asks \”why not\”? Idealists are often creative, innovative, and stimulating in the possibilities of what could be that he or she doesn’t seem too concerned about others’ ideas and feelings. They experience frustration and loneliness at being three steps, or even light years, ahead of everybody else.
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Optimism
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looks at the positive solutions, approaches, or possibilities in a situation. The optimist is more willing to focus on the negative aspects, but does zero in on the advantages before looking at the drawbacks. They tend to be a little too complacent with the way things are to let themselves deeply appreciate, feel, or empathize with anger, grief, or pain.
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Realism
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\”sees things as they are\” and \”tells it like it is.\” They are very practical. The realist’s openness in pointing out the flaws and faults they can usually find can distance them from others. The realist’s greatest pitfall is that they tend to resign themselves to mediocrity- to \”settling for\” the way things are.
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Pessimism-
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If something is wrong or lacking the pessimist will be the first to find it. They first see the bad but is then willing to look at the good as well. They can ward of problems ahead of time. Pessimists can be rather dreary individuals to be around because they do tend to empathize with what is wrong in the world.
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Cynicism
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\”Nothing has ever gone just right, ever goes just right, or ever will go just right\”- not for the cynic. The cynic tends to live in a world of negativity. The cynic can’t quite believe there truly is any good about anything. The cynic is often good at not only bringing to light but also taking to task the world’s wrongdoers.
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Leviticus
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•Writer was probably an Israelite priest after the exile •Priests were members of the tribe of Levi, who led worship in the Temple •A handbook of instructions for Israel’s worship
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Holiness Code
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•Teachings collected and put together by the priest writer not because they focus on worship itself, but because they show how true worship is expressed in a person’s everyday life, in just and compassionate relationships •Jubilee- debts are to be canceled every 50 yrs •Love for God, the essence of true worship, is shown in love for one’s neighbor
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Sacrifices of Atonment
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•Israelites believed that when they sinned against God, they needed to do something to atone for it, to repair the relationship •Sacrificed an animal -Blood poured on altar- life given to express sorrow -Altar- the presence of God •Described in the first part of Leviticus
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Book of Numbers
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•Priestly regulations and inspiring stories •Many authors and editors •Title comes from the census mentioned in the first part of the book •Lesson for the Israelites: God will provide, especially when things look bleak. He will give us far more than we ever dreamed.
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Soothsayer
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•On their journey the Israelites encounter other people and are sometimes forced to do battle •Out of fear of defeat, King Moab of the Moabites asks the soothsayer, Balaam, to tell him what to do •Balaam’s words, in the form of an oracle, are actually blessings for Israel •The blessing lists nations that Israel will overcome and includes a star that will come from Jacob Numbers 24:14-17
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Jacob’s Star
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•Probably interpreted by Jews of exile as a prediction of the reign of David or of the great destiny of Jacob’s descendants •For Christians: it is seen as a prophecy of Christ’s coming
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Jealousy and Rebellion
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•Miriam and Aaron claim that they have authority equal to Moses
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Deuteronomy-
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•The story is set in the framework of 3 sermons by Moses •Moses probably did not actually preach the sermons that make up most of the Book of Deuteronomy. •Moses’ assistant, Joshua, becomes Israel’s new leader
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Exploring Canaan
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•Only Caleb and Jacob, who trusted in God will be protected in Canaan
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Water from the Rock
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•Moses and Aaron berate the people before striking the rock and God punishes them -They will not enter the land of Canaan because they have not shown forth his holiness in how they treated the people •The people are in the wilderness and complaining because they miss the things they had in Egypt •God bids Moses to strike a rock with his staff so the rock will produce water for the parched Israelites and their livestock
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Shema- Hebrew (hear)
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•Has been called the essence of Judaism •Repeated daily by Jews from biblical times up to the present •Profession of faith: God is one, and the one whom they are to love with their entire being- heart, soul and strength
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Social Justice
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•Many laws having to do with the poor and oppressed
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Civil Laws
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laws dealing with the day to day issues that arise between people living, in an agrarian community such as the consequences when one person’s animal injures another person, or when borders between properties are disputed
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•Religious Laws
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laws which govern the actions of the priests, the regulations for sacrifice, and the building and maintenance of the Temple
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Punitive Justice
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– laws that rely on punishment as a deterrent to criminal activity
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Restorative Justice
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laws that are concerned primarily with restoring community after an offense has occurred. The goal is to keep the community together, as the survival of the society depended on everyone fulfilling his or her role
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Pentateuch (Torah)
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•The first book, Genesis, taught us about the origins of the people of Israel •Exodus showed us how God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and made the Covenant of Sinai with them •Leviticus showed us the great concern that the Jews held for reverent worship and holiness •Numbers took us on the journey with the Israelites through the wilderness in search of the Promised land •Deuteronomy gave us insight into the essential spirit of Judaism, which is whole hearted love for God. This last book of the Pentateuch also brought the story of Israel to the brink of the Promised Land, with Joshua as God’s chosen in charge of the Israelites.
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Book of Joshua
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•Tells about one of Israel's greatest heroes -Chosen by Moses to lead the Israelites into Canaan •Contains accounts of battles and victories in which Israelites pillage cities and slaughter their inhabitants
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Turning to God
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•The story of Joshua reminded the exiled Jews in Babylon centuries later of their need to turn to God again. •Joshua represented- completely faithful and trusting in God Rahab and the Spies •Joshua sends two spies to scout Jericho, the first city across the Jordan •Rahab -A prostitute who runs a lodging house in Jericho -She promises to help them escape if they will promise safety for her family when Jericho is invaded A worthy woman who was not only a prostitute but a Canaanite. The biblical writers saw her divinely given role in the history of Israel, and even in the ancestry of Jesus. God's way, it seems, is to choose the most unlikely persons to accomplish his purposes in the world
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Crossing the Jordan River
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•The people cross over, and one man from each of the twelve tribes carries a stone from the riverbed to build a memorial at the new camp. •They call it Gilgal, meaning \”circle\” and referring to a circle of stones. •The Israelites arrival in Canaan was a gift from God, not something they had accomplished on their own.
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Battle of Jericho
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•Both historically and archeologically the story of the Battle of Jericho may not have happened as it is told in scripture. •Early each morning for 6 days, seven priests carrying rams’ horns and the ark of the Covenant lead the Israelites out of camp •They marched in silence except for the horns •7th day- dawn- they circle the city 7 times and on signal storm the wall shouting. •Jericho falls and the people and animals of the city are slaughtered •Rahab and those in her house were the only people saved
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Violence/Battles
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•The ban: \”Devotion to God for destruction\”- an order to destroy everything in a conquered town- all its inhabitants, their possessions, and their animals- and to take nothing for one’s own. •We need to recognize that stories of such destruction were not intended to give us moral direction about war.
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Exclusive Devotion to God
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•The Israelites believed that the Lord actually fought for Israel, not merely with Israel's warriors. Miracle/Divine Warfare •Old Testament authors associated conventional warfare with a time when the Israelites rejected God •God's will was that the Israelites possess the land. Their claiming that the land was accomplished partly through the methods the people of that time knew- brutal warfare. The people may have thought their means of warfare were God's will, but they were conditioned by the practices of the time. •The Bible does not favor warfare over peacemaking. Just War Doctrine -The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response (American Bishops 1983)
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Conditions for a legitimate defense by military force:
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•The war must have a "just cause" like self-defense. It must also be called by a legitimate moral authority. •The aggressor must have inflicted lasting, grave, and certain damage on the attacked nation(s). •All other means of settling the dispute must be shown to be impractical or ineffective. •There must be serious prospects for the success of the war. •Non-combatants are not to be targeted and the use of weapons may not produce evils graver than the evil being perpetrated by the aggressor nation. (The use of modern weapons of mass destruction weighs very heavily in this case – see also, CCC 2307- 2317).
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Joshua 10:12-14
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•The spectacle of the sun standing still helps to underline the point of the story- that the victory of Joshua and the Israelites on that day was a marvelous gift from God, not something they did on their own. •Places of refuge- to protect people guilty of accidental or unintentional killing from being attacked by the victims’ families for blood vengeance. •Sanctuary- a universal custom, often at a religious shrine, offering aid to the persecuted and the homeless. •One of Israel’s greatest leaders •His heart was on fire with his love for God •Of the 12 representatives sent into Canaan, Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who said God would be able to deliver the land to the Israelites
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Book of Judges
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•Stories tell how God raises up delivers to save Israel when, after settling in Canaan, the Israelites are unfaithful and overwhelmed by enemies. •Each time the people fall into idol worship, after the death of Joshua, and repent for their infidelity God brings forward a judge •Judge- a hero, a tribal leader through whom God delivers the people from destruction
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Cycle of sin, disaster, repentance and deliverance
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1.Israelites fall into sin, worshiping idols and abandoning God 2.Their sin leads to their own calamity. They are persecuted by their enemies 3.Israelites repent of their sin and cry to God for help 4.God has mercy on the people and raises up a judge to deliver them from disaster, and they triumph over their enemies.
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Deborah
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•Both a judge and prophet •Though she behaves hospitably, Jael is actually outraged at Sisera’s desertion of his troops. So while he sleeps, she hammers a tent peg through his skull. •The story nurtured hope in the exiles’ hearts that they too, with God fighting for them, would one day overcome their oppressors •Deborah’s canticle is one of the oldest writings in the Bible, dating back almost to the time of the event it describes.
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Gideon the Lowly
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•Gideon destroys the altar of the Canaanite god Baal, built by unfaithful Israelites •Jerubbaal- \”Let Baal contend against him.\” •God turns away the army Gideon gathers •He keeps a few hundred men •Under God’s direction they trick the Midianite soldiers and find victory
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Samson: Foe of the Philistines
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•Philistines- one of the sea peoples who invaded Canaan from the Mediterranean Sea •Samson's birth was foretold by and angel to a barren woman. She would bear a Nazirite- -Nazirite- a man consecrated to God from birth, never to touch strong drink or cut his hair or his beard. (Judges 13:1-25) •Samson is a violent man with an uncontrolled passion for women •Story is the tragedy of a physically strong, morally weak man who might have been great if he had used his gifts for good. •Purpose may be to marvel at the kind of people God can make use of. •Reminded the exiles of how their nation, blessed by God with land and wealth, had also become deluded and morally weak. Israel had brought ruin upon itself.
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The Book of Ruth
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•A foreign woman could become a devoted member of the Israelites •Purpose: -To teach how God could create a blessed ending out of a difficult situation -To tell how it came about that Israel's noble King David had a Gentile (non-Jew) as his great-grandmother •A foreign woman's fidelity to the Jewish family of her widowed husband •Ruth follows her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to the land of Judah after the death of her husband despite Naomi's protests that she return to her father's house and marry again. •Ruth was loyal to her first husband, his family, and his religion. •By eventually marrying Boaz, her relative by marriage, Ruth was sealed by covenant to the Israelite family, becoming an ancestor of David
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Nationhood?
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•Books of Samuel and First Book of Kings -Describe the transition to nationhood -The decades around 1000 B.C. -The stories of the first 3 kings- Saul, David, and Solomon •Some worried because the qualities of the other great nations is what had led to the earlier downfall of the Israelites
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David
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•Israel’s greatest king •God promised that the descendants of David would endure forever •Basis for the prophecy that form the line of David would come the Messiah
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Samuel: Anointer of Kings
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•His mother Hannah was not able to bear children previously •She offers him to God as a Nazirite (he had a special dedicated status) and leaves him in the care of Eli the priest •Samuel is a prophet to whom God speaks
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Cry for a King
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•Samuel serves as priest and leader •Rebuking false gods and promising victory over Philistines if they obey God. •God is not pleased with the idea of having a king because people will but their trust in the king rather than in God •Even with Samuel’s warnings the people still want a king and he gives them what they want
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Saul is Anointed
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•An unassuming farm worker searching for his father’s donkeys •Theme: God chooses the lowliest and the least.
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Saul vs. David
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•Saul wins a victory for Israel over the Ammonites- despite Samuel's warning that the key to success will be fidelity to God •Saul breaks faith with God and disobeys the Law twice •Samuel declares that Saul will now be rejected by God as king of Israel. The crown will be given to a more faithful, constant man. •Samuel is led by God in search for another king of Israel. -God's choice of weakest and lowest -Mortals see outward appearance but God looks on the heart •God chooses Jesse's youngest son, David. • True friendship: David and Jonathan •David is far from perfect and the biblical writers let us know his sins •David is still the one chosen to accomplish the divine purposes, and the writers repeatedly hold him up as a model of faithfulness to God •Loyalty to friends and family proves to be one of David's strongest and most admirable character traits •David marries the herdsman's wife, Abigail, after the herdsman dies- gratitude and admiration •Michal has already been given to another man by her father Saul- a political move •Later David will demand Michal back to strengthen his claim •First Book of Samuel- -the reign of Saul •Second Book of Samuel -The rise of David to his kingship
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United in Jerusalem
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•David responds the challenge of the Philistines by defeating them. •David captures Jerusalem, and makes it his capital. •Because Jerusalem never belonged to any of the 12 tribes there would be no favoritism •In Jerusalem David established what would become a holy city for Jews, Christians, and Muslims- more than half of all religious believers in the world today.
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The Ark in Jerusalem
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•David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem •He dances joyfully before the ark, but his wife Michal criticizes him and calls him a fool
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The Davidic Covenant
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•David wanted to build a more fitting place for the Lord •The Prophet Nathan tells him, "no" -God will build a different kind of "house" for David. This house of David will not be a building but a royal dynasty, line of David's descendants will endure forever. •This Promise: Davidic Covenant • The Messianic Promise
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David at Bathsheba
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•After years of war, David stays home from battle •He sees a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, bathing nearby. •Bathsheba’s husband is Uriah, who was fighting on the battlefront •David has sex with Bathsheba and feels no guilt •Bathsheba becomes pregnant and David is worried •He tries to bring Uriah home for a couple of days, but Uriah refuses to leave the battlefield •To cover up his sin, David has Uriah killed •After Bathsheba mourns Uriah’s death, she becomes David’s wife and they have a son
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David’s Sinfulness
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Given in to his lust for Bathsheba •Lies and manipulates others to cover up his mistake •Murder •Do anything to keep his affair a secret
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A Lesson of Repentance
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•David confronts his sinfulness with the help of the prophet Nathan •Nathan assures him that God forgives him and will not ask his life- but he will pay for his acts with much trouble and grief in his family •The Deuteronomists did not choose to idealize David by ignoring his sinful behavior •God works through limited and sinful persons •It can give us hope that God somehow brings the divine purposes even through our flaws and weaknesses
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Rivalry and Treachery in the Family
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•David has many wives and sons (polygamy was common esp. with royalty) •The obvious heir to the throne is David’s first born, Amnon •Family is wrecked by incest, rivalries, hatreds, murders, and rebellions among the sons
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David’s Devotion
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•His devotion to his sons makes him abandon good sense Ending Years of David’s Reign •Tries to reconcile with the disgruntled tribes in the north and south •David restores his kingship of Jerusalem
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David’s Legacy
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•A kingship is established over all the tribes of Israel •Set the nation’s center in Jerusalem •Even though David was king of nation, which would later be detrimental. Deuteronomists saw David as a model of what the kings, and all Israel, should have been- devoted to God
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Books of Kings
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•The last part of the Deuteronomic history edited during the Babylonian exile. •David’s son Solomon •The breakup of the nation into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah •The infidelity of their kings •The prophets Elijah and Elisha •All the events that led finally to the exile
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King Solomon: Temple Builder
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•Passing the torch to Solomon •Nathan the prophet manages to have David promise the throne to Solomon (David’s son by Bathsheba)
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Solomon asks for Wisdom
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•To build an alliance with Egypt, Solomon marries the daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh •He worships at the outdoor sanctuary •In a dream he asks God for understanding to distinguish right from wrong
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Solomon’s Judgment
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•Two women come to Solomon both claiming to be the mother of a baby. Solomon’s Oppressive System •Divided the land into 12 districts and appoints an officer for each region •Forms an elite group of administrators •Introduces forced labor and taxation to provide supplies for the palace and government officials •Solomon’s glory was built on income raised by oppressing his people similar to the oppression today •Samuel had warned about these things long before, when people first asked for a king •During Solomon’s reign the injustice occurred
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Solomon’s Wisdom
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The temple in God’s House •He builds a royal palace complex and entire cities for his supplies, chariots, and horses •God agrees to be in the Temple •If Solomon observes the Law and carries it out, Israel will not be forsaken •If Solomon and his descendants forsake the Covenant, the Temple will become a heap of ruins. •The building of the temple marks the beginning of Israel’s downfall •Oppression like the people have never known before The Queen of Sheba •The queen tests Solomon’s wisdom •She asks him some questions/riddles and he is true to his wisdom
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Sins of Solomon
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•He adds to his wealth and harem •His love for God diminishes •He tolerates shrines were his pagan wives offer sacrifice, and he even joins in worshiping •His is unable to distinguish right from wrong •Solomon’s line will lose the throne and all the tribes but Judah
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End of Solomon’s Reign
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•One of his enemies and chief of the labor force fortifying the Jerusalem walls, Jeroboam, leaves and goes north •Jeroboam meets a prophet who tears his cloak into 12 pieces- one for each tribe •He gives 10 pieces to Jeroboam and promises him the throne of Israel in the north if he follows the ways of God •A son of Solomon will get one tribe so that David’s line might continue in Jerusalem •Jeroboam escapes Solomon’s murder attempt •Solomon dies and the golden age of Israel comes to an end •Because of Solomon’s rule Israel’s identity has been led to worship false gods instead of resting its fidelity to God
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Nationhood
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•The people wanted strong leadership and unity in the face of threats •The wanted to make long-term stability and continuity more possible for the Israelites •Nationhood came with evils-power struggles and betrayals, greed and oppression in the lust for wealth and honor, and turning away from God, who had made the Israelites a people in the first place. • People recognized that the Covenant had been broken not by God but by kings like Solomon
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essay1
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1. A Catholic high school principal has been petitioned by some angry parents not to allow the teaching of evolution theory in biology courses, but to present the biblical understanding of how the world came about. One parent says, \”If the Bible says God created the world in six days, I believe it. It’s God’s Word, and God doesn’t lie. Why should you hide the truth from our children?\” How might the principal respond to this question using the point of view of Catholic teaching? Explain what religious truth means and how it applies to many of the Old Testament stories, including creation.
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essay2
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2. Explain the fifth commandment. What did it mean at the time of Moses and the Israelites? What can it mean for us today? How does the fifth commandment relate to cliques and friendships? How does this commandment relate to the faulty logic concept of \”spoiling the well?\”
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essay3
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3. Throughout the Bible God chooses the lowliest and least likely people to accomplish his purposes. Give at least one example of this from the Old Testament. Explain. Then reflect in writing on why God would make such choices. In other words, why wouldn’t God pick stronger, more virtuous people?
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essay4
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4. Explain the relationship of the Israelites with God throughout their journey. How was the relationship like a rollercoaster? What led to some of the ups and the downs of the relationship? How is the relationship of the Israelites to God similar to people’s relationship with God today?
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essay5
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5. Social Justice: This concept demands that people have equal rights and opportunities; everyone, from the poorest person on the margins of society to the wealthiest deserves an even playing field. All people are to be treated equally and without prejudice. Social Justice: The upholding of what is just, especially fair treatment and due reward in matters affecting human welfare in accordance with honor, standards, or law. Explain two examples from the Old Testament that illustrate social justice. Explain two examples from the Old Testament that illustrate social injustice.

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