Priestly Literature Questions & Answers Essay

Pages: 5 (1492 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Religion  ·  Written: November 12, 2018

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
However, material from the book of Joshua also factors in to show how the tribes of Israel peacefully infiltrated Canaan over time, culminating in a final and decisive victory—albeit including some measure of violent conquest—described in Joshua and to a lesser degree, Judges. The peaceful infiltration theory proposes a gradual infiltration of Canaan. Over time, the tribes of Israel became the dominant culture with patterns akin to colonialism and acculturation. Archaeological and historical evidence can be used to bolster this theory too. Albrecht Alt is the originator of this theory.

First suggested by George Mendenhall, the peasant uprising theory approaches the emergence of Israel from a sociological perspective more so than a historical or archaeological one. This theory also presumes that the people of Israel were one and the same as the people of Canaan with a shared ethnic identity and tribal affiliation but that socioeconomic class conflicts led to the revolts described in Joshua.

Nature of the Law in the Pentateuch

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4. One of the most important themes of the Pentateuch is that of the law—of Hebrew law, which unites the people of Israel, defines a core identity, and creates the rituals and customs that define the community and its relationship with God. The law is presented as being divinely ordained, disseminated through key prophetic figures entrusted with the ability to transmute God’s messages to the people. The law takes various forms in the books comprising the Pentateuch, from prescribed behaviors in mundane life such as dietary practices and gender roles, to the rituals and rites of priests.

Essay on Priestly Literature Questions & Answers Assignment

Some elements of Mosaic and Hebrew law may be viewed as malleable due to their theological or cosmological origin and the changing nature of human understanding. However, Mosaic law and particularly issues related to moral purity can be considered more rigid given the directness of God’s commandments. Ritual purity and ritual law as expressed in the Priestly literature reflects the need for establishing physical reminders of God’s law. It is more important to behave in ways that are aligned with the moral principles of Mosaic Law than it is to simply obey the rules of ritual comportment.

In fact, one of Jesus’s central messages and a core component of his revolutionary mission was to draw attention to the potential emptiness in ritual law as expressed in Leviticus and Numbers. Jesus retained the core essence of Mosaic law in His teachings, suggesting the formation of a new covenant with God based on moral principles and grander purpose and less on the artifices of ritual law. The laws of the Hebrew Bible should remain part of the Church’s theology for instructive and theoretical purposes, but not necessarily as part of church practice.

Role of Women from Exodus to Judges and How They Advance the Broader Story

5. The Hebrew Bible reflects the role and status of women in society. The stories of Deborah, Esther, and Ruth show that while women served as subordinates, they nevertheless did have a responsibility to maintain law, custom, and tradition. Deborah features prominently in the Book of Judges. As a leader, judge, and a prophet, Deborah emerges as one of the most powerful women in the Old Testament and yet her position never led to a broader shift in gender norms in her lifetime or in successive generations. Deborah remained righteous, exhibiting the good judgment necessary for strong and effective leadership regardless of gender.

One of the few women with her own book, Ruth serves a unique role in Biblical history as someone who exemplifies female gender roles and a patriarchal social order. Ruth’s story is one of conversion: she is not born an Israelite but rather marries into the tradition. Her story shows that it is through women and mothers that God’s people can be fruitful and multiply. The story of Ruth also provides a metaphorical framework encouraging submission to God through a submission to patriarchy.

Esther also has her own book, Unlike Ruth, she is a Jewish woman but she lives in exile in ancient Persia. Although she suffers, she retains her faith—and is thus a representative of how her people maintained their faith through the tremendous suffering of being in exile. Her story provides a model for religious piety and community integrity within exile or diaspora, and she provides a model for the continuity of Jewish law, custom, and tradition over time. Esther’s ability to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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