Word of God

Report
The Old Testament
Background for Teaching the Sacred
Texts Strand of the New Religion
Curriculum
Sacred Texts Strand Quiz
Choose the answer to the following statements
which best aligns with Catholic Teaching about
Sacred Scripture.
Question One
• How is God revealed in the Bible?
• In the first five books (Torah)
• Through the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and the
613 mitzvoth (laws)
• In the history of the Chosen people and the life of Jesus
• By the teaching of the Prophets, including Jesus
• Syllabus P 32
Answer One
• How is God revealed in the Bible?
• In the first five books (Torah)
• Through the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and the
613 mitzvoth (laws)
• In the history of the Chosen people and the life of Jesus
• By the teaching of the Prophets, including Jesus
• Syllabus P 32
S1 The Bible tells of God’s self-revelation in the
history of the Chosen People, culminating in the life
and teaching of Jesus Christ.
• The Abraham story tells how God chose to call and
be faithful to special people. ccc 60
• The history of the Chosen People reveals what God
is like. ccc 234
• Jesus Christ is the central person in the Bible for
Christians. ccc 129
Question 2
• Which is True?
A. Jews and Christians share the same Sacred
Texts
B. While they share some common texts, Jews,
and various Christian groups, count different
texts as forming their canon.
C. All Christian groups share the same Sacred
Scriptures (the Bible)
Answer 2:
Which is True?
A. Jews and Christians share the same Sacred
Texts
B. While they share some common texts, Jews,
and various Christian groups, count different
texts as forming their canon.
C. All Christian groups share the same Sacred
Scriptures (the Bible)
Question 3
• The Christian term for the collection of texts
which tell of Israel’s encounter and
relationship with God is:
A. The Old Testament
B. The Hebrew Scriptures
C. The First Covenant
D. All of the Above
E. A and C are the better terms
Answer 3:
• Christians name the collection of texts which
tell of Israel’s encounter and relationship with
God as:
A. The Old Testament
B. The Hebrew Scriptures
C. The First Covenant
D. All of the Above
E. A and C are the better terms
Question Four
• The (Catholic) Bible consists of 46 Old
Testament books and 27 New Testament
books which:
• must be understood and interpreted by believers in
different places and times
• must be read as equally inspired and equally applicable
for all people in all times
• were dictated by the Holy Spirit and therefore are
without error and are literally true for all peoples in all
times.
• Syllabus P 33
Answer Four
• The (Catholic) Bible, consists of 46 OT books
and 27 NT books which:
• must be understood and interpreted by believers in
different places and times
• must be read as equally inspired and equally applicable
for all people in all times
• were dictated by the Holy Spirit and therefore are
without error and literally true for all peoples in all
times.
S4 The books of the Bible are of different literary genres. Each
contributes to revealing God’s Word.
• The Bible includes such genres as historical narrative, legend,
poetry, letters, legal code, proverbs and parables. ccc 110
• A consideration of literary genre is necessary to
understanding the message of the Scriptures. ibc 8
• The Holy Spirit uses people’s everyday ways of
communicating to reveal God’s teaching. dv 12
S6 The individual books of the Bible come from different eras
and cultural contexts. They must be understood against this
background.
• The culture of the Hebrew peoples developed with their
history, e.g. the move from tribal to rural to urban life.
• Invasion by and contact with other peoples influenced the
Jewish culture.
• The modern reader needs to have some awareness of the
different ways of thinking represented in the Bible. ccc 110
• The chronology of the biblical writings differs from the
order of books in the Bible.
Question Five
• Christians believe that the Bible is the
inspired, inerrant Word of God. This means:
• The sacred writers were not the “true” authors of the
books, but only used their faculties and powers to write
exactly what the Holy Spirit directed them.
• The Bible must be true in every way, because Jesus told
us the Holy Spirit is Truth and would not confuse us.
• the Holy Spirit moved the biblical authors to write, in
their own ways, only that Truth which God wished to be
contained in the Sacred Scriptures.
• Syllabus P 34
Answer Five
• Christians believe that the Bible is the
inspired, inerrant Word of God. This means:
• The sacred writers were not the “true” authors of the
books, but only used their faculties and powers to write
exactly what the Holy Spirit directed them.
• The Bible must be true in every way, because Jesus told
us the Holy Spirit is Truth.
• the Holy Spirit moved the biblical authors to write, in
their own ways, only that Truth which God wished to be
contained in the Sacred Scriptures.
S13 The Church teaches that the Holy Spirit guided the formation of the
Sacred Scriptures. The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
• Inspiration is the action of the Holy Spirit moving the biblical authors to
write only what God intended. ccc 105
• The sacred writers remained the true authors of the books, using their
own faculties and powers. ccc 106
• Inerrancy refers to the truth of the Bible. The biblical texts “firmly,
faithfully and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our
salvation, wished to see confided to the sacred Scripture.” dv 11
• There are different types of truth: historical, factual, scientific, religious.
The intention of the author is important in determining the nature of the
truth imparted. ccc 110
• The canon of Sacred Scripture was established gradually within the
Church under guidance of the Holy Spirit. ccc 120
Question Six
• The central message of the Old Testament is:
• God is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present judge who
must be feared, obeyed and worshipped
• The Law (The Ten Commandments) and the proclamation of the
Prophets
• An irrevocable Covenant between God and the Chosen People
• There are many themes for the Old Testament, depending on
when the books were written.
• Syllabus P 33
Answer Six
• The Central theme of the Old Testament is:
• God is an omnipotent, omniscient and omni-present judge who
must be feared, obeyed and worshipped
• The Law (The Ten Commandments) and the proclamation of the
Prophets
• An irrevocable Covenant between God and the Chosen People
• There are many themes for the Old Testament, depending on
when the books were written.
S9 The theme of Covenant is central to the Old Testament.
The Prophets recall Israel to fidelity to the Covenant.
Matthew presents Jesus as establishing the New Covenant.
• The Covenant is the unique relationship between God and the
Chosen People, based on God’s gracious choice. ccc 62
• The Covenant is irrevocable. ccc 71
• When the people neglected the Covenant, God remained
faithful by sending the prophets. ccc 64
• Jesus’ death and resurrection establishes a New Covenant, this
one between God and those who become one with Christ. ccc 613
Question Seven
Which is the best answer?
A. The Four Gospels tell the story of the life of Jesus
B. The four Gospels interpret and re-tell the life and
teaching of Jesus for their particular communities
C. The Four Gospels each contribute different, but
accurate information about the birth, death and
resurrection of Jesus
D. Unlike the Old Testament, books of the New Testament
must be accepted and believed without interpretation.
•
Syllabus P 35
Answer Seven
Which is the best answer?
A. The Four Gospels tell the story of the life of
Jesus
B. The four Gospels interpret and re-tell the life
and teaching of Jesus for their particular
communities
C. The Four Gospels each contribute different, but
accurate information about the birth, death
and resurrection of Jesus
D. Unlike the Old Testament, books of the New
Testament must be accepted and believed
without interpretation.
S14 Some knowledge of biblical criticism helps a better understanding
of the Bible’s message.
• Scripture needs to be understood in its proper historical and cultural
setting. ccc 110
• The spiritual sense of Scripture opens one to a deeper meaning of the
text where some events are signs of another reality. ccc 117
S20 The teaching office of the Church has been entrusted with
the task of providing authentic interpretation of God’s Word.
• Fundamentalism denies the authoritative role of the Church in
interpreting Sacred Scripture. ibc IF
• The Biblical Commission offers expert guidance on the
interpretation of the Bible in the Church.
• The science of biblical interpretation serves to open the
Scriptures to a deeper understanding.
Some Revision
Some Presumptions
What’s in a name? (Yrs P-3)
• “The” Bible. Gr: ta biblia- the books
• Testament: covenant/agreement
• Scriptures:
– Word of God (i.e. a Sacred Book) set down in writing
(So there are words of God not in writing)
– Originally an oral tradition for hundreds of years (OT)
and at least a generation (NT)
– Word of God for particular peoples: (Set down in the
context of time and place and culture and the
worldview of those peoples.)
Whose Scriptures?
• Hebrew Scriptures
– The Tanakh (TNK) is an acronym of the initial Hebrew
letters of the Tanakh's three traditional subdivisions: Torah
(Law) Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).
According to Jewish tradition, the Tanakh consists of
twenty-four books.
• “Protestant” OT: 39 books
• “Catholic” OT: 46 books add 1,2 Maccabees;
Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus; Baruch (Deutero-canonicals)
Old Testament, New Testament
• Jewish Scholars have no issue with this
nomenclature.
• The Christian Old Testament (39, 46 books) is not
the same as the Hebrew Scriptures (24 books)
• The structure of the Jewish Sacred Writings is not
the same as that of the Christian Old Testament.
• The Jewish Texts are structured so as to point to
reconstruction and renewal of Israel.
The Christian Old Testament
• While all Christians agree there are 27 books in
the New Testament, Catholics (46)and
Protestants (39) disagree on the number of books
of the Old Testament.
• Protestant scholars follow Martin Luther who
accepted only those texts originally written in
Hebrew, rejecting the texts first recorded in
Greek. Hence seven Deutero- (extra)canonical
books of the Catholic Bible (Septuagint)
An “Arranged” Text
• Jewish and Christian compilers arranged the
texts of the Old testament for their own
purposes.
• The Jewish Texts are structured so as to point
to reconstruction and renewal of Israel.
• The structure of the Christian Old Testament
is such that it ends with prophets, pointing to
the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah.
One “Book”: Many Text Types (Yr 4)
• The Bible is an omnibus: it contains a collection of
books, written in a variety of Text Types: e.g.
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Myth and Story
Codes and Laws
Accounts of historical events and characters
Songs and Prayers
Letters
Prophetic Utterances
Chronologies
Gospels
Collections of sayings and wisdom
Many Text Types, Many Authors
• Authorship of the Bible texts is a complex thing.
• Oral traditions/written texts
• Drawn from encounters with many different cultures:
Mesopotamian; Egyptian; Babylonian; Greek; Persian;
Ammonites; Philistines
• Worked and re-worked: (JEDP); Septuagint (LXX 250-150
BCE); Pentateuch (400CE); in retrospect of historical
events- especially the Exile.
• Across time: Y: 950 BCE; E: 750BCE; D: 8th C; P: 587-538 BCE;
• Translated across time and cultures.
• Meaning is affected by all of these.
Learning 1 for the Classroom
The concept of “ The Holy Bible” needs constant unpacking for
students.
• Students need to be reminded every time they open a Bible
that it is not one, uniform, sequential and cohesive book
they are opening: they are opening a particular text type,
among a collection of text types transmitted over a period
of about 1100 years and written and arranged for specific
religious, social and political purposes. (See Yr 4, 6, 7)
• However, the text is still part of a sacred story; it is to be
treated with reverence and awe because it reveals religious
truths about God and God’s desire that humans would
enter into a relationship that would challenge and
transform the way they lived.
How the Bible was formed
•
•
•
•
Events/ exposure to other cultures
Oral Traditions
Written Tradition (J,E,D,P)
Canons
The Written Tradition
Four source hypothesis: JDEP
• J - Yahwist
• E - Elohist
• D - Deuteronomist
• P - Priestly Group
J - Yahwist
•
•
•
•
Names G-d as Yahweh,
Describes G-d with humanlike characteristics
Composed in southern kingdom – Judah
favourable view of kingship
E - Elohist
•
•
•
•
Names G-d as Elohim
Portrays G-d as beyond human understanding
composed in northern kingdom – Israel
unfavourable view of kingship
D - Deuteronomist
•
•
•
•
•
Emphasises G-d’s covenant love and election
Calls for change of heart
Begun in Judah near time of religious reform,
Finished in Babylon after destruction of Judah
Sees Judah’s unfaithfulness as cause of her
destruction
P – Priestly group
• Emphasises G-d as source of life and hope
• stresses Sinai/Mosaic covenant as bilateral
• interested in priestly concerns, matters of
ritual worship and law
• Begun during exile, finished after return to
promised land
• serves as final redactor of Pentateuch, writing
with hindsight
Well, What’s in the Old Testament?
• The Law (Torah- First Five Books: Genesis, Exodus,
Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
• Historical Books (e.g.Joshua, Judges, Samuel,
Kings, Chronicles, Judith, Ester, Maccabees)
• Wisdom and poetry books (e.g. Job, Proverbs,
Psalms, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom)
• The Prophets (Major and minor: e.g. Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Daniel, Micah,
Zechariah)
What Happens in the OT?
• Creation
• Sin (Original and lots of others!)
• Murder and betrayal (Cain and Abel, Joesph and his brothers; David
and Uriah)
• Migrations and exiles (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Babylon)
• Great escapes (Sea of Reeds, Joseph, Moses, Daniel)
• Battles (David & Goliath; Judas Maccabeus; Ester)
• Division ( Northern and Southern Kingdoms; Jews and Samaritans)
• God is revealed (Burning bush; Mt Sinai; floods, rainbow, wind,
columns of fire)
• Foreign Occupations (Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans)
Who’s Who in the OT?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
First man and first woman
Abraham and Sarah
Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Leah and Rachel
Joseph and his brothers
Moses, Pharaoh, Joshua
Samuel, Sampson
Kings Saul, David and Solomon
Ester, Deborah, Ruth
The Prophets
Learning 2 for the Classroom:
• Scripture needs interpretation in order to determine
historical truths; factual truths and religious truths (Yrs 4, 7)
• The Bible, like all classical texts, must be interpreted through
study of author, text and message. (Yr 10, Yr 7)
• No longer is it accepted that Bible provides an unchanging
and unmediated revelation from God.
• Selecting a text merely for “what it says” is no longer
acceptable for mainstream Christians
Religious Stories, Religious History
• Each Biblical text type serves it own purpose/s.
• Each Biblical text type uses text features to serve its own
purpose/s.
• Each Biblical text type has its own intended audience/s
who are unique in nature and time.
• Each Biblical text type held a specific meaning for its
intended audience which subsequent audiences will
probably never fully grasp.
• Each Biblical text type uses its source material/s
differently, for its own purpose/s.
• Each Biblical text type is rendered more powerful by
being more than a literal account.
Classroom Learning Four
• The rules for writing were not the same then as they
are today.
– Plagiarism/copying/re-writing
– “Storyteller’s licence”
– Writing back into the story
– Adding to the story, particularly with hindsight
Scriptural Texts are not Originals
Each Biblical text type is the product of significant and multiple
processes of:
• Recording
• Editing
• Transmission
• Reproduction
• Enculturation
• Authorship
• Translation
Enuma Elish: Babylonian
Creation Epic
The Gilgamesh EpicThe Babylonian Flood Account
Tablet 11
Examples from the Old Testament
• Circa 2000 BCE Mesopotamian cultures develop
creation stories based on heroes and Gods of
creation.
• In the 12th Century BCE, Babylonian scholars
write their creation story, the Enuma Elish on clay
tablets. Their hero is Marduk.
• The Enuma Elish becomes known throughout the
lands of the Bible, as people travel and intermarry and trade.
Transmission
• In the 6th century BCE, Israel is captured by the
Babylonians and the people taken to Babylon as exiles.
• The Israelites learn of the Babylonian creation account
and adapt the Mesopotamian myths into their own
Creation account(s) with seven days of creation and
Adama. At least two different versions developed in
the oral tradition and both were kept in the written
texts.
• Jewish creation account included in the Book of
Genesis first written in Hebrew and Aramaic (Masoretic
text); then koine Greek (Septuagint).
Translation
• Jerome translates the Greek Septuagint into Latin (Vulgate) 382-420
CE.
• Genesis is included in the Christian canon of Scripture which
became fixed by the 400 CE.
• Books of the Bible transcribed and translated by monks and clerks
until the invention of the printing press. (Wycliff, Erasmus)
• Protestant Reformation; Luther, Brest and King James translations.
• Translations by Protestant denominations across centuries.
• Catholic church allows translations from other sources than the
Vulgate in 1943.
• Many translations of the story used in Catholic Schools today.
Example 2 from the Old Testament
• Circa 2000 BCE Mesopotamian cultures develop
a flood story based on heroes and Gods of
creation.
• In the 12th Century BCE, Babylonian scholars
write their creation story, the Epic of Gilgamesh
on clay tablets. Their hero is Utnapishtim
• The Epic of Gilgamesh becomes known
throughout the lands of the Bible, as people
travel and inter-marry and trade.
Transmission
• In the 6th century BCE, Israel is captured by the
Babylonians and the people taken to Babylon as
exiles.
• The Israelites learn of the Babylonian flood myth
and adapt the Mesopotamian myths into their
own flood story with Noah as the hero.
• Jewish flood account included in the Book of
Genesis first written in Hebrew and Aramaic
(Masoretic text); then koine Greek (Septuagint).
Translation
• Jerome translates the Greek Septuagint into Latin (Vulgate) 382-420
CE.
• Genesis is included in the Christian canon of Scripture which
became fixed by the 400 CE.
• Books of the Bible transcribed and translated by monks and clerks
until the invention of the printing press. (Wycliff, Erasmus)
• Protestant Reformation; Luther, Brest and King James translations.
• Translations by Protestant denominations across centuries.
• Catholic church allows translations from other sources than the
Vulgate in 1943.
• Many translations of the story used in Catholic Schools today.
Three ways to translate....
Across time, a variety of linguistic, philological
and ideological approaches to translation have
been used, including:
• Dynamic equivalence translation
• Formal equivalence translation (similar to
literal translation)
• Idiomatic, or Paraphrastic translation.
Exodus 20: 1-3
God said to the people
of Israel:
And God spoke all these 1-2 GOD spoke all these
words, saying:
words:
2I
am the LORD your
God, the one who
brought you out of
Egypt where you were
slaves.
2 “I
am the LORD your
God, who brought you
out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of
bondage.
I am GOD, your God,
who brought you out of
the land of Egypt,
out of a life of slavery.
3 Do
3 “You
3
not worship any
god except me.
shall have no
other gods before Me.
No other gods, only
me.
New King James Bible
Contemporary English Version
The Message
Classroom Learning Six
•
•
Be circumspect about what you attribute
as “fact” to the Bible or characters in the
bible!
Change the language you use when
speaking about the Bible or characters in
the Bible.
Two Key Words
• “Finally, for those of us hoping to say something
about the times and places in which Biblical
characters lived and acted, two words in
particular come in very handy....
Imagine...
Perhaps...
and
Scott Korb 2010
A process for reading OT Texts
• Read the text ( Code breaker)
• Read it in its context (chapter, book, history,
culture. (text analyst)
• Read it for its original meaning and purpose
(meaning maker)
• Read it for its message for today (text user)
• Read it for its universal message (meaning maker)
• Ask not Did it happen? but What does it mean?
OT Texts in the new RE Curriculum
• Both OT and NT texts are used as exemplars of
teaching and learning about God and Jesus, or
our relationship with them.
• The text is studied in order to draw lessons about
God’s revelation and God’s promises.
• E.g. the great themes of the Pentateuch include:
– Creation; sin (failure to live up to God’s expectations);
covenant; law; and promise, worship and chosen
people)

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