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Empires and Jewish kingdoms Source: Beck, et al. Patterns of Interaction. McDougal Littell Judaism: An historical introduction 2. The story (Torah plus other writings) a. Creation b. Covenant: Abraham leaves Mesopotamia; promised land for descendants in covenant with god. c. Egypt: Descendants to Egypt during famine; enslaved d. Exodus: Wander in desert 40 years; led by Moses. e. Monarchy: Conquer the promised Canaan, establish monarchy (later split) and Temple cult in Jerusalem f. Exiled to Babylonia in 586 B.C.E.organize religion; later return, then exiled again under Romans in 70 CE. The Jewish Diaspora (dispersal), late Roman period Source: PBS.org <Frontline: “From Jesus to Christ”> Judaism: An historical introduction 1. The Old Testament or Bible a. Hebrew (some Aramaic) b. Codified across centuries (11th-6th BCE?) c. 4-5 author styles that were edited and mixed; seem to favor d. Torah: 5 books—narrative of creation of world to the Israelites. e. Human drama connected to demands and promises of god. “Israel” means “he who struggled with god.” Core Beliefs of Judaism a. Concept of God: Universal God shared by all (monotheistic, whether believe or not). All powerful, demanding of reverence, punishments reinforce strength (bad things remind Jews of their faith). b. View of humans nature: distinct from animals—make rational choices, not forced by god (Humanism). c. Relationship with God: Jews are “chosen” by covenant with God, they have a special responsibility and are example to others. d. Just society: “Ethical Monotheism”: God is source of right and wrong (Ten Commandments and Torah). Express faith by following god’s laws. Humans must repair earth when in need (social justice). e. Different from other gods? Form an intimate and personal relationship with this god. Ancient Greece versus Jewish Gods Greek Gods Jewish God • Each had different human qualities • Created humans in likeness of God • Interacted with each other • Embodied understanding of good and evil • Interact with humans Criteria for a Just Society: Comparing Philosophies plot philosophies along each spectrum 1. Hierarchy v. Equality Hierarchy/Authority Equality 2. Conformity v. Pluralism Conformity/Intolerance Pluralism/Free Inquiry 3. General will v. Individual Rights Community Individual Historiography and the Torah 1. Is the Bible a good historical source? 2. Who wrote and for what purpose?