Religion & Philosophy at Lyon College

Old Testament Survey
Supplemental Study Questions
Second Exam

1. Go over the study guide(s) found on the Bandstra CD.

2. Be prepared to discuss what sources are present in a passage from the Noah story and how one identifies each.

3. Where did the story of Utnapishtim come from? What are the differences and similarities between the stories of Noah and Utnapishtim? What is the view of God(s) in Utnapishtim as compared to Noah? Why did God(s) send the flood according to each story? Supposing that the Hebrews borrowed the Utnapishtim story and adapted it for their own purposes, what emerges as the Hebrews' distinctive view of God and humanity's relationship to God?

4. What is a covenant? What are the two types of covenant in the Old Testament? What does it mean to say that the promise to Abraham is a promise deferred? Be prepared to discuss the meaning of specific passages covered in class or in Bandstra, e.g., the ceremony of God's "cutting" the covenant with Abraham, the story of Hagar and Ishmael, the story of Abraham taking Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice, etc.

5. What does the story of Jacob wrestling with God say about the Israelites' understanding of itself? What etiologies are found in the story of Jacob's wrestling with God?

6. Be prepared to discuss patriarchal and feminist elements found in the ancestral story. You may be given a particular passage covered in class, such as the stories of Abraham (and Isaac) passing his wife off as a sister or the story of Tamar and Judah, and be asked to analyze it in relation to patriarchal and feminist interpretations.

7.  What does the Joseph cycle tell us about the Israelites' self-understanding?

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