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
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?