REL 113: Old Testament Faith and History.  Assignment 1 (due Fri. of Wk 1).      RJDKnauth

1)       Read Genesis 1:1-2:4a.

  1. In 4 words, state the basic theological message of this chapter.
  2. What was the process or mechanism of creation?
  3. Describe the literary pattern of this creation account.  Outline its elements and characterize its categories.
  4. Count the number of occurrences of the evaluative phrase “God saw that it was good.”
  5. On which “days” do they occur?  Do you find this surprising?
  6. How would you say God is characterized in this chapter?  What word is used to name God here?

2)       Read Genesis 2:4b-2:25.

  1. What is the basic purpose or theological message of this chapter?  Is it different from that in ch. 1?
  2. What is the process or mechanism of creation here?
  3. Is there a literary pattern to this creation account?  Outline its elements.  Does it agree with ch. 1?
  4. How would you say God is characterized in this chapter?  What word is used to name God here?

3)       Read Genesis 3.

  1. Based on its literary style, does this chapter belong together with ch. 1 or ch. 2?
  2. Does this chapter help to clarify the purpose/message of its corresponding creation account?  How so?
  3. What is the basic theological message/purpose of this chapter?
  4. Outline the basic elements of the story, and how God deals with the problem here.
  5. How would you say God is characterized in this chapter?  What word is used to name God here?

4)       Read Genesis 4.

  1. What is the basic purpose/message of this chapter?
  2. How would you say God is characterized in this chapter?  What word is used to name God here?
  3. Outline the sibling rivalry pattern here.  Do you see any parallels with ch. 3 in the way God deals with the problem?

5)       Read Genesis 5.

  1. What is the nature and purpose of this chapter?  What word is most often used to name God here?
  2. Looking at the language in vv. 1-3 and at the name of God, does this chapter belong together with ch. 1 or ch. 2?
  3. List the phrases used in common between this opening and the creation account you chose.
  4. In 5:29 what word is used to name God?  Does this verse presuppose Gen. 1 or Gen. 2 or both?

6)       Read Genesis 6:1-9:17.  Does it read well as a whole story?  What is its basic message?

  1. Now read just 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 7, 10, 12, 16b, 17-20, 22-23; 8:2b, 3a, 6, 8-12, 20-22. 

1.        What is the word used to name God here?

2.        How many of each type of animal is brought into the ark here?  Why?

3.        Do these portions read together as a unified, continuous story?

4.        What is its basic message?  How does it characterize God?

5.        Does the phraseology here match up with one or the other of the creation accounts?

  1. Now read just 6:9-22; 7:6, 8-9, 11, 13-16a, 21, 24; 8:1-2a, 3b, 4-5, 7, 13a, 14-19; 9:1-17.

1.        What is the word used to name God here?

2.        How many of each type of animal is brought into the ark here?

3.        Do these portions read together as a unified, continuous story?

4.        What is its basic message?  How does it characterize God?

5.        Does the phraseology here match up with one or the other of the creation accounts?

6.        Which phrases specifically?  Make a list.

  1. Now, taking the flood story as a whole, outline the basic contents.  See if you can map out its chiastic structure.

1.         Chiastic literary structure is shaped like an “X” with corresponding elements at each end working inward concentrically to a turning point in the center, which reveals the main thrust of the passage as a whole.

2.         Match up corresponding elements in your outline, labeling them A, a, B, b, C, c, and so on, thus:

A

                B

                                C

                                                X (=Gen. 8:1)

                                c

                b

a                                                         

   (but using as many letter designations as you need)

3.         What do you think?  Does it work?  Was this an intentional structuring of the author/editor?

  1. Now read Friedman ch. 2 (as background, you may also want to read his “Preface”).   What do you think?

7)       Read Genesis 9:18-11:32.   What seem to be the basic purposes/messages of these chapters? 

a.        Which portions match most closely with Gen. 3-4 in language and purpose?

b.        Which portions match most closely with Gen. 5?  Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Do you see an overall purpose?

 

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