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The Dictionary of Bible and Religion

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Due February 9, 2012

The Dictionary of Bible and Religion
William H. Gentz

The Dictionary of Bible and Religion is an expanded Bible dictionary to include information from four other areas of religious knowledge: the history of Christianity, Christian doctrine, world religions, and contemporary religions.

The dictionary is lay-oriented, arranged alphabetically of religious information. Entries vary in length with over 2,800 religious subjects. This dictionary has an extensive cross reference if interested in finding information on related subjects; if duplications of material are needed the reader is referred to another entry. Words in capital letters indicate that there are separate entries for those subjects. You can also “compare” or “see” references at the end of some entries as well as a For Further Study section of other sources of information at the end of the book.

The majority of the 28 writers are teachers or experts in the field they are writing about, there was a conscious effort to keep the language easy to read and understand, avoiding technical and complicated terms. Foreign languages are translated when possible.

The dictionary is focused on, but not limited to, Protestant, Catholic, Christianity, but also includes articles on Jewish and other non-Christian traditions. It also incorporates liberal and conservative viewpoints from churches and other denominations. This is titled dictionary rather than an encyclopedia or handbook to emphasize that the information is easily accessed and arranged in alphabetical order this makes the usability practical and efficient for the user.

First Entry Deuteronomy (266-267)
From the Greek translation of the OT, where the Hebrew phrase “a copy of this law” (Deut. 17:18) was mistranslated “second law” (deuteronomion); known in Hebrew as “elleh haddebarim (“these are the words”). This offers the farewell testament of Moses to the Israelites camped out in western Moab before his death and the crossing of the Jordon River to claim the Land of Promise.
There were three addresses by Moses, the first, reviews main events between Mt. Horeb (Deuteronomic name for Sinai) and the arrival to MOAB. The second regards the Ten Commandments. The third, Moses summons Israel to renew its covenant with Yahweh and admonish that disobedience will thrust them into exile and repentance will restore Israel. Yahweh delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt.
Deuteronomy also prohibits sacrificial worship as well as revealing there is only one G-d.
By (JKK) J. Kenneth Kuntz, Professor, School of religion, University of Iowa, Iowa City Iowa.
I did not know that it was in Deuteronomy that sacrificial worship was admonished or proclaimed to be admonished.

Second Entry Esther (325-327)
She is known for her heroism for the Israelite people she provides the means for the salvation of the people and nation. The hand of G-d is evident, in this bad situation and is very much under the control of G-d, who has the people at heart. At the heart of this story is the ongoing division between the Jews and the Amalakites, which was recorded to have begun in the Book of Exodus. Haman’s goal is the final effort recorded in the Old Testament period of the complete eradication of the Jews. His plans eventually end up with his own failure, and the elevation of his enemy Mordecai to his own place, as well as the salvation of the Jews.

Feasting is a major subject of this book: there are ten banquets recorded, and many of the events were planned, plotted, or exposed at these banquets. Although the name of G-d is not mentioned in this book, it is apparent that the Jews of Susa sought His intervention when they fasted and prayed for three days (Esther 4:16). In spite of the fact that the law allowing their destruction was written according to the laws of the Medes and Persians, rendering it unchangeable, the way was cleared for their prayers to be answered. Esther risked her life by going not once uninvited before the king but twice, (Esther 4:1-2; 8:3). She was not content with the destruction of Haman; her goal was on saving her people. The establishment of the Feast of Purim is written and preserved for all to see and is still observed today. G-d's chosen people, without any direct mention of His name, were granted a stay of execution through the wisdom and humbleness of Esther.
By (JKK) J. Kenneth Kuntz, Professor, School of religion, University of Iowa, Iowa City Iowa.
I did not know that the name Esther was derived from the Persian name “star” (325) and that Haddasah the Hebrew name for Esther means “myrtle” (325)
Third entry Moses (709-711)
Pharaoh Ramses decrees the death of all Hebrew children, but Moses, placed in a basket in the Nile by his mother, is taken by a royal princess and raised as the brother of the heir to the throne of Egypt, Memefta. Moses is called by God to lead his people from Egypt to the Promised Land. Being a very reluctant prophet, feeling unworthy of the call, Moses accepts the task. After a series of plagues Memefta agrees to let the Hebrews go. He has second thoughts, and pursues them to annihilation of his army in the parting of the Red Sea. Starvation is circumvented by manna from heaven, the Ten Commandments are given the people through Moses, and they go off track with worship of the golden calf. Forty years of wandering in the wilderness, until finally they reach what will be their home. Miriam (Moses’ sister) dies. Although Moses wants to mourn the loss of his sister, the people only complain to him about the lack of water. At G-d's command, Moses strikes a rock and water flows from it, but he is so angry and frustrated with his people that he forgets to attribute the miracle to G-d, and he was condemned to never enter the Promised Land. Moses appoints Joshua as his successor and sets off alone to the peak of Mount Nebo. As a final mark of his forgiveness and thankfulness, G-d grants Moses the chance to look over into the Promised Land just before his death. Under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land.
By B.V. F. Bruce Vawter, Professor of Old Testament; Chairman, Religious Studies Department DePaul University Chicago, Illinois.
I did not know that the laborers who were freed were mixed not all Israelites but all laborers (709).


Rev. Williamson
Online – Religion 111
Due February 9, 2012
Strange Flesh: Sex, Semiotics and the Construction of Deviancy in Biblical Law
By Jonathan P. Burnside

The article takes a semiotic format to Leviticus 20, concentrating the focus on vv. 9-16. The article argues that Leviticus 20 expands on narrative accounts and characteristics of idolatry, also honoring parents and adultery found in the Ten Commandments. The result is a detailed modification of literary themes from the Decalogue. The offences listed in vv. 10-16 are a more detailed explanation of what it means to dishonor parents. Adultery (v. 10) is presented as the narrative characteristics of sexual wrongdoing, and the offences in vv. 11-16 are presented as more disapproving of a normal sexual relationship. These “forms of adultery” are developed through an extended series of binary oppositions. There is also a set of binary oppositions regarding the legal effects of these cases. These binary oppositions are structured and appear to serve a number of functions in Leviticus 20, including: educating in wisdom, resolving uncertainty, identifying special cases and giving them identity. These findings are consistent with literary presentation and sense construction elsewhere in biblical law.

The structure in Leviticus 20 hints toward the following: “You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean… and the unclean” (20:25). There is still confusion, where humankind is responsible for meting out punishment (‘[the offender] shall be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones’). Verse 3 contrasts this with YHWH’s responsibility for
meting out punishment (‘I myself will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people…’). In many cases the punishment does not fit the crime but in that day it was set, your status and gender made a big difference in how your sentence was carried out. The sexual offences were defined in terms of family, and family is defined in terms of sexual offences. One of the priests’ jobs in ancient Israel was to construct and teach binary opposition so the people would know how to conduct themselves and there would be a paradigm of normal sexual relations between a married man and woman, in other words holy living.

Sexual relationships with women in the biblical period are sometimes used as means of establishing power relations between men. In Leviticus 20:11 provides some protection for women against this type of power-play.

About the author: Jonathan P. Burnside is Reader in Biblical Law at the School of Law, University of Bristol, England. With degrees in Law and Criminology, both from the University of Cambridge, as well as a doctorate in Law from the University of Liverpool. His work explores the relationship between law, theology and criminology from theoretical and applied perspectives, beginning with Relational Justice: Repairing the Breach (1994, Waterside Press). He joined the School of Law in 2001, becoming Reader in 2007. His doctoral thesis in biblical law was published as The Signs of Sin: Seriousness of Offence in Biblical Law (Continuum, 2003). He was appointed by the Home Office and the Prison Service England and Wales to head an evaluation of faith-based units in prisons in England and Wales, which was subsequently published as part of a wider, cross-programmatic, study of faith-based units in prisons around the world (My Brother's Keeper: Faith-Based Units in Prisons, Willan, 2005).

I learned many things from this article, the three most memorable are: 1) The details and rules for holy living were created by the priests’ and revised by other priests, 2) The sexual deviant shenanigans that are not mentioned in biblical regarding “gang rape”, family relationships as well as family sexual abuse. 3) The binary opposition is a term that I had never heard before, to resolve ambiguity and to categorize ones actions, I know that the clarification had to be made by who is to say the makers of these clarifications were cogent thinkers and not offenders themselves.
Online – Religion 111
Due February 9, 2012

The Anchor Bible Daniel, Esther and Jeremiah The Additions
By Carey A. Moore

This title in the Anchor Bible is Volume 44 in the series. The sections of Daniel, Esther and Jeremiah are works that cast the light on the life and thoughts of the Jewish nation at the time of exile, with these additions, the stories give excitement and increase the religious significance, such as; the Book of Daniel, tell the stories of the fiery furnace, Susanna and the Elders, and the confrontations between Daniel and the g-ds of Babylon, and show how G-d preserved the faithful in the face of certain death. The Book of Esther is transformed by the additions from sacred work to a tale of G-d’s concern and care for His people under the cruelty of foreign domination. The Book of Jeremiah consists of poems and prayers addressed to the people of the Exile, exhorting them to shun idolatry and offering encouragement for a repressed nation. These were invaluable additions excluded form the canonical versions of these books, due to identifying authorships, as well as, date and place of compositions and identifying relevance. The book has pictures that enhance the understanding and comprehension of the material.
The general editors of the series are: William Foxwell Albright, and David Noel Freedman, and the translations are from Greek and Hebrew, the author of this book in this series is Carey A. Moore.

Esther 1:1-2:18 (182-186)
Vashti is deposed and Esther becomes Queen, King Ashasuerus (of acropolis of Susa) gave a banquet for all his officials and courtiers after this banquet there is a ritual of a week long party, on the seventh day of party and drink, the King summoned his wife Vashti to come before him wearing only the royal turban to show off her beauty to the guests and officials. The Queen refused and at the advice of Memukan (royal advisor) he punished her by banishing her from ever coming before him again, removing her royal post and created a law that all women whatever their status should obey their husbands. The King then had all the beautiful young virgins in the land come to the kingdom for one to be selected to replace Queen Vashti. Esther being Jewish hid her origin because her Uncle Mordecai had forbidden her to do so, this served her well since the King loved her more than all other and placed the Royal Turban on her head. The King gave a great banquet in honor of Esther and proclaimed a holiday for the provinces.
The two things I learned from this passage were that King Ashasuerus proclaimed that all wives should obey their husbands, and Susa was where this took place.

Works Cited

Gentz, William H. The Dictionary of Bible and Religion. Nashville: Abingdon, 1986. Print.

Burnside, Jonathan P. "Strange Flesh: Sex, Semiotics and The Construction Of Deviancy In Biblical Law." Journal For The Study Of The Old Testament 30.4 (2006): 387-420. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.
Moore, Carey A. Daniel, Esther, and Jeremiah: The Additions. First ed. Vol. 44. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977. Print. III.…...

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Bible Dictionary

...Bible Dictionary Project Template Name: Kaili Brown Student ID: L23500986 Course: BIBL 104 Survey Of Biblical Literature Date:February 22, 2016 Old Testament Bible Dictionary Project: Song Of Solomon Written in poem format, The Song Of Solomon in the Old Testament remains the sole, out of thousands penned by the author, preserved throughout history. The royal son of David, Solomon wrote the song when he was a young romantic, before participating in many matrimonies and concubines that were detrimental to his spirituality and Godly leadership. Possessing two birth names, Solomon or Jedidiah is applied throughout the Song. Written between 970 to 930 BC, the poem deals with the romantic relationship between Solomon and a Shulamite woman. Grasping the text in our time, The Song presents the truth about God’s desire for human love and the union of a husband and wife. Love, as an earthly illustration in comparison to the beautiful relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians) is the nurturing relationship between a man and a woman encompassing holiness and safety of the marriage covenant. Setting the foundation for the relationship between God and His love for his people, The Song depicts how God designed sexual union to be a mutually fulfilling, unselfish and nonsecular. Mighty within Gods plan of marriage, it is spiritual; emotionally and physically constructive. Exercised outside of His will proves to be destructive and sinful creating countless......

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