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March 12 
The Pentateuch and Deuteronomistic History
Read Stages 8, 9 and 10 
Written Assignment:
For each of the sections given in Journey [Stages 9 and 10] [and given below], give a BRIEF (one to two sentence) summary and then comment how this passage relates to your Christian faith, your monastic life, OR how you might preach or teach in the future.



Read the following sections of Genesis 1:1-11:26:

        Genesis 1-3 Creation of the universe and the first humans; the Fall.

               Gen 6:5-9:17 – Noah and the flood.

               Gen 11:1-9 – The Tower of Babel.


Read the following sections of Genesis 11:27-50:26:

               Gen 12:1-3:1 The LORD calls Abram.

               Gen 15:1-21  The LORD promises Abram an heir and land and makes a covenant with him.

               Gen 17:1-27  God gives Abram and Sarai new names and institutes circumcision.

               Gen 12:10-20  Abram and the Pharaoh; Gen 20:1-18 Abraham and  King Abimelech.

               Gen 37:1-50:26 The story of Joseph.


Read the following sections of Ex 1:1-15:21:

               Ex 1:1-2:22  The enslavement of the Israelites and the early years of  Moses.

               Ex 2:23-4:17  The encounter of Moses with God.

               Ex 7:8-13:16  The ten plagues (read the first nine very quickly).

               Ex 13:17-15:21 The destruction of the Egyptian army and the rejoicing of the Israelites.

               Ex 19:1-20:21  The making of the covenant and the Ten Commandments.

               Ex 24:1-18  The ratification of the covenant.

               Ex, chaps. 32 - 34  The matter of the Golden Calf and the renewal of the covenant.

               Lev 23:1-44  The liturgical year.


Read the following sections from Num 1:1-10:10:

               Num 6:22-27  The priestly blessing.

               Num 9:1-23  The celebration of the Passover at Mt. Sinai and the divine guidance to be given to the Israelites on their march.

               Num 10:1-10  The two silver trumpets.


Read the following sections from Num 10:11-36:13:

               Num 11:1-3; 11:4; 14:4; 14:20-35; 25:1-5; 25:6-16 and 26:64-65  about the people and God.

               Num 20:2-13 and 27:12-14 about Moses and God.

               Num 27:15-23 The transfer of leadership to Joshua.

               Num 13:1-14:45 The account of the spies and the decision to attack.

               Num 22:2-24:25  Balaam and his prophecies.

               Num 28:1-29:40  Regulations governing various offerings (reader can browse quickly).


Read the following sections from the Book of Deuteronomy:

               Deut 4:1-40  The heart of the first discourse.

               Deut 5:1-27  The Ten Commandments.

               Deut 6:4-9  These verses are very important to Jewish spirituality.

               Deut 26:1-11  These verses contain a very ancient creedal statement (26:5-9).

               Deut Chap 28  Blessings and curses of the covenant.

               Deut Chap 34  The death and burial of Moses.





Some significant passages in the Book of Joshua are the following:

               Joshua 2:1-24  In this passage, Joshua sends out two spies to view Jericho and its land. Rahab, a woman living in Jericho, protects the spies from the King of Jericho. Rahab’s name appears again in connection with the genealogy of Jesus (Mt 1:5).

               Joshua 6:1-21 This passage is the account of the capture of Jericho in which the walls fall down.

               Joshua 23:1-16 This is Joshua’s farewell address. The farewell address is an important literary form in the Scriptures.

               Joshua 24:1-28 (also Joshua 8:30-35 NRSV) This is an excellent example of the covenant renewal ceremony. Bernhard Anderson refers to Joshua Chapter 24 as one of the most important in the Old Testament. 

As examples, consider the following two notable judges:

               Deborah – Chapters 4 and 5 describe a judge raised by God who is a woman. Chapter 5 consists of The Song of Deborah; this song is an excellent example of early Hebrew poetry.

               Samson – Samson (Judges chapters 13-16) is a well known figure in the Bible but he is seldom recognized as being one of the judges.





Some of the important points in the First Book of Kings are the following:


               1:25-2:12  The death of David and the accession of Solomon, David’s son.

               Chapter 3 – Solomon asks God for wisdom; his request is granted. A demonstration of his wisdom is presented. The fame of Solomon’s wisdom is summarized in 4:29-34.

               4:20-28  A description of the magnificence of Solomon’s reign is presented.

               Chapter 6  Solomon builds the Temple.

               Chapter 8  The dedication of the Temple and Solomon’s prayer of    dedication.

               11:41-43  The death of Solomon.

               12:1-24  The monarchy in Israel divides into a Northern Kingdom, Israel, and a Southern Kingdom, Judah.

               1 Kgs 17:1-2 Kgs 2:1-12  The Elijah cycle. It is especially interesting to read the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:20- 46) and Elijah’s meeting with God at Mt. Horeb (19:11-18). In the gospels and other places in the NT, we will find that there were people who believed that John the Baptist was Elijah returned and other people who believed that Jesus was Elijah returned .

               1 Kgs 19:19-21  The call of Elisha.


Some significant passages in the book of 2 Kings are the following:

               2:1-12  Elijah ascends to heaven.

               2:13-18  Elisha succeeds Elijah.

               2:19-25 and 4:1-6:7  Some miracles performed by Elisha.

               13:14-21  Death of Elisha.

               17:7-23  The Fall of Israel, the Northern Kingdom. Israel is taken captive into Assyria.

               Chaps. 18-20  Reign of Hezekiah and his reform efforts.

               21:1-18  The reign of Manasseh – He was a very bad king according to the biblical account (see vv. 10-15).

               22:1-23:30  The reign of Josiah. Hilkiah finds the book of the law in the Temple (22:3-20); Josiah responds by undertaking a reform movement (23:1-27).

               Chaps. 24-25  The Fall of Judah with deportations to Babylon in  597 and 587 BCE.



February 26
Stage Seven   The OT in the NT
Read Journey Stage 7
Then read in our
NRSV New Oxford Annotated Bible 
"The Interpretation of the Bible - The new Testament Interprets the Jewish Scriptures" by Pheme Perkins
This may be an unusual assignment, but a useful one ultimately for understanding "minimalism" in scriptural analysis.  After reading the article by Pheme Perkins, carefully state your opinion of this article.  Then, see if you can find THREE examples of words or phrases that seem to be an example of negative analysis or minimalism of the biblical word.  Quote these examples (with footnotes) and add your own commentary on these statements. Round out your analysis by taking a passage that she cites and give your opinion of how that passage of the NT is treating the OT.  [1-2 pages]

- Beginning January 11, 2011

Read sections in Bible on "Canons of the Bible" (p. 2185); "Textual Criticism" (2192); and "Translation of the Bible" (p. 2197)

Read Journey book from beginning through Stage Four ... you will see how these relate to the articles in the Bible.

For first written assignment ... For Stage Two in Journey, and the Bible article on Textual Criticism, Look at the Bible Links and see examples of early papyrus, parchment and codex - uncials and minuscule writing (See if you can identify the difference ). Read about Qumran. In a paragraph or two summarize what you discover in the LINKS that displays what is found in the readings (on texts, codex, and Qumran. Hint: Be sure to look at the liturgical texts). Be sure to include footnote on websites that  relate.


Check out the GOOGLE Bible map (first one listed) and how it works. Put in a passage and then click on the locations and see how it links to lots of information.

Browse through all the Bible LINKS

- Begining January 22
After completing the chapter on Translation in Journey (Stage Four) and the article in the Bible, take a look at  this "interlinear" translation. 
Arrange the words in order on a paper left to right, reading under the Hebrew words, right to left on the page, for each line. 
Then write your own "translation" in flowing English for Genesis 1: 1-11.  Don't consult your Bible.  Just see what your instincts tell you about the words.
Then type up the "Brother Martin Mary" translation of Genesis 1: 1-11 and email it.  Also, state any aspects about the text that you think this exercise demonstrates.
[Hebrew interlinear arriving by email!]
Beginning January 30

Journey  Stage FIVE

"'A Letter that Killeth': Toward a Reassessment of Antiochene Exegesis, or Diodore, Theodore, and Theodoret on the Psalms." A paper by John O'Keefe published in the Journel of Early Christian Studies, Vol 8, Number 1, Spring 2000, pp. 83-103.

I  accessed this paper for you from my library online database.


"Exposition on Psalm 29"  by Augustine from the New Advent website (under Errations on Expectations)


Read these in order.  Then ... (and this is the fun part) write about two pages comparing Augustine's exegetical methods of Psalm 29 with what you find in O'Keefe's paper. There you will find Psalm 28 from the Septuagint source  (which is Psalm 29). 

Pick out the significant difference in "interpretation" of the psalm between the Antiochene School and what Augustine does.


Assignment beginning February 8


A. Read Journey, Stage 6.


B. Listen to Audio (when I can get it together)   J 


C. Written:



- Find an example of poetic literature (at least six verses)

in the OT.  Type them out on your paper.


- Next, find a patristic commentary on that passage. Use the online links and the patristic collection in your library. (For example, Chrysostom wrote on most of the Psalms.)

If you let me know the passage, I can also make it easier for you and give you the patristic reference. 


- Quote from the commentary (at least one direct quote with footnote) from the patristic source.


- THEN, reflect on the meaning and see if you can dig deeper  using the provisions of Hebrew poetry.

Write the meaning of the passage as you interpret it using an understanding of the literary form.


ONE to TWO pages



- Find an example of narrative writing and choose a passage of at least six verses (OT or NT).  Type the passage out.


- Find a patristic commentary on the passage (as  before).


- Quote from the commentary as before.


- THEN, reflect on the  meaning and see if you can dig  deeper  understanding the particular narrative literary form used.

Write the meaning of the passage as you interpret it using an understanding of the literary form.


ONE to TWO pages


Again, note that I can help you find (hopefully) patristic commentary on the passage you choose, if needed.

Any question ... be sure to let me know.  Proceed to this assignment when  you are ready.

To review:

       We now have four assignments -

          #1   Looking through the links   [check]

          #2   A translation exercise     [check]

          #3   A comparison of exegetical interpretation 

          #4   Looking at literary form for deeper meaning

Virginia M. Kimball