Reflections of the Old Testament


(Instructors’ name)



Reflections of the Old Testament

The two sources of information to be reviewed in this paper are the session 6 audio class and the class text by Barry Bandstra. The two sources of information are about the Old Testament and the periods defined in the texts. As the audio lecture makes it clear, there are two sides of scholars who argue about the events narrated in the Old Testament. According to the lecture, some scholars on extreme believe that the stories narrated in the texts of the Old Testament are true reflections of what happened during those times, as evidenced by the bible. On the other extreme, are the other scholars who believe that the stories narrated in the Old Testament are fabrications that have no truth in them. Some examples of the stories the lecture gives that are the basis of argument in this case are the stories such as women who got married to their close relatives, something that society treated as taboo, and women providing servants to their husbands in case they were barren for the purposes of reproduction. The lecture gives examples of women like Sara who were not able to give birth to children, and as required by law, had to provide their husbands with maids with whom they would reproduce (Prof. Hayes).

The lecture also gives a timeline of when these vents happened, and I realized that they took place between all throughout the middle bronze period to the three phases of the middle bronze era. The bronze period, as it becomes clear, has three periods. The class textbook confirms this accurately by providing us with a timeline of when these events took place. According to the author of the textbook, Abraham lived in the first phase of the middle bronze period, and so did his wife. Rebecca and Isaac existed in the same period, with Jacob being born at the beginning of the second phase of the middle bronze period. Joseph came much later, almost after Jacob. The Hebrew in Egypt existed from the second phase of the bronze era to the late bronze era.

According to the text, the Egyptian 12th dynasty existed in the second phase of the middle bronze period, with the Hyksons rule coming in the third phase of the middle bronze era. The new kingdom of Egypt is shown to have come during the late bronze period and it lasted to the second phase of the late bronze period (Bandstra 78- 80).

Generally, as the two course materials indicate, the ancestral story does not have the same timeline or history as the primeval story. The ancestral story, which we learned in this course, has three main saga sets. Scholars refer to each of the three sets as a cycle because all of the ancestral stories of that period revolve around a key figure in the history of these individuals, Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob. Individuals see these three cycles as separated by short genealogical notices of the two main ancestral off springs that came from the Israel trajectory, called Esau and Ishmael (Bandstra 78- 113).

As I later discovered from the audio lecture, the literary shape of this story is less complicated to establish than the relationship these individuals had with history. There clearly are not any references about these historical figures anywhere in the bible so individuals have to fill up in the voids for themselves. The course was extremely informative and enjoyed learning new, ancestral subjects immensely (Prof. Hayes).

Works cited

Bandstra, Barry L. Reading the Old Testament: an Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. (4th Ed.). New York: Cengage Learning, 2008.

Prof. Hayes, Christine. RLST 145- Lecture 6. Web. 4 November 2011.

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