Intro to old testament

  1. Choose a small section of the narrative of the plagues in Exodus 7-12, and identify the parts of the passage that you would attribute to J, E, and P. What characteristic phrases and themes of each source occur in the passage?

3.  The description of the first Passover in Exodus 12 probably reflects the way the feast was celebrated during the monarchy. What earlier elements can be isolated in this chapter? How can the union of originally distinct agricultural and pastoral rituals be explained?

4. Compare Exodus 14 and 15. How do the prose and poetic accounts of the event at the Red Sea differ?

5. What are the issues involved in determining the historicity and the date of the exodus?

6. How did the biblical writers make use of ancient Near Eastern mythology in their accounts of the Exodus?

Chapter 7


  1. What is the vocabulary connected with the concept of covenant in the bible
  2. How does the suzerainty treaty form provide a useful model for understanding biblical traditions about covenant and covenant making? What differences are there, and what is their significance?
  3. Discuss the original audience and meaning of the Ten Commandments and the values that they incorporate?

Chapter 8


  1. What are some similarities and differences between ancient Near Eastern laws and Israelite laws? What is their significance?
  2. What are the different types of laws found in the book of exodus? What subjects do they deal with?
  3. What were the functions of the Ark of the Covenant in different biblical sources?
  4. What is the connection between the principal religious festivals in ancient Israel and the agricultural cycle?
  5. What are the religious and social dimensions of sacrifice?
  6. Discuss some theories that help explain the concepts of purity and impurity.
  7. What is the primary meaning of “holiness”? How does the concept of holiness apply to person, place, and time?

Chapter 9

  1. Compare the narratives of Israel’s wilderness sojourn in Numbers with the summary presentations in Psalms 78 and 106.
  2. How does the Documentary Hypothesis help explain the complicated geography and accounts of rebellions in Numbers? To what extent does the book of Numbers preserve traditions earlier than J, E, and P?

Chapter 10


  1. What is the relationship of the book of Deuteronomy to the preceding four books of the Pentateuch? What is its relationship to the books that follow?
  2. How do the laws in Deuteronomy differ from those found earlier in the Pentateuch? How can these differences be explained?
  3. What are the core messages of the book of Deuteronomy?
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