2.1. Who are the Israelites?

What Defines a Religion?



Community (and what defines community?)

What is permeable or negotiable?

What is the relationship between religion and culture?

Israel and Judaism

Changes beginning with the Babylonian Exile

Ethnic group → Ethnic group

Sovereign nation → political subjects

Geographically unified → diaspora

National culture → minority religion

Different Views of Biblical Inerrancy and Authorship

Everything is absolutely true, God wrote every word

The Bible is a reliable guide in matters of faith and morals, God inspired the main ideas, human authors and editors chose the words (Catholic view)

The Bible is an important and influential human literary achievement, but no more inspired than other great works of literature

Where did the Israelites come from?

Beyond the textbook, which picks up from the existence of the tribes and nation of Israel

The Israelites told stories of their origins from one family (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), slavery in Egypt, Exodus to Mount Sinai, and conquest of the land of Canaan

Legend, not history in the modern sense of the word

Scholars today believe that Israelite identity emerged gradually out of Canaanite society

Questions from Responses

Babylonian Exile and Other Diasporas

It never ceases to amaze me that some people’s religious beliefs mean so much to them that they are willing to fight over it or be treated as outcasts as with the Babylonian Exile.

about every 200 years either they were in controlled by either another leader or under rule by another empire

The Israelites were saying that the Babylonian Exile was God's plan all along. They had more faith then I would cause I would've been questioning the whole time if God was around or watching why would this be happening.

Theology of Revelation

If someone says God spoke to them, how do we know it was not intution or sub-conscious?
Is it really God talking to us or are we telling ourselves something based on deep rooted ideas or feelings that come to us by nature or by things that have been imbedded in us growing up?

My only concern is how the word of God is being translated. I feel there could be a lot of misinterpretation that could lead it to not be the word of God, but a single entity looking to gain power over others.

How much of the Bible is supported by archaeology?

Keeping straight all the related groups

Israelites and Jews

Jews and Christians

Jews and Israelis

Conflict between Israel and Palestine