Marymount University Exploring the Discipline of Biblical Criticism Paper

Marymount University

Question Description

I’m working on a Philosophy exercise and need support.

This for a theology and religion class. I have been assigned a passage from the bible and I have to analyze like a scholar. The passage I have been assigned is: 2 Samuel 11-12 - King David steals a man's wife and is judged by God. I have also attached the assignment instructions so you can see what you have to do. I have also attached a sample paper for reference.

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TRS 100-B Theological Inquiry Short Paper Due: Tues., Mar. 24, Midnight In this paper, you will further explore the discipline of biblical criticism introduced in our class. For this paper, you will write on a scripture passage chosen from a list provided by the instructor. You will be assigned a passage through an in class process which will take into account student preferences. The purpose of the paper is for you to research and then report on scholarly views on your scriptural passage. Your paper should answer the following questions about your scriptural passage: 1. Origins: As far as we know, who was the author of this text? When was it written? For what purpose was it written, and what do we know about the social situation the author was writing in? 2. Sources: As far as we know, did this passage originate from sources older than the present book in which it is found? What do we know about the editing process that led this passage to be included in the book in which it is found, in the place where it is found? 3. Insights: Based on your research, what are some insights that biblical criticism provides into the meaning or significance of this passage? These insights can be gained from the close study of the words of the passage, a study of its form or genre, research into the social and historical context of the passage, etc. (This section should take up the majority of the paper) For your research, you should draw on some of the scholarly yet accessible resources available in our library. You should draw on at least three of the following sources for your paper. The following commentaries are available in the reference section of the library (library call numbers are listed): The Collegeville Bible Commentary. BS 491.2 C66 REF The Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. BS 491.3 E37 REF Harper’s Bible Commentary. BS 491.2 H295 REF The International Bible Commentary. BS 511.2 I57 REF The New Interpreter’s Bible: A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. BS 491.2 N484 REF The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. BS 491.2 N485 REF The Oxford Bible Commentary. BS 491.3 O94 REF The following commentaries are also available online through the library catalog: The Believers Church Bible Commentary (This one has separate volumes for different books of the Bible, but not every book is included) The Oxford Bible Commentary As you use these resources, keep in mind that you will need to look for both general information on the book in which your passage is found (for example, Exodus or Luke) as well as for more specific information on your specific passage. Most commentaries will include general information on a book at the beginning of the essay and then analyze the book chapter by chapter. Also keep in mind that some of these resources might not cover your passage exactly, so you may have to look at multiple sections to find the information you need. Your paper should be between 3 and 5 pages in length, 12 points in a standard font, double-spaced. Your paper should have an introduction describing the relevance of your topic and a thesis statement summarizing the whole of your argument. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that summarizes what the paragraph is about, and the paragraph should center on that topic. The paragraphs of your paper should follow a logical order. You will be graded on these elements, as well as on spelling and grammar. You are also expected to use parenthetical notes for any quotations or other references that you use, and have a works cited page. You should follow the MLA style of citations. Examples for the parenthetical citations and works cited page are listed below. This short paper, like all assignments in this class, is meant to evaluate your progress in achieving certain goals of the class. The relevant goals are to recognize the major questions and methods of theology, to acquire the skills necessary to critically read and interpret the Christian scriptures, and to develop one’s own writing and critical reasoning skills. Therefore these form the basis for how your paper will be evaluated, as described in the attached chart. Citation Examples Parenthetical Note (Dietrich, 254) (Note that here the number is the page where you find a specific piece of information used in your paper.) Works Cited Dietrich, Walter. “1 and 2 Kings.” In Oxford Bible Commentary, ed. John Barton and John Muddiman, 232-66. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. (Note that here the page numbers in the middle are the entire page range for this essay.) TRS 100-B Theological Inquiry Short Paper List of Scriptural Passages Genesis 1:1-2:3 Genesis 3 The first story of God’s creation of the world (7 days of creation). The second story of God’s creation of the world (Adam and Eve). Adam, Eve, and the serpent. Genesis 7:6-9:17 Noah and the flood. Genesis 22:1-19 Abraham almost sacrifices his son Isaac. Exodus 3:1-4:17 God’s calling of Moses. Judges 4-5 Deborah saves the people of Israel from their enemies. King David steals a man’s wife and is judged by God. God miraculously defends the Kingdom of Judah from the Assyrians. Everything has a time appointed by God. Genesis 2:4-25 2 Samuel 11-12 2 Chronicles 32:1-23 Ecclesiastes 3 Ezekiel 1-3:16 Daniel 2 Hosea 1-3 Amos 5 Ezekiel sees a vision of God in a chariot and receives his call as a prophet. Daniel interprets a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. God commands Hosea to marry a prostitute. Luke 10:25-37 The prophet Amos condemns Israel for oppressing the poor. Jesus cures a Jewish official’s daughter and a hemorrhaging woman. Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. Luke 15:11-32 Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son. John 1:1-18 The incarnation of the Word as Jesus Christ. John 18-19 Jesus’ agony in the garden, trial, and crucifixion. Mark 5:21-43 Acts 2 Acts 9:1-31 The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the life of the first Christians. The conversion of Paul. Romans 8 Paul contrasts the flesh and the spirit. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Paul describes the Lord’s supper. 1 Corinthians 12 Christians are one body, united in Christ. Ephesians 5:21-33 Paul describes the relationship between husband and wife. Paul recites a hymn about Jesus’ “self-emptying.” Philippians 2:1-18 Hebrews 9 Revelation 12 Jesus Christ fulfills the priesthood of the Old Testament. James warns against favoring the rich and says put faith into action. John receives a vision of a woman and a dragon. Revelation 13 John receives a vision of two terrible beasts. James 2 Name: TRS 100-B Theological Inquiry Short Paper Total: Category Critical Reasoning (20 points) /75 Grade A (90100%) • • • B (8089%) • • • C (7079%) • • • Content (45 points) D (6069%) • • • F (059%) • • • • A (90100%) • B (8089%) • • C (7079%) D (6069%) • • • • F (059%) • • Description Makes specific and insightful claim Thoroughly and insightfully explains reasons backing claim Insightfully uses high quality evidence to support positions Makes specific and relevant claim Thoroughly explains reasons backing claim Appropriately uses quality evidence to support positions Makes somewhat specific and/or somewhat relevant claim Some reasons explained, some simply stated or indistinct Uses mixed quality evidence to support positions in a somewhat appropriate way Makes sweeping or irrelevant claim Most reasons simply stated or indistinct Uses poor quality evidence with little connection to positions taken Does not present identifiable claim Very few reasons given that support claim Little or no evidence given Shows thorough and insightful understanding of methods of biblical criticism Shows thorough and insightful knowledge of selected scriptural passage Shows thorough understanding of methods of biblical criticism Shows thorough knowledge of selected scriptural passage Shows some understanding of methods of biblical criticism Shows some knowledge of selected scriptural passage Shows limited understanding of methods of biblical criticism Shows limited knowledge of selected scriptural passage Shows little or no understanding of methods of biblical criticism Shows little or no knowledge of selected scriptural passage Score ________ ________ Writing (10 points) A (90100%) • • • • • • • B (8089%) C (7079%) D (6069%) F (059%) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ideas are articulated clearly Language is appropriate, not too slangy or informal Has introduction explaining relevance of topic Has thesis statement expressing claim Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence and paragraphs center on that topic There is a logical order to paragraphs Essay is largely free from spelling and grammar mistakes Citations are almost all in the proper format Mostly clear, but a few confusing phrases Language is sometimes too slangy or informal Has vague introduction loosely connected to topic Thesis statement does not fully express claim Some topic sentences of paragraphs are vague, and/or paragraphs drift from topic Some paragraphs seem out of order Essay has some spelling and grammar mistakes Many citations in incorrect format Many confusing phrases Often uses slangy or too informal language Missing introduction Missing thesis statement Many paragraphs missing topic sentences and/or do not have clear topic Very little order among paragraphs Paper is riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes All or most citations in incorrect format or missing ________ Genesis 3 The book of Genesis is the first book in the Pentateuch. Genesis covers more time than any of the other books in the Bible. The total duration of time the book of Genesis covers is from creation to when the Israelites arrived in Egypt. The book of Genesis presents essential teachings about God and his relationship to the world and creation. Chapter 3 of Genesis focuses on the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Little is known about the circumstances in which Genesis was written, or who the authors were. 1 The book of Genesis does not directly name its author. Many scholars and theologians believe that the book of Genesis was not written by a singular author, but rather a group of writers. To understand who is the true author of the book of Genesis, one must understand what the idea behind the Documentary Hypothesis is. The Documentary Hypothesis is used to explain the origins of the first five books of the bible. The idea of this hypothesis is that there were four sources used to collectively write these books. These four sources are known as P, J, E, and D.2 Although many believe it was a group of writers, many Christians like to believe that Moses was the author of the book of Genesis. If Moses was the true author of the book of Genesis, it must have been written in his lifetime. The reason as to why Genesis 3 was written is to explain the temptations of the serpent. According to the Collegeville Bible Commentary, the term serpent is Gordon Wenham, “Genesis,” in Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible, ed. James Dunn and John Rogerson (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 2003), 37 2 John S. Kselman, “Genesis,” in Harper’s Bible Commentary, ed. James L Mays (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988), 85. 1 2 characterized as being “cunning”, and the term cunning connotes craftiness and cleverness, which contrasts with the naïve nature of the Eve. 3 The story of Genesis 3 says nothing about the reason behind the serpent’s motives in tempting Adam & Eve. The source of temptation is left a mystery. 4 Many scholars and theologians have attempted to explain why the serpent engages with the woman before the man. In the scene where the snake appears it is unclean and therefore an anti-God symbol. The serpent’s so called craftiness is evident in its speech. The serpent talks in half-truths and insinuations. The snake also distances himself from God by calling him “God” not “the Lord God”. 5 Some scholars compare the serpent to fertility cults, which were a source of temptation in Israel. The choice of a serpent in Genesis to represent temptation is the author’s way of saying “don’t get involved with serpents (that is, the fertility cults); they will only cause trouble, as they did for Adam and Eve. The serpent is a warning for Israel to stay away from fertility cults. 6 The themes of sin and judgment can be seen throughout Genesis 3. When the nakedness of Adam and Eve is introduced that can be seen as the first “sin”. Nakedness suggests weakness or neediness, which represents their unawareness of their dependence on God. Ironically, Adam and Eve discover that they are in fact not gods, they are the naked, vulnerable ones who depend on God. The theme of judgement can be seen 3 Gordon Wenham, 40. Gordon Wenham, 43. 5 Gordon Wenham, 40. 6 Diane Bergant, “Genesis” in The Collegeville Bible Commentary, ed. Dianne Bergant and Robert Karris (The order of St. Benedict 1989), 43 4 3 throughout the chapter 3 of Genesis as well. The J author continues with the ironic tones in the narrative. There are many theories surrounding the tree of knowledge as it relates to good and evil. Some of the theories are appealing, while others are generally based upon modern day philosophical positions that have very little relationship to what is actually the issue in Genesis 3. Many scholars and theologians question the expression “knowing good and evil” and what it means in the story. The question they ask is what kind of knowledge does God forbid? 7 Determining what the meaning of this symbol means is quite difficult for many. There is no other comparable symbol in any the literature of the ancient east, nor is the symbol mentioned anywhere else in the Old Testament. However, scholars have been able to find the expression “to know good and evil” in the Old Testament, so therefore they can try to determine the context in a plausible meaning. 8 At the very end of Genesis 3, the tree assumes importance. Throughout the story thus far, the tree has not been a very integral part. But, because of the sins committed, humanity is denied access to the tree and is expelled from the Garden of Eden. The ongoing struggle of humanity is yet another theme seen in Genesis 3. The struggle for Adam and Eve to resist to temptations of the serpent and subsequently failing. Genesis can be viewed as an allegory. Genesis 3 describes the transition of the human race from a state of innocence and purity to gaining a sense of understanding and moral sense. 7 8 Gordon Wenham, 44. Gordon Wenham, 44. 4 Biblical criticism allows individuals to question and wonder about the underlying meanings, principles, and significance of the Bible. Close study of passages can offer a glimpse into the author(s) mind when they were writing. Through bible criticism, one can reach conclusions regarding the motivations behind the passages of the bible. Although everyone has different beliefs when it comes to God and religion, biblical criticism allows individuals to interpret the bible in a very unique way that leads them to follow the set standards and morals written. 5 References Bergant, Diane. “Genesis” In The Collegeville Bible Commentary, ed. Dianne Bergant and Robert Karris, 40-43. The order of St. Benedict 1989. Kselman, John S. “Genesis.” In Harper’s Bible Commentary, ed. James L Mays. 85-88.San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988). Wenham, Gordon. “Genesis.” In Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible, ed. James Dunn and John Rogerson, 37-41. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 2003. ...
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The book of 2 Samuel is the tenth book in the Bible and happens after 1 Samuel's events.
After the lapse of 1 Samuel, Saul, along with his children, had been murdered. From here, we
progress to a sinful Saul's reign to a much godlier David's reign. 2 Samuel is principally about
King David and his wives (i.e., Michal, Bathsheba, Abigail, and so forth) and his sons (Adonijah,
Solomon, Absalom, etc.). In 2 Samuel, David is depicted as an imperfect but true representative
of an ideal theocratic king (Dietrich, 222). Generally, the book of 2 Samuel is a brief account of
the way David consolidated his position to extend his kingdom, such that he had to struggle with
foreign powers along with all his enemies in the nation.
Chapter 11-12 mainly focuses on the adultery of David with Bathsheba, which was
followed by a progression of tragedies (God's judgment): the death of their child. However, this
paper primarily provides a brief discussion on the origin of 2

Samuel (i.e., the authors of the

book, when the book was written, and reasons why it was written). Secondly, the paper also
explains if chapters 11 and 12 originated from sources, which were older when compared to the
present book in which it's found. The process of editing that prompted the inclusion of the
passage in the text in the bible is also explained. Lastly, the paper prov...

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