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REL 130 Exam 2 Study Guide


November 2, 2017


Be able to define or describe the following terms in a sentence or two and/or highlight two or three key points (such as might be included in a multiple-choice or matching-type question).

Sea Peoples Absalom Trito-Isaiah Josiah
Philistines Solomonic Enlightenment Syro-Ephraimitic Crisis Jehoiachin
Saul Jeroboam Omri Nebuchadrezzar
Samuel Rehoboam Jehu Fall of Jerusalem
Deuteronomic Historian Characteristics of Prophets Fall of Samaria Servant Songs
Apostasy Court Prophets Jeremiah Restoration Period
David “Sons of the Prophets” Temple Sermon Edict of Cyrus
Hebron “Wife of Whoredom” Potter’s House Zerubbabel
Jerusalem Proto-Isaiah “Confessions” of Jeremiah Second Temple
Bathsheba Deutero-Isaiah “New Covenant”

Points to Ponder

Be able to discuss the following issues in a brief essay.

  1. Describe the theological “cycle” of the book of Judges (apostasy, oppression, repentance, deliverance). Why is this cycle described as a “Deuteronomic” framework for the book.
  2. Discuss the rise of David and the demise of Saul as described in 1 Samuel. Be able to outline some of the public triumphs and private tragedies of King David as described in 2 Samuel.
  3. Describe the political, economic, and religious contours of the United Monarchy period. What was good? What was bad?
  4. What is a “prophet”? What are the functions and characteristic elements of Israelite prophecy? How were Israelite prophets both like and unlike prophets in other Ancient Near Eastern cultures?
  5. Describe the ministry of Elijah. What were some of the high and low points? What was his overall message, and how was this message relevant in Elijah’s historical context?
  6. Describe the overall message of the books of Amos and Hosea.
  7. Discuss the book of Isaiah, including its proposed history of composition. What does this book in its final form say that would be a comfort (or a challenge) to Jews returning to their homeland?
  8. Describe Jeremiah’s prophetic career. Name two or three key passages in the book of Jeremiah that shed light on his message in the years leading up to and following the Fall of Jerusalem.
  9. Discuss the Babylonian exile as a catalyst for the religious thought of Judaism. What theological questions did the exile raise, and how did those who lived through it seek to answer them?
  10. Describe the Jews’ changes of fortune under Persian rule. In particular, how did Persian policies influence the religious development of the people of the Bible. Who were some of the prophets active in this period, and what were their primary concerns?

Format of the Exam

Part I. Thirty-five multiple-choice questions worth two points each, based on the key terms listed above and assigned Scripture readings (140 points).

Part II. One essay question (60 points). You will have a choice between two of the following questions:

  1. Trace the beginnings of kingship in Israel. How did the Israelite tribes organize themselves before they had kings? What led them to embrace the idea of kingship? How do the biblical writers evaluate Saul as Israel’s first king?
  2. How do the books of Samuel and Kings describe the United Monarchy under David and Solomon? What seems to be the overall biblical assessment of this era?
  3. Describe prophecy in ancient Israel. What were some of the important characteristics of Israelite prophecy? Cite examples from some of the prophetic books studied in class to support your assertions.
  4. Summarize the ministry and message of either Isaiah of Jerusalem (First Isaiah) or Jeremiah, giving attention to questions of the prophet’s biographical background, the historical situation in which he ministered, and the major themes of his message.
  5. Discuss the importance of the Babylonian Exile in the development of the Jewish religion. What were some of the theological issues raised during this period? Note some of the important biblical writings produced and/or redacted during this period  and show how they responded to these issues.

Please bring your own paper on which to write your essay.



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