Entries into the New Dictionary of the Bible

Topics: Bible, Old Testament, Torah Pages: 6 (1604 words) Published: September 9, 2013
| | |BS1001C The Biblical World: | |Texts and Traditions | | | |Rev Dr Brian Boyle (Coordinator) | | | | | |Assessment Task 1 | |Entries into the new Dictionary of the Bible (CTC edition) | | | |Michael Zylan 201317274 | |20/3/2013 |

|You have been invited to submit 3 entries into the new ‘Dictionary of the Bible (CTC edition)’. | |Two entries are for the Old Testament, one entry is for the New Testament. |

Monotheism

Monotheism is defined as a belief in one god, as distinct to polytheism meaning the belief in many gods.

The Old Testament begins with "In the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Gen 1:1), a statement declaring that from the very beginning there was only one God. Although that statement was not actually ‘written’ down for many centuries, it had been passed down thru the generations as oral history and enabled the Israelis to accept a single God, as an evolving belief. Their monotheism came about, not due to some abstract thinking or theological constructs but based on their real life experiences and interaction with their ‘Active’ God. There was "no discussion of the 'idea of God'. The existence is taken for granted."[1] and in a time where the norm was to believe in many deities, "Israel was exceptional for its emphatic recognition of one God only."[2]

How and when in the Old Testament, Israel finally came about to the acceptance of monotheism "in an assumed world of contested polytheism"[3] is not clear as no records exist.

"The Old Testament, in its final form, certainly ends up with an affirmation that 'YHWH alone is God.'"[4] and that "Israel was exceptional for its emphatic recognition of one God only."[5] The Torah outlines Israel’s struggles with coming to the acceptance of monotheism. How their God being an active God, interrelated with them and continually bound them to Him, though they periodically moved away, were punished, repented and then moved back into a new relationship.

Deuteronomy re-iterates the ‘laws’ which were to be followed. Deut 6 contains many compelling requests and arguments for obedience to God including: instructions on how to learn obedience, the need to teach obedience to their children and to pass this knowledge down thru the generations and the need to fear their God.

"Israel had to learn how mysterious, unteachable, and beyond manipulation was its God."[6] Their belief (monotheism) thus came thru experience of Him....

Bibliography: Achtemeier, Paul J., gen. ed. Harper 's Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985.
Brueggemann, Walter. Reverberations of Faith: a theological handbook of Old Testament themes. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.
Freedman, David Noel, ed. in chief. The Anchor Bible dictionary. 6 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Ryken, Leland, Wilhoit, James C. and Logman III, Tremper, gen. eds. Dictionary of biblical imagery. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1998.
Sakenfield, Katharine Doob, Balentine Samuel E. and Blount Brian K. The New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. 5 vols. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006.
[2] Paul J. Achtemeier, gen. ed., Harper 's Bible Dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 652.
[3] Walter Brueggemann, Reverberations of Faith: a theological handbook of Old Testament themes. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 137.
[5] Paul J. Achtemeier, gen. ed., Harper 's Bible Dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 652.
[8] Walter Brueggemann, Reverberations of Faith: a theological handbook of Old Testament themes. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 217.
[9] Paul J. Achtemeier, gen. ed., Harper 's Bible Dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 1083.
[10] Achtemeier, Harper 's Bible Dictionary, 1083.
[12] Achtemeier, Harper 's Bible Dictionary, 1084.
[13] David Noel Freedman, ed. in chief, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, (New York: Doubleday, 1992.), 6:607.
[17] Achtemeier, Harper 's Bible Dictionary, 1083.
[18] Achtemeier, Harper 's Bible Dictionary, 1083.
[21] Katharine D. Sakenfield, Samuel E. Balentine and Brian K. Blount, The New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2006-2009), 4:486.
[22] David Noel Freedman, ed. in chief, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, (New York: Doubleday, 1992.), 5:293.
[23] Paul J. Achtemeier, gen. ed., Harper 's Bible Dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 783.
[25] Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit and Tremper Logman III, gen. eds, Dictionary of biblical imagery (Downers Grove: Intervasity Press, 1998), 640
[26] Ryken, Wilhoit and Logman III, Dictionary of biblical imagery, 640.
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