INTELLECTUAL HERITAGE (at Temple
Delphi- A Focal Point for IH 51 Texts
Subject Study Aids:
Aeschylus' Libation Bearers
Oedipus and the Sphinx Lecture
J's Illustrated Pericles' Funeral Oration
J's Illustrated Pericles and America
J's Illustrated Pericles and Philadelphia
J's Illustrated Aeschylus' Oresteia
J's Curse of the House of Atreus Outline
Background Lecture on Greek Philosophy
J's Apology Study Questions
J's Illustrated Plato's Apology
and the Apology Lecture
Dr. J's Plutarch's Pericles
Sundiata Study Guide
Epic Qualities of the Sundiata
and Humanism Lecture
FOUNDATIONS OF CLASSICAL GREECE
(needs some pruning):
in Classical Culture:
The Legend of the House of Atreus: Greek Tragedy in Greece
Religious Foundations of Greek Culture
The Intersection of Myth and History
The Ancient Greek Cultural Nexus- Art, Archaeology, Literature and Topography
From 1996-2001 I taught in the
Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. This page is part of my teaching materials for Intellectual
Heritage 51, a course covering literature and ideas from Sappho through
TO Dr. Siegel's IH STUDENTS: Here are some notes you may find helpful,
especially when it comes to the definition of certain terms. These notes are wholly my
summaries of The Concise Guide to Judaism: History, Practice, Faith, by Rabbi
Roy A. Rosenberg. I recommend this text to anyone interested in getting a basic
background, but I urge you to consider other texts as well in your quest to learn about
Judaism and its sacred history and texts. There is much more to this book, too - so go out
and get a copy!
in times before monotheism each nation had its own god who they believed would
lead them into battle, toward success, and bestow with fertility. The Hebrew god revealed
himself to them in Egypt and saved them from slavery put them on the right track
toward becoming a great nation.
NOTES ON CHAPTER ONE: ANCIENT ISRAEL
Hebrew means "migrant" it appears in Egyptian and Akkadian texts
as habiru or apiru
Israel means "he who strives with God" first used to name Jacob.
Moses reveals the true name of God to Israel (all of the following names apply):
Yaweh, "the one who is" or "the sustainer"
Yaweh of hosts (sebaot) or "the sustainer of armies"
Adonai sacred form of Gods name (I use it here only in the interest of
education), "the Lord" composed of the consonants YHWH and the vowels
from Adonai together pronounced "Adonai"
haShem, "the name" is used in informal reference and in place of real
name of God
Jehovah early Christian mistranslation of YHWH, pronounced by Jews as
***note: Our own Rabbi Libowitz notes that this becomes accepted practice only much later
- by German scholars in the 19th century!
Details of the Covenant:
the people of Israel will serve only The Lord.
The Lord would lead the people into to resettle land of Canaan, home of their ancestors.
Moses: Israels liberator, prophet who introduced them to God, judge and ruler until
death at 120.
All people are equal under the Lord MONARCHY develops only after resettlement of
Idea that upon entry into Canaan, The Lord, God of Israel, had come to be identified with
El, god of Canaanite religions (Phoenician (Canaanite) myths speak of cult of El).
The Canaanite religion God says must be wiped out refers to worship of Baal, deity
that deposed his father El
Argument that circumcision is really a Canaanite ritual
that all underwent before they entered Canaan, the Promised Land. Bible tells it
Judges: early years in Canaan (not judges, but charismatic leaders) v the
Philistines (sea people)
King David: beat the Philistines and conquered Jerusalem
King Solomon: builds Temple in Jerusalem Levites ("escorts") in charge
Solomons son would not retract tax people revolted: 10 tribes secede
Kingdom of Israel: the other ten tribes
Kingdom of Judah: Judah and Benjamin (including Jerusalem)
721 BC: end of Kingdom of Israel (Assyrian conquest) become the ten lost
tribes of Israel Judah OK
621 BC: major religious reform in Kingdom of Judah, King Josiah finds sacred text
(probably what we call Deuteronomy): new rules: sacrifice only in Temple in Jerusalem. New
priestly class called kohen, all previous priests brought to Jerusalem to be in
subordinate role (called levi). Even today, a Jew is either a kohen, a levi,
or a regular Jew, yisrael ("Israelite").
Josiah serious about getting back
to basics The Lord is all!
586 BC: Babylon destroys Jerusalem, Temple, upper class exiled; end to the rule of
the Dynasty of David
538 BC: King Cyrus of Persia overthrows Babylonian Empire and allows Jews to return
Prophets: allowed Judaism to survive the exile without these prophetic
teachings (from the era of Kings), the Jews would have adopted the religion of the
Babylonians and Judaism would have been lost.
Amos first prophet whose words are preserved in a Biblical Book - in 750
BC he said that Assyria would devastate the land (it did in 721 BC)
Isaiah also time of kingdom of Judah under Assyrian threat (6e BC)
Jeremiah time of Babylonian threat - many prophets made a career of
telling the king what he wanted to hear (Babylon was a threat fight or die!)
Jeremiah went against prophets such as these and paid dearly for it but he was
right! He said that Babylon was strong because of God and that Judah should submit
Babylon was a punishment from which the Jews could only get stronger eventually. Jeremiah
correctly prophesied the duration of the exile (70 years): "The Lord is alive and
well and has not been defeated! He is now more widespread, thats all."
Ezekiel: during time of Exile: individuals will be judged from now on, not
peoples lays groundwork for later rules concerning people getting what they deserve
Second Isaiah: an uncompromising monotheist: Israel is the servant of The Lord,
The Lord is the only true God and Israel is witness to his glory and power. Other nations
are mistaken. Probably influenced by Zoroastrian religion of the Persians (good and evil,
life after death
450 BC: first significant group of Jews to resettle Jerusalem led by Ezra
Ezra: credited with re-establishing the Jews of Jerusalem on a firm foundation as a
community and laying the basis for Judaism as a religious faith that has persisted to the
present day. He promulgated the Law of Moses (Torah means "teaching").
The Jews become a "people of the Book". The promulgation of the Torah brought
with it an end to prophecy, or at least legit ones, because God spoke now through the
book, not individuals. In place of prophets popped up interpreters of the Book, scholars
CHAPTER TWO: THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES
Hebrew Scriptures: three parts
Tanach: all three together (an acronym):
TORAH: "teaching" or "law" or "Five Books of Moses"
canonization of Torah dated to Ezra (450 BC), but traditional Judaism claims it is the
revelation of God to Moses, who then brought it to all of Israel. All Israel heard the Ten
Commandments from God himself God dictated the rest to Moses.
Genesis: creation, genealogies of patriarchs before and after Flood, the Flood, journey
Exodus: Israels enslavement in Egypt, Gods call to Moses, Exodus, 10
Commandments and other civil and criminal laws, apostasy of Israel
with Golden Calf, building of portable sanctuary
Leviticus: laws about sacrifices, diet, purification, sexual contact, atonement,
Numbers: tribulations of journey across desert
Deuteronomy: Moses review of the law, his farewell and his death
Orthodox Jews: Torah was divinely revealed just as it is
Non-orthodox: documentary hypothesis The Torah is an amalgamation of four
1. J from Judah, time of Solomon, God is "The Lord"
2. E from Kingdom of Israel, God is "Elohim"
3. D Deuteronomy and other portions of other books
4. P priestly class, time of Babylonian exile, the biggest piece others are
The edited copy is what Ezra provided the people in 450 BC.
PROPHETS: canonized shortly after 450 BC all texts are deemed to have been
written by people endowed with the "spirit of prophecy."
Joshua: conquest of Canaan under leadership of Joshua, successor to Moses
Judges: concerning the charismatic warrior figures who led the tribes against their
I and II Samuel: leadership in face of Philistine threat
Saul as first king, then
I and II Kings: Solomons reign, division of kingdom, end of these two kingdoms,
kings judged successful if they eliminated worship
to all gods other than the Lord. (popular
Isaiah: from 8e BC and Second Isaiah, toward end of Babylonian Exile
Jeremiah: in time of destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon
Ezekiel: during the time of the Babylonian Exile
The Twelve: collected works of smaller prophets; the last lived during the resettling of
WRITINGS: spread out over a long period of time, collected as late as 1e
AD. All the Writings are traditionally said to have been written by people endowed with
the spirit of prophecy (hence very old), but these works are less sacred than the books
included in the Prophets. Prophets wrote under direct inspiration of God (dreams, trance),
the books in the Writings are supposed to be the work of prophets writing in a more normal
Psalms: associated with David;
personal prayers and meditations, others from worship at Temple
Proverbs: ascribed to Solomon
book of aphorisms about every day life and its challenges
Job: a drama about divine justice
Song of Songs: erotic poetry (sacred
because seen as an allegory of Gods love for Israel)
Ruth: Moabite woman who embraces God
of Israel and becomes an ancestor of David
Lamentations: elegies over destruction
of Jerusalem by Babylon
Ecclesiastes: futility of life
Esther: deliverance of the Jews form
Daniel: time of persecutions leading
up to Maccabean revolt in 168 BC; vision of end of days
Ezra and Nehemiah: return to from
Babylon and reconstruction of Jerusalem
I and II Chronicles: genealogies and
accounts from Adam à end of Exile (priesthood as author) Chronicles are official
court records, Kings is popular history.
APOCRYPHA ("hidden away in Greek): books not included in canonization of Torah
Septuagint: first translation of Hebrew Bible, into Greek ("seventy"
because it was work of 70 scholars)
for the benefit of large Jewish population of Alexandria, who spoke Greek
Septuagint dates before 250 BC
no ANCIENT Jewish manuscripts of it exist
only Christian copies. The Greek version utilized by the Christian Church mixes the
books that constitute the Writings in the Hebrew Scriptures with the Apocrypha
books that do not even exist in the Hebrew canon and inserts them into the books
that in the Hebrew version constitute the Prophets. Thus, in the Greek version, some of
the prophetic books close the Old Testament, leading the reader into the specifically
Christian Scriptures (NT), which in Christian doctrine fulfills the prophecies contained
in the OT. Order is thus important.
Translation history: ancient Jewish translations of the Hebrew Scriptures were done
in Aramaic, the ordinary language of discourse (a Semitic language akin to Hebrew)
in Palestine from 1e BC and in Babylonia for centuries before that. Many are
not translations, but paraphrases. Targum: Aramiac version of the Hebrew Bible
THE JEWISH SECTS:much information from the historian Josephus
Saducees: named after Saduk, Solomons high priest.
Guardians of that "old-time religion": only the written law of the Torah
constituted the revelation of God.
Law to be interpreted literally for the most part
Did NOT believe in resurrection of the dead or survival of the soul.
God doles out rewards and punishments during life and is just.
People make their choices according to their own free will.
Saducees ceased to exist as a sect with the destruction of the Temple (70 AD).
Temple priests and wealthy aristocrats little influence over general population.
Essenes: also believed in primacy of descendants of
Sadok, but rejected the priests
themselves as impure.
about 4000 Essenes in communities celibate and monastic in organization.
adopted the children of others and raised them according to their beliefs.
joiners renounced property and chose ascetic lifestyle, farmed and dressed in white
Dead Sea Scrolls from Essene community in Qumran
Belief that whatever men choose to do, it is the will of God that they do it.
immortality of souls (souls in life dragged down by the bonds of flesh liberated in
reputation as accurate foretellers of future and masters of the art of healing
refused to take oaths were renowned for their honesty
water as means of purification (baptism)
they anticipated a great war between "sons of light" and "sons of
darkness", followed by a new Temple
End of Days would bring The Messiah of Israel from the line of David and the Messiah of
Aaron as a priestly ruler.
Christians: followers of Jesus of Nazareth (called Nazarens in Jewish texts)
Jesus preached the imminent coming of the Kingdom of God, when the present order of
existence would end and a new heaven and a new earth would appear. All wickedness would be
destroyed, the dead resurrected for judgement, the righteous living forever in Gods
kingdom.Audience: primarily the poor, the disenfranchised the wealthy would have to
give all to the poor to gain entry to the Kingdom of Heaven. Shared much with
disdain for wealth, prohibition of divorce, prohibition of oaths, disdain for petitional
prayer (God doesnt need to be reminded of details - he wants prayers of general
). Jesus probably regarded himself as and was looked upon by his
followers during his lifetime as the Prophet of the Kingdom. At his death his
followers came to believe that he had fulfilled the destiny of the Messiah of the line of
David and styled in "the Christ", the "anointed One" (Greek equivalent
of Messiah). Those who believed that he had risen from the dead also expected his return
from heaven as the ruler of the new age, the Priestly Messiah of the Essenes. Christianity
ceased to be a Jewish sect when the early Church, at the urging of Paul, opened its ranks
to non-Jews without requiring them to accept the ritual prescriptions of the Torah
(primarily circumcision, observance of the Sabbath, dietary restrictions). The church was
then no longer governed by Jewish law, nor did it have a primarily Jewish constituency.
Why Didnt the Jewish People See Jesus as the Messiah?
Jesus didnt proclaim himself to be the Messiah. Only after his death (Corinthians
15:3) was he proclaimed to be such, and that he had died in fulfillment of Scripture. Jews
of Jesus time for the most part - expected a messianic king who would
initiate a mighty Kingdom of Israel to whom Rome and Persia and the other principalities
of the day would pay tribute to. They did not expect the coming of a king who would never
reign, who would instead be put to death.
Pharisees (possibly "separatists"):
the sect from which all later forms of Judaism developed
belief in written Torah as revealed to Moses by God and in oral Torah (interpretations)
mostly middle class value in learning and debating the fine points of law
belief that while God controls all things, free will is still granted to humanity
resurrection of the dead, reward of everlasting life for the righteous
some believed in Messiah a mighty warrior and a compassionate sage
belief that interpretative skills would allow Torah to adopt to new social challenges as
they arose (Saducees did not believe in a changing concept of law)
so many interpretations the Oral Torah proliferated that in 220 AD Rabbi
Judah the Nasi ("prince" or "patriarch") introduced the first
authoritative summary the Mishna ("repetition"). Mishna is
the source of all subsequent Jewish law to the present day and is the object of study in
the academies of all forms of Judaism.
Talmud: The Palestinian or Jerusalem Talmud ("learning") is the
further discussions (post 220 AD) on the laws of the Mishna, complete with the Mishna
All Rights Reserved
send comments to: Janice Siegel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
date this page was edited last:
of this page: