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Engaging the Christian Scriptures ch. 1: Places to Begin
Terms in this set (43)
An interpretive approach that identifies hidden meanings and symbolic values in texts. For example, an allegorical interpretation of the book of Jonah would identify Jonah's encounter with the great fish as an allegory for Jesus's death, burial, and resurrection.
A collection of Jewish religious books that include various literary genres and give insight into the time between the testaments. The word "apocrypha" means "hidden texts." Though Jews never considered them Scripture, some Christian groups came to regard these texts as part of the Christian canon and labeled them "deuterocanonical" because they became canonical later than the other writings. The Apocrypha includes 1, 2, and 3 Maccabees, Judith, Additions to Daniel and Esther, the Wisdom of Ben Sira, and 4 Ezra.
One closely associated with Jesus, particularly as a witness to his resurrection, who has been sent (Greek apostellō, "to send") to continue Jesus's work.
A criterion early Christians used in the process of determining the parameters of the New Testament canon. A text meeting the criterion of apostolicity would have apostolic connections: written by an apostle, written in the time of the apostles, or written in agreement with apostolic teaching.
The study of human history through the excavation of material remains. Archaeology is a critical tool for interpreters because it gives insights into the culture and lives of the people the biblical texts portray.
The original texts of the Bible, which are no longer in existence.
The normative list of authoritative or scriptural texts. The term comes from the Greek word for a measuring rod.
The determination of when, why, and by whom the layers of Scripture were considered authoritative and to what special purposes.
A term for something universal or general.
A canonical collection that coalesced in the late third century and included James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude. The modern category "General Letters" is based on the Catholic Epistles, though the General Letters adds the book of Hebrews.
An ancient book form constructed by stacking sheets of vellum or papyrus and binding them along one edge.
A formal agreement that binds two parties together in a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Covenants were often formed between parties of unequal power where the stronger party would promise to provide security for a weaker party that promised to provide loyalty.
Dead Sea Scrolls
A collection of scrolls discovered in 1949 in caves near the Dead Sea. The collection includes Hebrew biblical manuscripts dating from the mid-third century BCE to the first century CE, which draw from a variety of text types and represent the oldest known Hebrew manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.
A translation method that focuses on the function of the original language and attempts to re-create that reading experience in the target language so that the meaning of the original language is faithfully expressed. Accordingly, this method is often described as a "meaning for meaning" translation.
A translation method that takes a literal approach to translation by staying as close as possible to the form of the original language both in its grammar and word order. This method is often described as a "word for word" translation.
The analysis of types of literature and classification of them according to forms such as hymns, laments, and sagas. Once the forms have been identified, the settings and intents behind the various forms can be determined.
A division of the Hebrew Bible that consists of the books Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, and 1-2 Kings.
A modern designation for a group of New Testament writings comprising Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude. These writings tend to address a general Christian audience. This collection is based on the ancient collection known as the "Catholic Epistles," which did not include Hebrews.
Writings that narrate the life and ministry of Jesus. The biblical Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The genre of the Gospels is best understood as ancient biography: portrayals of Jesus that reflect the theological and literary concerns of their authors. The four Gospels coalesced into a collection no later than the latter half of the second century and quickly gained wide acceptance as authoritative.
The collection of Jewish Scriptures, which is arranged into three parts: the Law (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi'im), and the Writings (Ketuvim). The Hebrew Bible is also known as the "Tanakh," which is an acronym based on the Hebrew titles for the three parts.
The art and process of interpretation.
King James Bible
A translation of the Christian Scriptures that first appeared in 1611 and exerted tremendous influence on British and American cultures for centuries. Translated from Hebrew and Greek by a committee of translators from Oxford, Cambridge, and Westminster, the King James Bible is also known as the "Authorized Version."
A division of the Hebrew Bible that consists of the books Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi).
The Protestant Reformer who translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into German between 1522 and 1534. Luther's German Bible became greatly influential in German literature and theology.
A term that means "handwritten" and refers to copies of the biblical text produced before the invention of the printing press.
The text of the Hebrew Bible that serves as the base text for Old Testament textual criticism. The Masoretic Text (MT) is named for the generations of Masoretic scribes who worked between 500 and 1000 CE to standardize and preserve the Hebrew text.
A study that pays close attention to the way features such as character and characterization, plot development, point of view, and language shape the meaning in the text.
A paper-like material made from papyrus plants that was used for writing in the ancient world. Papyri fragments of New Testament writings are very important witnesses to the earliest forms of these texts.
One of the three major divisions of the Hebrew Bible. The Prophets, or Nevi'im, consists of the books Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve.
reader response criticism
Searching for meaning through leaving the historical circumstances of the text in favor of the circumstances of the reader and his or her values, beliefs, etc.
The study of the compilation or editing of a text that involves determining why and how texts developed the way they did.
The identification of any type of recurrent pattern such as repetition, word plays, or other strategies (argumentative or literary) that contribute to the persuasive nature of the text.
Those writings that function authoritatively for the faith and practice of a religious group.
The Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, often abbreviated as "LXX," which served as the primary form of Scriptures for many Jewish and Christian communities in the first centuries BCE and CE. The translation process probably began at the beginning of the third century BCE in Alexandria, Egypt with the Pentateuch. By the end of the second century BCE, the Septuagint expanded to include the Prophets, most of the Writings, and some additional Jewish religious texts.
The attempt to determine the "author," sources, and intentions of a text.
The work of reconstructing the earliest forms of a text through analyzing and comparing diverse manuscripts.
One of the three major divisions of the Hebrew Bible. The Torah, also known as the "Pentateuch" or "Law," comprises the books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The history of traditions in ancient Israel or early Christianity that involves the study of key memories and their development in the Old and New Testaments.
The translator of the first printed English Bible, known as the Tyndale Bible, which appeared between 1526-1530. Tyndale translated from Greek and Hebrew rather than Latin.
Discrepancies among biblical manuscripts that came about because of both unintentional errors on the part of scribes while copying and intentional changes created by scribes for literary, theological, and political reasons.
Jerome's fourth-century Latin translation of the Christian Scriptures, which served as the Bible for Western Christianity for nearly a thousand years. The term vulgate means "common," and so that title refers to the common version of the Latin Bible that was used in the Western church and that the Roman Catholic Church designated as the official canon of the Bible at the Council of Trent (1545-1563).
One of the three major divisions of the Hebrew Bible. The Writings, or Ketuvim, include the books Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1-2 Chronicles.
The producer of the first English translation of the Bible in manuscript form, which he translated from the Latin Vulgate (1384).
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