Christianity: A Beginners Guide (Beginners Guides)

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  3. How to Read the Bible: A Guide for Beginners | Bay Area Christian Church
  4. The Torah: A Beginner's Guide

This isn't like cheating on your income tax, it's cheating on your relationship with God, and you and God will both know about it. It would be like saying your prayers without meaning them.

Or saying your prayers and then doing bad deeds. Cheating God never, ever works. Not just because all good deeds and bad deeds are assessed at the Day of Judgement, but also because if you cheat on your faith you cheat yourself of everything that being a good Muslim means. If you're a Muslim it's not enough just to give money for the poor; you're expected to understand what it feels like to be poor and hungry, and to go without food and drink.

So once a year, for a month called Ramadan , all Muslims fast from first light until sunset; abstaining from food, drink, sex, and smoking. This fasting not only helps a Muslim understand the needy, it's a sort of ritual purification of themselves. It's not just at Ramadan that Muslims abstain. When you become a Muslim you have to give up certain things like alcohol - khamr - and, of course, drugs for ever.

And Muslims don't go to places where alcohol is served - so if you want to discuss Islam with a Muslim friend, the pub is not the place to suggest. You'll find that Muslims manage to have just as good a time without them as most people do with them - In fact they have a much better time. Tobacco isn't banned in the Qur'an , but the Qur'anic principles suggest that smoking is not a good thing.

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Find out more about page archiving. Joel S. Kaminsky is Professor in the Department of Religion at Smith College where he teaches courses on the Hebrew Bible and on ancient Jewish religion and literature. Get A Copy.

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Paperback , pages. More Details Oneworld Beginner's Guide. Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Torah , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details.

All of them were originally written in Hebrew, with the exception of two chapters in Ezra and six chapters in Daniel, which are written in Aramaic, a cousin language to Hebrew. All of the books in the Jewish Bible are found in the two Christian Bibles as well, though they are arranged in a different order there. With just three exceptions, all of these books focus on the somewhat rocky love affair between God and the Jewish people. Again, some scholars believe that one or two of these may have originally been written in Hebrew or Aramaic.

How to Read the Bible: A Guide for Beginners | Bay Area Christian Church

But instead of adding yet newer books to the Old and New Testaments of the Protestant Bible, instead it fills the gap in between them with the Apocrypha. Most of it was written in Hebrew or Aramaic, but two of the books were written in Greek. These books were outside the canon of the Hebrew Bible, but were preserved in the Greek translations of the Bible that were used by the early Christians. However, when Jerome prepared a new Latin version of the Bible, he made a translation directly from the Hebrew text—which did not contain these extra books.

That means that a Catholic Bible—the most inclusive—contains three different parts. The interesting thing about this chart for me is that both the Jews and the Catholics—the groups whose religions rely largely on a later group of sacred writings rabbinic literature for Jews, patristic literature for Catholics have a Bible that maintains historical continuity from beginning to end. The Catholic Bible does not have the same linguistic continuity that the Jewish Bible has, but here too the Apocrypha bridge the gap with books from the period when Jewish literature was expanding from Hebrew into Greek.

The Torah: A Beginner's Guide

The Protestants, whose sola scriptura perspective was a major cause of the break with Catholicism, have a Bible with a big chronological and linguistic gap in between its two sections. The bottom line is that the Bible is a unique book.

So, caveat emptor. It plays a role something like what rhyme did for so long in English-language poetry, creating a rhythm that matches two different lines. O heavens, give ear and let me speak; Let the earth hear the sayings of my mouth. The book is about the history of how biblical poetry has been understood, but the first chapter is another description of parallelism. In my discussion of Who Wrote the Bible?

I noted the following:. As promised, here is that discussion. The reason, of course, is that every synagogue has dozens of Chumashim available. The Bible , however, contains not only the Five Books of Moses, but also from a Jewish perspective the Prophets and the Writings , or from a Christian perspective books of history, literature, and prophecy. Kugel does talk about the entire Bible, but as I pointed out in far different proportions that did Marc Brettler in his book of the same name.

The stories of Genesis carry far greater weight in our culture than do those in the book of Kings. I mentioned last week that, for Kugel, all the texts are biblical, but some are more biblical than others. In fact, this is true for almost all of us. Blog at WordPress.