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Types of Theology

There are 4 types of theology used through out the Old testament Yahwaistic theology, Eloistic theology, Deutoronimist theology and Priestly theology. These writing are not reserved to just one book but overlap each other throughout the old testament. There are certain factor which indicate what kind of source a piece of writing is.

Yahwistic

  • anthropomorphic God – God walks through the garden of Eden and talks directly to Abraham.
  • descriptive language
  • talks directly to people

Priestly

  • easiest of the four to recognise
  • written in a formulaic style
  • has strong interests in genealogy, Dates and ritual observance

Eloishtic

  • difficult to distinguish from yahwistic source.
  • feature revelations in the form of dreams
  • emphasise the idea of fear of God
  • Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and Moses have prophetic traits

Deurtoronomist

  • mainly appears in Deuteronomy
  • central theme is covenant
  • love between Israel and Yahweh
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Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah & Lamentations

Isaiah

Theme: Salvation

Written: 700-680 BCE

Author: Isaiah

Setting: Jerusalem

The book of Isaiah is the first book of the major prophets and is made up of 66 chapters. The Book of Isaiah can be broken down into three sections. Chapters 1-39  focus on two points, the sins of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel and the coming of the messiah. 40-55 focuses on the return of Israel after the exile as well as the coming of the messiah.  In chapters 56-66 Isaiah talks about heaven as a reward for those who obey God.

Jeremiah

Theme: Judgement

Written: 627-586 BCE

Author: Jeremiah

Setting: Jerusalem

Th book of Jeremiah is the second book of the major prophets and is made up of 52 chapters.  The main message of the book of Jeremiah is destructions. Jeremiah is chosen by God to warn the people that they will be destroyed because of their sins.  This destruction takes place as Babylon invades and both Judah and Israel are sent into exile. however at the end of the book of Jeremiah, God says that he will save Israel from exile.

Lamentations

Theme: Lament

Written: 586 BCE

Author: Jeremiah

setting: Babylon

the book of Lamentations is the third book of the major prophets and is made up of 5 chapters. Jeremiah is often referred to as the weeping prophet because of this book.  The book is his reflection of the destruction of Jerusalem and how this was a punishment from God for people disobedience.  Lamentations is divided into 5 poems The Destruction of Jerusalem ,The Anger of Yahweh, The Prayer for Mercy, The Siege of Jerusalem and The Prayer for Restoration.

Smith, J. (2013) ‘Jeremiah summary’ biblehub.com. http://biblehub.com/summary/exodus/1.htm

Smith, J. (2013) ‘Isaiah summary’ biblehub.com. http://biblehub.com/summary/exodus/1.htm

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Old Testament Theology: Themes of the Old Testament

We have recently looked at some of the key themes that appear throughout the old testament. There are a large number of different themes but the main three we focused on where:

  • Covenant
  • Sacrifice
  • persecution

These three themes re-occur throughout the old testament in different situations.

The theme of covenant appears numerous  times in the Old Testament. The main example of this is shown through  the belief that the Israelites are Gods chosen people. This belief is linked back to the main example of covenant  which was the covenant between  Abraham and God. In the book of Genesis God speaks to Abraham promising to make him the ‘father of many nations’ Gen 17:4.

The main example of sacrifice given in the old testament  is in Genesis 22:1-19, where God ask Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. However god stops Abraham at the last minuet provides a lab to be sacrificed instead. Abraham willingness to sacrifice his son is meant to show his loyalty to God.

The main example of persecution in the old Testament would be the Israelites enslavement in Egypt. Despite being Gods chosen people they suffer under the Pharaoh. However the covenant between God and his people is shown as God calls Moses to lead his people out of Egypt and to the promised land.

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Minor Prophet: Obadiah

word-obadiah

In our lecture we had to research one of the minor prophets and the prophet I researched was Obadiah

  • the name Obadiah means ‘ worshipper of Yahweh’.
  • the book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the old testament. It contains only 1 chapter made up of 21 verses.
  • the book was written by Obadiah between 848- 840 BCE.

The main them of the book is that God will punish those who act against his chosen people. The kingdom of Edom is used as an example of this. Obadiah says the God will punish the kingdom of Edom for their pride and for not offending Israel. The story of Esau and Jacob is linked into the book of Obadiah as the kingdom of Edom descended from Esau while Israel descended from Jacob. This is highlighted in verses 8-10 where it says

8“In that day,” declares the Lord, “will I not destroy the wise men of Edom

those of understanding in the mountains of Esau?

9 Your warriors, Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau’s mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.

10Because of the violence against your brother Jacob,

you will be covered with shame;

you will be destroyed forever.

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Old Testament Theology: Overview of the Old testament

.Old-Testament word scrabble

We have recently started studying Old Testament Theology and our first few lessons covered the books of the Old Testament. 

The books of the Old Testament make up the Tanakh which is the name for the Jewish Scripture. The Tanakh is compiled of 5 collections of books 

  • The law ( the Torah )
  • Historical Writings
  • Poetic Writings 
  • Minor Prophets 
  • Major Prophets

The Torah ( The Law ) contains the first five books of the Old Testament. These books contain the early history of the bible from creation to the death of Moses. The books within the Torah are:

  • Genesis
  • Exodus 
  • Leviticus 
  • Numbers 
  • Deuteronomy

The Historical Writing are made up of 12 books. The historical writings follow the history of the Israelites from the death of Moses through to the story of Esther.

  • Joshua 
  • Judges
  • Ruth 
  • Samuel 1&2
  • Kings  1&2
  • Chronicles 1&2
  • Ezra
  • Nehemiah
  • Esther

The poetic writings are made up of 5 books. Each of these books contains a different theme. The most famous book of the poetic writings is the book of Job, which tell the story of Job being tested by god. The poetic writings are:

  • Job
  • Psalms
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Songs Of Solomon

Prophets is divided into two sections Major Prophets and Minor Prophets. Major Prophets contains 5 books while Minor Prophets contains  12 books.

The books of the Major Prophets are:

  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Daniel

The books of the Minor Prophets are:

  • Hosea
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah
  • Micah
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah
  • Haggai
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
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Evaluation of my lesson

I recently taught my half an hour lesson to my peers on the Hindu Trimurti. although I think that there where some good aspects within my lesson I realise that there where a number of weakness that I need to improve on next time.

One of the good aspects of my lesson where my resource’s such as the video I used in my starter and the traffic light cards is used for my plenary. I think that the video acted as a good stimulus to engage pupils while the cards allowed me to judge their understanding of the topic. A nother good aspect of my lesson was  my starter task with the post it notes. I tried to out line the key question with this task although this did not work particularly well, however the task allowed me to gauge the pupil’s knowledge of the subject at the beginning of the lesson.

 

The main weakness in my lesson was time management as the lesson was far to short. next time in need to take into account how long student will take to finish a task and have an extra activity for those who finish sooner that others. Another weakness was the learning styles I used. although in my plan I tended to cover all the VAK learning styles, I only covered two in my lesson favouring visual learners and not addressing kinesthetic  learners at all. Also I did not attempt any differentiation in my work assuming all pupils where at the same level. next time I will create different tasks for different level abilities. I would also included strategic grouping next time, to try to get the higher ability pupils to help the lower ability ones  as this would help reinforce their understanding their knowledge of the subject while helping the lower ability pupil to gain an understanding of it. I would also try to introduce some of the peer assessment methods mentioned by petty (2009:260) as well as strategic grouping,

 

Petty, G. (2009). Evidence Based Teaching: A practical Approach. 2nd ed. Nelson Thornes Ltd

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Planning my first lesson

I planned my lesson on the Hindu Trimurti aiming the lesson at year 9’s. I tried to incorporate all the VAK learning styles as mentioned by petty (2009:149). I also used a three-part lesson, trying to include at least one style in each part. In my starter I focused on the visual and auditory styles using a video. My main task also focused on the visual learning style, as the pupils were put into pairs to match a description to the correct image of a Hindu God. My plenary task was again visual as the pupils used traffic light cards to show their understanding of the subject. This activity acted not only as a way for pupils to judge their own understanding but also a way for me to make an informal assessment of their progress as mentioned by Barnes et al (2008:107). I also used post it notes at the very beginning of the lesson to try to establish what the pupil’s knowledge of the subject was. This would allow me to assess what progress they made in the lesson more easily.

 

 

 

Barnes, L>P. , Brandon, A. & Wright, A. (2008) Learning to Teach Religious Education in the Secondary School : A Companion to School Experience. 2nd ed . Routledge.

Petty, G. (2009) Teaching Today: A Practical Guide. 4th ed.  Nelson Thornes Ltd.

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Hindu Scripture

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scripture

Unlike most other world religions, Hinduism has many religious texts instead of one main source.  The Hindu scripture can be dived into four groups the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and the epics.  The Vedas are composed of four different books.

The Rig Veda ( Veda of praise) : the Rig Veda is the 1st of the Vedas and the oldest of the four texts. The text itself is made up of several hymns giving praise to a number of deities.

The Sama Veda ( Veda of sacred songs) : the Sama Veda is the second of the Vedic texts and is similar to the Rig Veda as it is also made up of hymns.

The Yajur Veda: the Yajur Veda is the third if the Veda’s and is dived into two parts the Black Yajur Veda and the White Yajur Veda, the text contains songs sung during sacrifices.

The Artha Veda: the Artha Veda is the fourth of the Vedas and is considered to be the base for ultimate knowledge.

 

The Upanishads where through to be written around 800- 400 BC and are a continuation of Vedic philosophy, saying how  the atman can be reunited with Brahman through contemplation and meditation.

The Puranas are post Vedic texts that contain a complete narrative of the history of the universe. There are canonical 17- 18 Puranas that are divided into categories, with each category being named after a deity within the Trimurti.

The epics are made up of two poems the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The Ramayana contains the story of Rama and Sita, while the Mahabharata contains the Bhagavad Gita.  The Bhagavad Gita is the conversation between the warrior Arjuna and Krishna.

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Hindu Dharma: Avatars of Vishnu

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There are ten incarnation of Lord Vishnu, nine of these incarnations have come and the last will come at the ending of this universe. Vishnu takes the these forms in order to reset the balance between good and evil in the universe, as is his role within the Hindu Trimurti.

  1. The first incarnation of Vishnu was the Matsya avatar where he took the form of a fish. His role was to maintain cosmic order in the universe.
  2. The second incarnation was the Kurma Avatar where he took the form of a tortoise. He done this to help the Devas gain the nectar of mortality and keep it from the Asuras ( demons). the Kurma avatar also helped with the creation of the world, as he supported it with his back.
  3. The third incarnation was the Naraha Avatar where he took the form of a boar, In this form he rescued mother earth and slayed the demon Hiranyaksha, and so preserved life in the universe.
  4. The forth incarnation was the Narasimha avatar in which he took the form of a half man half lion. In this form he killed a Tyrant demon king who was punishing his subjects for their devotion to God.
  5. The fifth incarnation was the Vamana avatar, where Vishnu took the form of a dwarf in order to destroy Muhubali king of the demons. He asked the king for three feet of land measured by his own feet and covered the world in three steps.
  6. The sixth avatar was the Parashuram avatar where he took the form of a Brahmin. Vishnu took this avatar to destroy the warrior caste who had become arrogant and where causing harm to mankind.
  7. The seventh avatar was the Rama avatar. In the form of Prince Rama, Vishnu defeated the demon king Ravana and rescued his wife Sita.
  8. The eighth  avatar was the Krishna avatar. in the form of Krishna, Vishnu recites the Bhagavad Gita to the warrior Arjuna. He is also responsible for killing the demon king Kansa.
  9. The ninth avatar was the Buddha avatar, where Vishnu was able to spread the teachings of enlightenment/ moksha through the form of the Buddha.
  10. The final avatar is the Kalki avatar and is yet to appear.This avatar will appear in the form of  a horse at the end of the Kali Yuga ( the time in which we exist). His role will be to restore dharma ready for the new cycle.
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Hindu Dharma: Yoga

bhakti yoga

According to Hindu Scripture, our main goal in life is to discover our true nature. This is done through margas or yogas, which allow us to find our way to God and so discover our true nature. The pathway for this is different for each person, so there are four different types of yoga to suit different people.

The first type is bhakti yoga, which means a intense love for God. This pathway is best suited to those who are naturally drawn to God. Followers of bhakti yoga will spend their time in prayer or worship of their chosen deity, through reading scriptures or singing devotional hymns. They worship with care and love, often feeling a strong relationship between them and their chosen deity.

The second pathway is through Raja Yoga, which is the path to God through meditation. This pathway was practised by Rishis who where the founders of Hinduism. They believed that they where able to see God through meditation. Followers of Raja yoga believe that it is better to experience God through deep meditation, rather than just believing in him.

The third pathway is through Karma yoga, which is described as the path of action. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna teaches that action is better than no action. Karma yoga suggests that our actions should be selfless, as god is the centre of life not our ego. This pathway also suggests we should work for the good of others. By doing good actions for others we bring ourselves closer to God, as he exists within everyone.

The final pathway is Jnana yoga, which is the path to god through reason and intellect .This pathways suggests that we need a greater understanding of the world to truly see what is out there and to understand our true nature. Jnana yoga focuses on the ideas of discrimination and dispassion. We must discriminate between what is real and what is false and we must be dispassionate about the world in order to become less distracted.

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