PART ONE: Answer as specifically as possible each of the following questions about the primeval period of biblical history:
1. Why is it important that we understand the concept, creatio ex nihilo, when considering the creation story in Genesis?
2. What do we know about the characters, Ish and Isha, prior to their eating of the fruit?
3. Shem, Ham, Japheth are the sons of Noah. Why should we care?
4. The creation of the Nephilim possibly points to a further disruption in the primal unity/harmony of the universe. Explain.
5. What happened to cause Noah to say of his grandson, “Cursed be Canaan”?
PART TWO: Answer as specifically as possible each of the following questions about the patriarchal period of biblical history:
1. Why does Abram leave behind any connections with the Ur of the Chaldeans?
2. At one point in the narrative, Hagar mocks Sarai. Why?
3. Abraham’s supreme test of faith occurs during what has been called “the binding of Isaac”. Why doesn’t Isaac die during this testing?
4. The importance of circumcision to the history of Judaism can’t be overstated. What is its relation to the covenant that God establishes with his Chosen People?
5. God communicates with Abram/Abraham in a variety of ways, including dreams, visions, dialogue, inner impression, and natural phenomena. Give an example from the text of one of these.
PART THREE: Answer as specifically as possible each of the following questions about the story of Joseph and his brothers:
1. Reuben plays an important role in the fate of Joseph. What is it?
2. The Potiphar’s wife false accuses Joseph of doing what?
3. Whose sons are Manasseh and Ephraim? Why do we need to know this?
4. What do we need to understand about the Ishmaelites in order to understand fully the reason Joseph ended up in Egypt?
5. Genesis 50:20 might be considered a theme for the story of Joseph. Explain.
PART FOUR: Answer as specifically as possible each of the following questions about the story of Job:
1. In the prologue we are told that Job is made to suffer “without reason” (or “without cause”). Why must we know this?
2. One character in the story says to Job, “Curse God and die”. Who is speaking and why does she say this?
3. Psychomachia is a literary concept that applies well to Job’s story. Explain.
4. Who answers Job out of the whirlwind and what is the purpose of this encounter?
5. The three comforters fall into the intellectual trap of explaining Job’s suffering as an example of the deuteronomic law. Explain.