Dava Beckham

My Writings and Thoughts

So Long, Not Good bye — May 6, 2016

So Long, Not Good bye

Final Post Week 13

This class has been a whirlwind for me. I have enjoyed it but I can say I have been stretched. I am extremely glad as it pushed me and challenged me to develop my writing and critical thinking skills. So this summer I intend to spend time writing and continuing in this area. I intend to go back and review several sections on the first portion on the writings which I enjoyed but feel as if they were a blur due to my own private stress level concerning the new learning with regards to the twitter accounts and blogging. I also intend to review the section on the latter prophets. I just want to ensure my understanding and foundation is solid in this area.

My future projects include initially just getting some much needed rest, then I will start preparing for 2017.I need to make a decision regarding on line versus campus classes next year. I am in prayer concerning this. I will also finalize my class selections. I am part time so it will take me awhile to get through but I am reminding myself to remain patience.

Finally, in regards to staying in touch with my classmates I will reach out to them through twitter and hope to visit one of their churches perhaps on a road trip one day. I will use hangouts and email through Garrett to check in. I have enjoyed their post as they are truly brilliant. It has been a privilege to be among such great seminarians. If I end on campus I will look for them next year as well.

Finally Ms. Kang and Dr. Lester this is an amazing class and while I will admit I was super stressed in the beginning my wealth of knowledge across the board from where I started to where I am today is so much stronger. I thank you both for your kindness, tactfulness, and honesty. Dr. Lester I especially appreciate your humor and the way in which you approached our studies.

Thank you all again for this wonderful journey,

Dava Beckham

In enduring understanding there is a question regarding reading the bible  always as a  cross cultural experience. This would truly be difficult to say always too. As the bible was written from an ancient middle eastern view, white male . Therefore it would not necessarily be cross cultural. Stanley, 2010 shares the importance of “learning to recognize and compensate for any social and religious agendas” (p.138).

Finally the essential question ask what makes a cross cultural experience authentic and I believe it is inclusiveness. When all parties have been invited to the table to give input and insight. Opening our minds to new and different understandings should not be something we are afraid of but finding ourselves open to new ideas and while investigating the text may give us  a clearer understanding of the one we serve. Stanley shares the importance of thinking more wider and broader about the text. Finally since I believe God is Sovereign I know that he can handle any questions I have.

Women Then and Now — May 2, 2016

Women Then and Now

The stories of matriarchs in the bible and women social roles in the ancestral period were very limited. Women were seen as unimportant. Daughters were not celebrated only boys were really celebrated and recognized. The genealogy of Noah only included men Genesis 6:9, 10 (Harper Collins). Stanley (p.208) shares how male writers were in control of the portrayal of women and many writers shared “women as inferior and needed to be dominated by men”. Women in the creation section appeared to be an afterthought Genesis 2:18 (Harper Collins). Finally, Stanley shares how some men writers saw women in submissive roles and were tricked by the serpent and led the man down the path of evil Stanley, 2010.

Bandstra shares the biblical text is rooted in historical text. When looking at the women in the bible in Genesis we see women who were mostly home bound, and took care of their families. They followed their husbands (e.g Sarah and Abraham) and went where they were told. The male fathers (Laban) made the decision about who his daughters Rachel and Leah would marry.. They did as instructed by their male counterparts. So when Sarah was told to say she was Abraham’s sister she did. Women were considered inferior. The role of women then was submissive.

Today, women have a lot more independence and choices. However, we still make less money than men. Women today may work for themselves and many take care of their families and assist their husbands. Decisions in some families are made as partners between spouses. Some women are single parents and work very hard to take care of themselves and their children. Women are sometimes still seen as inferior. Women according to Jing Shen have have narrowed the gap to about 80 percent with the fact that many women have gone on to college. This has allowed the pay between men and women to move from 60 percent to 80 percent. That is women earn approximately 80 percent of men’s earning. This was a pleasant surprise to me quite frankly I thought I would find the numbers lower.

In challenging the traditional views of women we see how God created man and women in his image Genesis 1:27. Nothing indicates that women were inferior. Women as a matter of fact have the distinction to assist with procreation. Women in Genesis 2:20 were described as helpers. Eve wanted to help Adam. This is also described as a partner according to Harper Collins. Genesis 2:23 we are described as “bone of his bones.”

Some things women have in common then and now in my opinion are the need to take care of their families and husband and the means to do what ever it takes. Women are multitaskers. I remember watching my mother go to school pretty much most of my life. She was a unit secretary in the hospital and wanted to make more money and went on to become a licensed practical nurse and continued to become a registered nurse. During that time she continued to take care of all four of her children, my dad and assisted my grandmother. I pause now to say thank you even though she is not able to see this blog. I come from a mother who wore many hats many times and loved us and provided for us. I am grateful for her.

This week our reading discussed covenants. Bandstra shares how Walter Echrodt states,” the center of biblical theology is the covenant.” The marriage covenant was seen in Genesis in Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Noah and his wife, relationships just to name a few. Sometimes it may not have been stated; however it was implied in the way in which they followed their husbands.

Stanley, shares when we are studying the Hebrew bible in a academic scholarly matter we must be willing to look beyond the regular way a text is interpreted in other words we need to be open to look at the text in different lenses.

Finally in enduring questions and understandings:

The Bible is a library of composite texts that are substantively diverse in their understandings of God and of the world. This is because the scholars and writers who are writing the bible come from diverse backgrounds with different ideas. Stanley shares how many writers may have had their own social and religious agendas. Learning to compensate for this by reading from a broader lens may assist with gathering additional information.

 

A written history should give one an idea of the faith and religion of the people. It may give one a better understanding and maybe open up new ideas on how one might think about some ideas (Stanley, 2010).

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

Shen, Jing. “Recent Trends in Gender Inequality In the Unites States.” Journal of Sociological Research. 1 May 2014: 18.

Stanley, Christopher. The Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Approach. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009

The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishing, 2006.

 

 

— April 29, 2016

My Creation Story

Week 11

Reposted with corrections and citations.

The Scriptures

Isaiah 51:9-10:

This text opens with Isaiah saying, God let’s get up and let’s get ready for war and do as you did in the past when you defeated Rahab ( the dragon) also known as Leviatham when you began creation. In v)10 we see a reference to the red sea and how God dried it up (Harper Collins, 2006) .

This is supported by Abingdon who describes a cosmic victory where the Lord defeats the above dragons prior to creation.   The reference to God being asleep and dragons are not present in my opinion. I do see a reference in Harper Collins, (2006) about the deep sea and that this could refer to chaos that is indicated in the above Genesis 1:1.

Job 9:4-14:

Discusses how Job responds to God and he has a description of God as wise, powerful and over creation. He discusses how God removes mountains, and causes earthquakes.” Earthquakes were thought to be associated with God’s presence”(Harper Collins, p.701,2006). God also gave commands in verses Job 9:6-8 concerning the sun, stars, heavens and walking in the sea. The constellations (Bear, Orion, Pleiades are discussed in v) 9 are created by God and controlled by him. Here God is responsible for the stars as well. In v) 13, 14 we see reference back to mystic sea dragon Rahab. This text shows how even the helpers of Rahab bowed to God as shared by (Abingdon).

Again we see how God was active in creation and created the heaven earth and stars. In Genesis we do see God command the stars, heaven, sun, and sea along with the planets Genesis 1:1-5 Harper Collins, 2006. The reference regarding the mystic sea creatures I do not see in this text but it appears to be implied when darkness is mentioned in 1:2. I have read this many times and yet I never saw this information regarding the dragons. I have looked at the darkness but never saw this text like this before. I do not see this in Genesis 1, and 2 but again in the notes in Abingdon it is indicated.

 

Job 26:7-14

In v)7 we see how Job response to Bildad and describes the power and majesty of God (Harper Collins,

In doing so Job uses imagery. He describes mountains in the north called (Zaphon) and places of divine governance. I do not see divine governance per say discussed. Genesis 1:9 describes the land and could include mountains.

In v) 11-13 we see how the pillars tremble again (earthquakes) and how God causes the sea to be calm and his breath is the wind heavens were made from.

In other words God’s greatness is unimaginable. References to God’s greatness are implied in his work as the creator of everything. The wind and the sea are made in Genesis 1:9 (Harper, Collins).

Job 38:1-11

Here we see God speak possibly to Elihu. The text indicates he spoke to Job. But later we see how God found Job an upright man (Harper, Collins).

God speaks out of a whirlwind in v)1. This whirlwind is described by Abingdon as a storm and refers to divine anger. He tells Job to man up in v(3 to get ready to answer some questions. Then God asked Job a host of questions that deal with creation and the universe and gives placement to humans as subordinate to God. God is the creator of the universe see Genesis2:1.This is seen in Genesis 1 and 2.

Psalms 8:1-9

This text continues to talk about humans and their roles and opens with a description of the majesty of Gods names that even infants recognize v)1-2. In v) 3 a question is asked about the value of humans. The answer follows in v) 5-8 with a description of human beings being little gods and crowned with glory and honor (Abingdon, 2003).

God has given humans power over the works of their hands, the birds, the sea, and the air. The section closes with again recognizing God’s Sovereignty ( Abingdon). This text supports God’s greatness, and power. It also discusses how God felt about humans and our importance Genesis 1:26, 27.

 

Psalms 74:12-17

This section v)12-13 supports the opening scripture in Isaiah regarding God’s defeat of chaos and putting creation in order. In v)14 the dragon (Leviathan’s) head was crushed. These monsters were destroyed. In v)15-17 we see how the writer shares how God cut open springs, dried up streams, change days to nights, fixed the bounds of the earth and made summer and winter (Harper,Collins 2006).

This text references chaos again and this would reference the deep, darkness in Genesis 1:1 possibly. But the defeat of the monsters does not reflect the text.

Psalms 89:8-10

This text shares how great God is again. Here again we see God ruling over the sea, storms and the one who destroyed the dragon (Rahab) Harper, Collins,2006.

Again the text does not support the mention of dragons. It does support God’s greatness.

Psalms 104:1-9

This text opens talking about the Lord’s greatness and majesty. God creates streams of water, birds to nest in trees, and mountain peaks. His wisdom is unimaginable. God has planned so that living beings are able to flourish and sustain themselves. He brings order out of chaos. (Abingdon, 2003).

We see this in Genesis 1:20, 26.

Psalms 136:1-9

This text gives praise to God for who he is and that he has done. Praise is given to God as he is the creator, for his wisdom, deliverance and for his love Harper Collins, 2006.

This is supported in the text in Genesis.

Proverbs 8:2231

Wisdom is described here as being present before the creation of the world. Before mountains, when heaven was shaped it is said to have been present Harper, Collins.

When he assigned the sea, wisdom was present. God’s creativity is unimaginable to us as humans. He is the ultimate creator as he created heaven and earth Genesis 1:1, 2:1.

 

 

 

My Creation Story

God is mighty, sovereign, wise and undefeated rules over the sea and its inhabitants God’s power and authority is acknowledged. (Proverbs 8:22-31, Psalms 74:12-17)

God is recognized as magnificent. He sets up divine governance. His greatness is hard for one to imagine. (Job 26:7-14)

He brings calm to the chaos and destroys the dragons (Rahab and Leviathan) in wind to war (Isaiah 51:9-10).

After destroying the dragons he begins with creation. He breathes and creates the heavens, the sun, stars, and the sea. He sets up the constellations and Bear, Orion, and Pleiades is in place. He places mountains in the north. He speaks and calms the sea. We see here how God also made day and night, summer and winter and could cause the springs to dry up. (Job (:4-14, and Isaiah 51:9-10, Psalms 104:1-9).

Ultimately he is the creator of the foundation of the earth, dimensions of the earth, and the clouds. There is no one like God who is wise beyond measure and had a perfect plan. (Proverbs 8:22-31,

Finally God, created humans and made us a little lower than the God. We were crowned with God’s glory. Then God gave us power over the animals, the sea, the air and over the works of our hands (Psalms 8:5-8). This concludes my creation story from the above text.

The first book of the bible has a convergence of evidence per Bandstra that is the writers looked at the fact and evidence and they came together to get the best most factual story. The books of the bible use prose, poetry and law in their writing. The narrative flow for Genesis continues to tie in creation until the Israelites down fall at the hands of the Babylonians. The first two chapters give two different stories. Bandstra spoke of couplets throughout Genesis as demonstrated. The bible was to help make sense of the reasons the past (Stanley). The creation narrative was probably formulated during the exile time period. It has been suggested the first part of Genesis does not fit with the rest of the bible as this section is not shared anyplace else (Stanley, 2003).

Enduring Understandings:

Discusses how the world behind the text differs from the world in the text substantively.

The world behind the text concerning the deuteronomistic narrative had a common editor or thread that was determined to get one message across and this message was to let the people know that God had a plan for their lives and all that they had went through was a part of the plan. Therefore, the world in the text may be missing important information that does not contain in relevance to above.

Essential Question

What makes a cross-cultural experience “authentic” (or does not)? I believe understanding what was happening or is happening in the community of people as well as understanding their issues and or concerns will assist in making the experience authentic. Reading the bible as a cross cultural experience assist with opening up one’s mind to other cultures and experiences. Stanley shares how the bible was written for a set or people who had a certain culture already in place. Many of them came from the same background. Learning as much as you can about one’s background is essential in studying the scripture and will assist with one having a greater understanding.

I mentioned the Black lives matter movement as another way to understand people from different backgrounds who have concerns about what is happening in their communities. I believe it will give a greater understanding to this movement. This would be a way to have a cross cultural experience today. Learning about the reasons for this movement would be a common day cross cultural experience.

Today, many people may not understand the “Black Lives Matters” movement from a large group’s perspective one might be able to understand a 1 on 1 conversation with a mother whose son has been shot or killed. It would give a different perspective to the movement in my opinion.

Bibliography

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

Stanley, Christopher. The Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Approach. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009

The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishing, 2006.

The New Interpreter’s Study Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003.

 

Creation Like I Have Never Known — April 23, 2016

Creation Like I Have Never Known

 Reposting as I do not see it on the blog page.

My Creation Story

Week 11

Read the following passages and make a list of the things that they say happened at the time when God created the universe. When you are done, go back over the list and mark which items seem to agree with the Genesis 1-2 creation stories, and which ones differ. Then see if you can construct an alternate story of the creation from the events that do not appear in the Genesis creation stories.”

This week’s assignment asks us to incorporate our reading with an alternate creation story. But I must say every week here I have learned something new. I truly have learned lots of new information and once again find myself in that place orientation, disorientation and reorientation.

My words will be in italics. Updated on 4/23/16.

The Scriptures

In considering the alternative creation story is saying:

Isaiah 51:9-10:

This text opens with Isaiah saying, God let’s get up and let’s get ready for war and do as you did in the past when you defeated Rahab ( the dragon) also known as Leviatham when you began creation. In v)10 we see a reference to the red sea and how God dried it up. This is supported by Abingdon who describes a cosmic victory where the Lord defeats the above dragons prior to creation.   The reference to God being asleep and dragons are not present in my opinion. I do see a reference in Harper about the deep sea and that this could refer to chaos that is indicated in the above Genesis 1:1.

Job 9:4-14:

Discusses how Job responds and his description of God as wise, powerful and over creation. He discusses how he removes mountains, and causes earthquakes. These are associated with God’s presence. God also gave commands in verses 6-8 the sun, stars, heavens and walking in the sea. The constellations (Bear, Orion, Pleiades are discussed in v) 9 are created by God and controlled by him. Here God is responsible for the stars as well. In v) 13, 14 we see reference back to mystic sea dragon Rahab. This text shows how even the helpers of Rahab bowed to God. Again we see how God was active in creation and created the heaven earth and stars. In Genesis we do see God command the stars, heaven, sun, and sea along with the planets Genesis 1:1-5. The reference regarding the mystic sea creatures I do not see in this text but it appears to be implied when darkness is mentioned in 1:2.I have read this many times and yet I never saw this information regarding the dragons. I have looked at the darkness but never saw this text like this before. I do not see this in Genesis 1, and 2.

 

Job 26:7-14

Shares how Job response to Bildad and describes the power and majesty of God. In doing so he uses imagery. He describes mountains in the north called (Zaphon) and places of divine governance. Genesis 1:9 describes the land and could include mountains. I do not see divine governance per say discussed.

In v) 11-13 we see how the pillars tremble again (earthquakes) and how God causes the sea to be calm and his breath is the wind heavens were made from. In other words God’s greatness is unimaginable. References to God’s greatness are implied in his work as the creator of everything. The wind and the sea are made in Genesis 1:9.

Job 38:1-11

Here we see God speak possibly to Elihu. The text indicates he spoke to Job. But later we see how God found Job an upright man. God speaks out of a whirlwind in v)1. This whirlwind is described by Abingdon as a storm and refers to divine anger. He tells Job to man up in v(3 to get ready to answer some questions. Then God asked Job a host of questions that deal with creation and the universe and gives placement to humans as subordinate to God. God is the creator of the universe see Genesis2:1.This is seen in Genesis 1 and 2.

Psalms 8:1-9

This text continues to talk about humans and their roles and opens with a description of the majesty of Gods names that even infants recognize v)1-2. In v) 3 a question is asked about the value of humans. The answer follows in v) 5-8 with a description of humans beings being little gods and crowned with glory and honor. God has given humans power over the works of their hands, the birds, the sea, and the air. The section closes with again recognizing God’s Sovereignty. This text supports God’s greatness, and power. It also discusses how God felt about humans and our importance Geness 1:26, 27.

Psalms 74:12-17

This section supports the opening scripture in Isaiah regarding God’s defeat of chaos and putting creation in order. In v)14 the dragon (Leviathan’s) head was crushed. These monsters were destroyed. In v)15-17 we see how the writer shares how God cut open springs, dried up streams, change days to nights, fixed the bounds of the earth and made summer and winter. This text references chaos again and this would reference the deep, darkness in Genesis 1:1 possibly. But the defeat of the monsters does not reflect the text. .

Psalms 89:8-10

This text shares how great God is again. Here again we see God ruling over the sea, storms and the one who destroyed the dragon (Rahab). Again the text does not support the mention of dragons. It does support God’s greatness.

Psalms 104:1-9

This text opens talking about the Lord’s greatness and majesty. God creates streams of water, birds to nest in trees, and mountain peaks. His wisdom is unimaginable. God has planned so that living beings are able to flourish and sustain themselves. We see this in Genesis 1:20, 26

Psalms 136:1-9

This text gives praise to God for who he is and that he has done. Praise is given to God as he is the creator, for his wisdom, deliverance and for his love. This is supported in the text.

Proverbs8:2231Wisdom is described here as being present before the creation of the world. Before mountains, when heaven was shaped it is said to have been present. When he assigned the sea, wisdom was present. God’s creativity is unimaginable to us as humans. He is the ultimate creator as he created heaven and earth Genesis 1:1, 2:1.

My Creation Story

God is mighty, sovereign, wise and undefeated rules over the sea and its inhabitants. God’s power and authority is acknowledged. God is recognized as magnificent. He sets up divine governance. His greatness is hard for one to imagine.

He brings calm to the chaos and destroys the dragons (Rahab and Leviathan) in wind to war.

After destroying the dragons he begins with creation. He breathes and creates the heavens, the sun, stars, and the sea. He sets up the constellations and Bear, Orion, and Pleiades is in place. He places mountains in the north. He speaks and calms the sea. We see here how God also made day and night, summer and winter and could cause the springs to dry up.

Ultimately he is the creator of the foundation of the earth, dimensions of the earth, and the clouds. There is no one like God who is wise beyond measure and had a perfect plan.

Finally God, created humans and made us a little lower than the God. We were crowned with God’s glory. Then God gave us power over the animals, the sea, the air and over the works of our hands Psalms 8:5-8. This concludes my creation story from the above text.

 

Enduring Understandings:

Discusses how the world behind the text differs from the world in the text substantively. This can be seen in the deuteronomistic history and it mattered greatly what was going on in history. But the common thread for the adjoining text (Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings)remains the same.

Essential Question

What makes a cross-cultural experience “authentic” (or does not)? I believe understanding what was happening or is happening in the community of people as well as understanding their issues and or concerns. Today while many people may not understand the “Black Lives Matters movement from a large groups perspective one might be able to understand a 1 on 1 conversation with a mother whose son has been shot or killed. This may not be cross cultural to some people but it is foreign to many people.

 

Enduring Understandings:

Discusses how the world behind the text differs from the world in the text substantively. This can be seen in the deuteronomistic history and it mattered greatly what was going on in history. But the common thread for the adjoining text ( Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings)remains the same.

Essential Question

What makes a cross-cultural experience “authentic” (or does not)? I believe understanding what was happening or is happening in the community of people as well as understanding their issues and or concerns. Today while many people may not understand the “Black Lives Matters movement from a large goups perspective one might be able to understand a 1 on 1 converation with a mother whose son has been shot or killed. This may not be cross cultural to some people but it is foreign to many people.

Bibliography

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishing, 2006.

The New Interpreter’s Study Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press

 

Actions Speak Louder Than Words — April 16, 2016

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

 

This was a very sad story about rape and the lack of power women had and lack of concern shown by King David .It appears David’s son’s have learned some behavior exhibited by David. We see how David’s son Amnon was in love with Tamar his sister in an unnatural way in v (1). This sounds familiar when we look at David and Bathsheba’s story over on 2Samuel 11:4. He saw her wanted her and took her. Bathsheba belonged to someone else. David did not have the right to take her.

She is also identified as Absalom sister. 2 Samuel 3:3 indicates that Absalom and Tamar were full brother and sisters. Their parents were David and Maacah.

In v (2) Amnon has now made himself sick with his desire to have his sister. He shares his desire and love of Tamar with his friend Jonadab in v (3-4). Here we see the importance of good friends with morals. This friend devises a plan which Amnon follows to have his sister sent home by King David to take care of her brother v (6). He carries out the plan and the sister comes home and makes what is called a cake and takes it to his room. Here he manipulates David to get what he wants. David was manipulative in the killing of Uriah in 2 Samuel 11:14-26 and even had him killed in battle. David’s sons were probably watching this even though it is not stated. David was use to having what he wanted when he wanted. He modeled this role for his children. This is an indication of the type of father he may have been. Did he spend time with them? Amnon did not seem to learn what no means. It makes one wonder if he always got his way.

Amnon refuses to get up and has her bring it to his room after sending away everyone v (9-11). He grabs her and refuses to let her go and forces her to lie down with him v (12). She begs him not to do this and says the King will give me to you as he does not withhold anything from you v (13). But he would not listen and forced himself on her. Later in v (15) he is now done with her and now hates her. He puts her out of his home with only robe on as she begs him not to in v (15-18) and bolts the door. She places ashes on her head and ends up going to live with her brother Absalom v 20-21). He destroys her chances of being married or having children and so she lives with brother. King David and she never have another conversation. He is only concerned about his son v (21) and the text indicates he loved him. Interestingly enough it does not say he loved her. This is occurring during times when women were of little value and so he is not concerned about her. This story is similar to Dinah in Genesis 34 where the brothers avenge her and not the father. David showed little to no concern for his daughter. We see again how women were unimportant.

But Absalom loved his sister. He did not like Amnon and hated him for what he did v (22). Two years later Absalom has a festival and has King David allow him to send Amnon. Absalom has the men get Amnon drunk and tells him when he is pretty drunk kill him v (26-28). In 2 years David did not do anything to Amnon. It appears here David was easygoing. Maybe he could not discipline him for doing the same things he saw him do.

Then Absalom leaves with Tamar and David hears the report that his son’s were killed and later finds out it was just Amnon v (32-33). The cousin Jonadab is now informing King David that only Amnon was killed. Why is Jonadab mentioned and seen in the background?

David goes into mourning for his son and seen wanting Absalom to return in spite of killing Amnon v (37).

 

This story clearly tells the lack of importance of women. We see how they are really not valued. It does not clearly talk about David’s relationship with his children and how they were raised. It does not share how or if they were disciplined. The story leaves Tamar voiceless after the rape and her life utterly destroyed.

I would have liked to see King David deal with his son directly. I think he should have let him know this was unacceptable even though he could not change the situation. I wonder if they learned any of his good attributes. It does not indicate they prayed or sought the Lord or made him head of their lives. We must make sure we are ministering to our families even when we our leading and ministering to others. Finally, it appears actions speak louder than words.

In the deuteronomistic history we learned that Yahweh’s commitment to David’s kingship was unconditional and would not be taken away. God in eternity chose David’s house and the city of Zion in Jerusalem and they are woven into creation as shared by Bandstra in describing the royal theology. As a human king one would expect that he may have faults. Here we see that David was indeed human.

When looking at enduring questions I can understand clearly why the statement is made that: histories use the same tools, storytelling, characterization, plot…We have seen this story 3 times (rapes) Gene 34, Judges 19 and the current passage all of which deal with rape in different times, but used the same tools to tell the story.

 

Bibliography

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishing, 2006.

The New Interpreter’s Study Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press

Dava Beckham

Sharing my Story — April 12, 2016

Sharing my Story

This week I had breakfast with my best friend and shared my journey thus far in Old Testament.

I discussed two topics in depth and also discussed the Deuteronomistic history .

I shared how I find myself wondering about the type of God I believe in . One who is kind and merciful verses one who might be thought of as cruel at times.

Ultimately I shared how repentance and deliverance were critical then and even now. I have learned to repent quickly .

The other topics surround 1 Kings 22 and God being a “deceiver “. Also the story in Judges 19:1-21,25.These were tough to read but in each of them there were benefits . The first story indicated that God put a deceiving spirit in the prophets mouth to deceive King Ahab who was a bad King and eventually was killed.

The last one revolved around killing a woman and cutting her body parts up and sending them to 12 communities which lead to war.This was really about the lack of leadership and lead right in to the time of appointing a monachy .

I believe he was surprised at the element of content and drake concerning this class.

In addition to learning to boo and tweet.
Dava Beckham

No King In the Land — April 11, 2016

No King In the Land

The central message of the passage in Judges 19:1-21: 25 revolves around Israel not having an upright king in place. Justice was dispensed by each person as they saw fit as shared by Bandsta, 235. This could be thought of as the wild wild west times. There was no king in the land and therefore, no justice.

In looking at this passage they were several other messages that might be shared for example: 1) Men have all the power and authority. 2) Women have no power and our voiceless. It appears the ultimate message in this book was to show the need for a just king. This particular passage actually seemed to be out of place when looking at the rest of the chapter. This chapter actually shows how the people sort of self destruct.

The plot opens as follows as a concubine had returned home to her father angry (v.2). The story does not indicate why she left. However, the Levite comes to her father’s home with 2 donkeys (v.3). The Levite was supposed to be speaking to her but somehow really only interacts with her father. They end up eating and drinking and celebrating for the next 4 days. The father appears to be happier than the daughter as we do not see anything about her reaction in this text. But we do see in (v.3) how the father is filled with joy.

The text describes the husband as a Levite. Initially, I was somewhat confused as I knew a Levite as a priest. However, Abingdon indicates how a Levite during this time was not a priest but any male who was an Israelite. Later in history, Levite’s became clergy. I believe it is important to indicate he was a Israelite as well. Does this mean he has a relationship with God? Lets continue the story and we shall see.

On the 5th day late in the evening they finally leave. The Levite decides to go to Gibeah a town that is south of Jerusalem around 12 BCE (Abingdon). An old man from Ephraim in (v.20) invites them to stay with him. This was known as a place where the Benjaminites lived.

They begin to enjoy themselves and some men who were also enjoying themselves surround the house. They decide they want to have intercourse with the Levite and tell the old man to bring him out in (v.22). The man offers his daughters and the man’s concubine instead and then finally puts the concubine out in order to protect the man. The men raped and abused her all night until morning (v.25).

I have a few questions like: Where is her husband at this time? What type of man is he that just allows this? What type of man is Ephraim if he is willing to give his daughters over to these men? As a Levite did he have a certain responsibility?

Now back to the story the next day the woman came and lay at the Levites feet. He tells her in (v.28) to get up as they were leaving. He puts her on the donkey and when they get home he takes a knife out and cuts her up in 12 pieces and sends her body parts around to the entire Israel territory. This was described as an act of war against the Benjaminites by Harper, Collins.

The narrative elements contain brutality and rape. It also includes a time of war as they do go to war and nearly wipe out the Benjaminites. This text may function during those times as this was the way things were done since there was no king. Men came up with their own solutions and did what they thought was right. As a community the Benjaminites had to defend this ladies reputation even though her husband did not at the time of the incident. I am not sure how the people would have felt back then when this story was told. However, if this is the normal they would have fully expected to avenge her. Clearly, women were not of value as she did not speak until after the rape and her own father just sent her along with the Levite early on.

This text was difficult to read initially but then I could see how the lack of leadership leads to this war, and the abuse of the woman. One can see why righteous and just leaders are needed even today. This theme continues in our current time. Upright leaders are needed in our churches, schools, on the police force, in work places, and in political areas.

This time also appears to be a time when the people were not following God as indicated by the violence that took place. He was a Levite but apparently may not have had a relationship with God.

While the title of this book is Judges Stanley, 264 indicates that the judges were military leaders who sometimes judged the people. We also see how the judges had trouble maintaining peace and see how the need for a monarchy comes into play. Finally, Judges continues in the Deuteronomistic theme and sections may have been connected as Dr. Lester describes in his podcast.

In the enduring questions we are asked if every history is a narrative fiction. Narrative fiction might embellish and be more descriptive of certain historical events. In our readings concerning the Deuteronomistic narrative the text continued to have connective tissue that kept them intertwined. In some ways every history could be narrative fiction depending on who is telling the story and how it is told. I would hope that a measure of truth is maintained throughout the story line even if one might embellish the story. A written history is accountable to truth ultimately. This truth should be identified by proof through historical materials, comparison of social, economic, political times , archaeology and events.

Bibliography:

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

Stanley, Christopher. The Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Approach. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009

The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishing, 2006.

The New Interpreter’s Study Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003.

Dava Beckham

They Call Me Moses — March 31, 2016

They Call Me Moses

harriet Tubman.png

For this weeks’ assignment I am choosing Make #2.

Part 1

When I was a child I used to hear about Harriet Tubman. She was one of my favorite abolitionists.

My name is Harriet Tubman and I was born somewhere between 1820-1810. My preferred name is Minty for Araminta Ross. I adopted the name Harriet Tubman after I discovered my mother was a free woman. I am the Underground Railroad conductor from Dorchester County, Maryland. When I was seven I ran away after I stole a lump of sugar. Later, I returned after I was put in a pig pen for 3 days and could not get any food. I worked as a house servant. At nine years of age I worked as a housekeeper and experienced physical abuse and starvation. When I was fifteen I refused to help an overseer tie up a bondsman and he fled to the field. The over seer threw a brick and hit me in the head because I blocked the door and would not let him go after the bondsman. Many people thought I was slow after that. It took a while for me to heal but I did and I became very strong. I suffered and went into deep sleep and was nearly disabled after that.

In 1844 I married freeman John Tubman. In 1849 I escaped to Philadelphia and went back to get my husband and he had remarried and refused to come away with me. I always planned my getaways. I travel north during the winter and cold dark months usually on a Saturday. I followed the North Star. I travelled by foot and stagecoach, and boats. I used many tactics to help slaves to escape along the path to freedom. I fought and used many strategies for freedom. I can tell you many people called me Moses. I had to stay in touch with the Lord. I made 19 trips and brought 300 slaves to freedom and never lost one person. I believed I had the right to “death and liberty” (People and Events). Politically I fought in the war against the confederates and I believe in action. I made my transition in 1913.

Part 2:

I have been asked to give my input to a few things going on today. I must tell you it is somewhat upsetting considering all the work we did back then.

Today when looking at the United States I think the “original sin” is slavery.

Forecast:

I believe America is reaping what it has sown in the area of slavery, discrimination, injustice, corrupt governments and its refusal to take care of the poor.

American’s have forgotten its first love and does not honor the Lord. It has allowed everything to be ok. It is not following the commandments the Lord has laid out. We have many other idols and first loves. Americans has forgotten the golden command to love our neighbors as ourselves. We do not believe our neighbors deserve to be free. We don’t believe our neighbors deserve opportunities.

Like the Israelites we have turned from God to follow our own ways and we are making our own rules. This has caused us to be in a downward spiral. We do not seek the Lord and attempt to be obedient to his rules.

Amos (5:24) said it best when he said “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream”.

The seeds of hate have sown hatred and discord throughout the nation. Turning from God to follow our own ways and making our own rules has caused us to be in a downward spiral. These seeds of hate show up in the Africa American community currently as gaps in education, mortality rates as well as unemployment. In addition, poverty, health care challenges and homicide rates are higher than other races (Lindsay, Cook of US News, 2015). The statistics indicate higher incarcerations, higher unemployment rates, higher poverty and homelessness and higher death rate, and higher health care challenges. These are real consequences of seeds of hate and discord that have been sown.

America has professed in our Pledge of Allegiance to be one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all… (Francis, Bellamy). Our money says “One Nation under God” but our actions say other things.

Like the Israelites we must not continue to commit evil in the sight of the Lord. We must turn from our wicked ways. We must not abandon any population of people.

In Joshua 23:1-16 we see the underlying theme of being blessed when one is obedient and cursed and or destroyed when one is disobedient to the Lord. This cycle continues throughout the latter prophets, and former prophets and writings. What leads to destruction? Disobedience to the Lord, turning from the covenant, following other gods, and intermarrying will all lead to destruction if one does not repent. The people of Israel ended up in exile.

Today we see many of the same things in America. Joshua 23:11 says “be very careful to love the Lord your God”. This is not something to take lightly. In 1Sameul 12: 7 the people were told to remember the Lord and all that he had brought them through from Egypt. They are like a lot of us today and they forgot. The people did not listen to God or the prophets and they failed to repent according to 2 Chronicles 36:15-16. This lead to their ultimate destruction.

Looking at Deuteronomy 28 we see how there are two choices one can make. We can choose to be obedient or disobedient to Yahweh. In each case there is a cost or reward. The early part of Deuteronomy 28:1-14 indicates when one is faithful and obedient to Yahweh one is blessed. Every place the person sets their feet are blessed, their children are blessed, their cattle, flock, and city are blessed. The person who obeys Yahweh has the promise of security and prosperity.

Deuteronomy 28:15-46 discusses what will happen when one is disobedient. There will be disasters and nations will be defeated. The people will be affected by diseases, plaques, destruction and also discuss returning one to Egypt and even slavery.

Bandstra indicates that the deuteronomic history was revised during or after the exile. It was reshaped approximately 600 years later and probably from someone from the Northern Kingdom during King Josiah’s reign. We see the cycle of obedience equal to blessing and disobedience is equal to curses. Stanley discusses how the worst thing that could happen to a believer is to have Yahweh to remove his protective covering from you (256). We see the pattern of sin, punishment, repentance, and deliverance. I have seen this cycle in my own life and I try very diligently to stay away from punishment side.

In conclusion, it is not too late for America to return to God. The Israelites did return but it was after they were in exile and had lost everything. I hope we do not end up in the same situation. As I was preparing to write this up I had dreams about this for the last 3 nights, I prayed and God reminded me about a remnant. Jeremiah 23:3 says “Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply”. I am trusting that the Lord will see and hear our prayer for a country that returns back to God and loving each other and making him and his way our focus and priority.

Part 3

Stanley( 2010 ) discusses how there is some selectivity occurring in the writing but ultimately the goal is to show how good leaders were those who obeyed Yahweh and bad leaders were those who disobeyed . The writers are not creating or documenting history but they wanted the text to say a certain thing and this is clearly indicated in the text and deuteronomistic narrative it was not in its present form until the reign of King Josiah the good king. The writers believed in cause and effect. But they did not want the Israelites to become discouraged and turn from God.

Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions asked if every history is a narrative fiction. Stanley indicates this was a special case one due to size of the material and secondly this text was written to help people not lose faith in Yahweh. Ultimately it was best to commit to serving and worshipping Yahweh alone. Written history should be truthful. These passages align with other books of the bible. We see them align with each other in Joshua, Samuel, Kings, and Deuteronomy as well as with the prophets, like Amos for example. The thread runs throughout. No, I do not believe all narrative fiction is history. But this certainly appears to be.

 

Bibliography:

American National Biography Online: Tubman, Harriet.www.anb.org/articles/15/15-00707.html.

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

Cook, Lindsay. “Why Black Americans Die Younger.” 05 01 2015. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/01/05. 24 02 2016.

Http:www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.html The Pledge of Allegiance.

Stanley, Christopher. The Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Approach. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009

The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishing, 2006.

The New Interpreter’s Study Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003.

 

Dava Beckham

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Suffering Servant — March 19, 2016

The Suffering Servant

Dear Friend,

I wanted to follow up on our conversation the other day concerning the “suffering servant”. Isaiah as you know is a book written around 689 BCE possibly and has three sections. The author is unknown. The section we were speaking on is known as Isaiah the second part of chapter 40-55. It is called “suffering servant” as it refers to the suffering of the Israelites. However, Christians refer to it as the suffering of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The Israelites were disobedient and were punished for their sins.

The passages in Isaiah 40-55 section are mostly considered poetic. They also give life to Jeremiah’s prophecies in terms of Judah and Israel being in exile and God’s judgment upon them both according to (Bandstra, 347). Jeremiah was similar to Dr. Martin L. King in that he did not actually get to live to see his prophecies come forth. This Isaiah attempts to offer the people hope and encouragement to believe that God is still in control.

Now back to your question regarding the suffering servant. There are four poems and they should be read together. The first one is in Isaiah 42:1-6. Let’s take a look at that section. As you can see this section is talking about a servant who will fight for justice. Bandstra shares scholars feel this is thought to be prophet perhaps Jeremiah or the nation Israel (347). The next text is from Isaiah 49:1, 2 and this is referencing Israel and it will be a light to the world. Israel is the servant to God. Israel is to be a nation with character and integrity that worships a Holy, and righteous God. The third poem is in Isaiah 50:4-9. Tell me what you see this time. Do you see a description of what the Israelites have had to endure while in exile? Finally, the fourth scripture is Isaiah 52:13 and 53:12. Let’s talk about this for a moment. Christians link this to the coming of Jesus of Nazareth. It is here we see the reference of “suffering servant”. However, Harper Collins shares the importance of reading the entire text in context. Israel did suffer a great deal and so did Jesus Christ of Nazareth each had a great deal of suffering. This comparison’s speaks directly to atonement and restoration through human suffering which both endured.

As I consider the text which I have read often and considered the suffering of Jesus Christ I am reminded that all of the writers are unknown. It would be great to be able to talk with them to find out exactly who or what they were referencing. I can see how Israel might be considered a suffering servant as indeed they did suffer but so did Jesus of Nazareth. Here are the questions we could ask them. Why did you write these poems? Is this about Jesus of Nazareth or Israel or both? What did you want us to learn? What was the real purpose for these verses, for this book of the bible? Early in our studies in the Old Testament class we discussed a section concerning orientation, disorientation, and finally reorientation. I can sense I am in the reorientation phase.  I know that I am being stretched and growing even in my understanding concerning the disorientation I felt initially. I am asking the Lord to show me what he wants me to see. Praying for the Lord to open my mind and heart so that I can hear what it is he is saying. I do not have all the answers and sense you may have some questions as well.

Suffering continues today in our society. We see the poor and disenfranchised, overlooked often. Many of our communities have many needs from the mentally challenged, to the poorly educated, and to those with little or no food or housing. Suffering has been around forever. This second section in Isaiah wanted to offer people hope. Harper Collins shares the Lord wanted to assure the people of Israel that he is Sovereign. Today, this remains good news. In spite of what we see, God is still our redeemer. Take a look at Isaiah 51 and in spite of all the suffering God promises blessing for the people of Israel who turned to God.

In conclusion, if the prophets speak to their own time, place and specific situations as shared in Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions then perhaps this text was written for Israel this is another one of those questions that we may have to wait to see what the true answer is.

I would also like to share my resources with you so that you may verify your information as well. Harper’s Study Bible, Bandstra, The New Interpreter’s study Bible and Christopher Stanley’s The Hebrew Bible.

I hope you have enjoyed our follow up discussion and look forward to our next session. Please let me know if you have any questions

 

Your Friend,

Dava Beckham

Make 2, week 7

 

 

Bibliography

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

The Harper Collins Study Bible. San Francisco, California: Harper Collins Publishing, 2006.

The New Interpreter’s Study Bible. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003.

Stanley, Christopher. The Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Approach. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009

Reposting as I did not see it on blog post.

The Weeping Prophet — March 12, 2016

The Weeping Prophet

 

Jeremiah is a book that is filled with many questions primarily due to the Deuteronomic theme. Since the people of Jerusalem were God’s called people why did such bad things happen to them? The questions revolved around Judah’s future as well. The main theme revolves around Jeremiah telling the people that displeased with them because of their sinful ways and if they did not turn from their sins they would be destroyed (Christopher, Stanley, 2010). Royal theology is consistently being considered here as well.

Jeremiah comes along to prophecy during the reign of the good King Josiah who tried to set things right by removing the calf images and removing the high places. His message was spoken during a time of destruction and trouble. Babylon invaded Judah three times and finally it was destroyed. Jeremiah comes on the scene at the beginning of the King Josiah’s reign 626 BCE. But the bulk of his time as a prophet was under King Jehoiakim (609-598 B.C.E.), and King Zedekiah (597-586 BCE). Jeremiah’s writing encompasses symbolism, poetry, sermons, confessions, laments, prose and narrative. The author is unknown. Jeremiah was believed to be born to a priestly family.

In considering the question regarding Jeremiah deceiving God Harper Collins shares in Jeremiah 20:7-8 how the word entices is used twice and the first time it is used it is thought to mean to deceive (1034, 2006). The second time it is used it is considered to be more along the lines of rape. While this text is a little out there for me and hard to understand when I consider this is God we are speaking about I understand that Jeremiah feels deserted by God and sort of left out there on a limb. He has been prophesying and his prophecies were sometimes negative, violent and about destruction. Charles Stanley discusses how Jeremiah was a prophet of hope and doom. He felt if the people confessed their sins and turned away from them the people would be forgiven by, God. So, perhaps in Jeremiah’s mind God deceived him. In actuality Jeremiah is vindicated as his prophecies do come to life. This is a reminder to me to trust the Lord and to put my own inner negative voices to rest.

Jeremiah is speaking here in his 6th lament and his complaint revolves around God forcing him to prophecy against his will. His life also reflected the life of Judah. He was to remain single, had no children and ends up arrested and put in prison. He tells God that he will not speak but then in Jeremiah 20:9 he says “it is a burning fire shut up in his bones” (Harper Collins, 1034, 2006). So withholding the truth is impossible for him as he is a true prophet.

His messages sometimes were one’s of gloom and doom. Amos had a similar message and so did Hosea and Isaiah. However, the prophets did not say the exact same things. One key component to each of their messages was to repent and turn from your wicked ways and the people of Judah refused. They each considered their communities and spoke to the people.

Regarding Jeremiah having something to offer a person who feels betrayed by God in reading this text Jeremiah’s prophecy comes true. The ultimate test is learning to trust God despite what it may look like around you. I would say that one can know it is ok to ask question’s of God. But, ultimately learning to trust what the Lords tells you is extremely important. Apparently when Jeremiah was prophesying he was predicting future events for that specific time and place. Today if Jeremiah was on the scene he would not be popular with his message. Most people today expect to hear a positive word from a prophet. Since Jeremiahs message was negative sometimes people would find it a difficult one to hear.

A recent experience that I had reminds me of this situation. It is a situation that I could not understand and still quiver when I think about it. For anyone who has children understand any attack against them are as if you have personally been attacked. I did not then nor do I now understand how this situation was allowed and it is a question I still have for the Lord. But I am still trusting and believing the word of God regarding Romans 8:28 which let me know “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.”

In regards to withholding truth, this is difficult for me to answer as I am not sure how one can question what the truth is? If God is God and all knowing, who am I with my limited capacity to question the Lord? In the big picture I ask my questions but I recognize who I am speaking to and realize my faith and trust rest in the Lord. It is possible that God did not share certain information to Jeremiah and that was a part of his plan. It is also possible that God knew the character and response of Jeremiah and this was a part of his plan.

One of the enduring questions asked about what it means for a text to speak to someone that it is not met for? It could mean the person is possibly interpreting it to mean what they want it to for their situation especially if the history of the text and the background has not been considered.

 

 

Bibliography:

Bandstra, Barry. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.

Harper Collins. The Study Bible. Harper New York, NY: Collins Publishing,2006.

Stanley, Christopher. The Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Approach. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2009