Doctoral Qualifying Exams: Part 6 – Hebrew Bible Questions

Day 3 Religious Studies Qualifying Exam Instructions: Answer these questions in 4 hours.  It is against the rules to consult any sources beyond your own brain.

Question Set 1

  • Describe the nature and history of ancient Israelite religion.
  • What was the earliest ancient Israelite conception of God?
  • How did that conception change and transform over time?
  • What do we know about the earliest forms of worship patterns?
  • How does such knowledge inform our understanding of ancient Israelite religion?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses with the Hebrew Bible as a source of knowledge on the early ancient Israelite religion?
  • How was ancient Israelite religion like or unlike the religion of their Canaanite neighbors?
  • What implications does that have for interpreting the Bible?

Question Set 2

  • Explain the origin, development, and implications of Jewish messianism.
  • Make sure to define the key passages from the Hebrew Bible, how those passages were defined and interpreted over the centuries and how scholars currently interpret them.
  • How did ancient Israelite history impact the development of Jewish messianism, focusing specifically on ancient Israelite interactions with foreign cultures, kingdoms, invaders, and empires?
  • What Jewish writings best represent the development of Jewish messianism during the 2nd temple period?  Why?
  • What role did apocalypticism and the genre of apocalyptic writing have on the development of Jewish messianism?

Question Set 3

  • What role did the Book of Deuteronomy play in the development of ancient Israelite faith and religion?
  • Where does the Book of Deuteronomy come from?
  • How was the Book of Deuteronomy composed?
  • How does this book fit into ancient Israelite history both being influenced and influencing ancient Israelite history?

About Taylor Halverson

I love learning. I love connecting. I love interdisciplinarity.
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