The Bible as Lit

Mid Term Badges:


Archaeology Badge (not in discussion)
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In my opinion, Moses' stone tablets, or better known as the Ten Commandments given from God on Mount Sinai. While there is obviously a dispute about if the stone tablets were given directly from God, or if they even existed at all. The Ten Commandments are arguably the most important artifact in biblical history, as no single event or bible story tells the reader how to live a holy life better than the Ten Commandments. Most people know not to commit sinful acts, but now with the Ten Commandments, most Jews of the time could live their lives exactly how God intended his chosen people to act. Countless codes of law and guidelines are explained throughout the bible, either by God or his prophets; but no single set of rules has stood the test of time and had such a profound effect on religion as the Ten Commandments. Even though a vast amount of Jews had followed Moses' and trusted his companionship with God, the Ten Commandments gave the skeptics more of a reason to worship God. It also allowed people who were not sure how to live holy lives a basis to live a life holy enough to enter heaven.


Early Christian Culture Badge
  1. (586 BC) Babylonians conquer Jerusalem, destroy Solomon's temple. Jews forced into exile.
  2. (512 BC) Years after the return of some of the Jews exiled, the new Temple is finally completed.
  3. (330 BC) Conquest of Jerusalem by Alexander the Great.
  4. (250 BC) Old Testament is translated into Greek, called the "Septuagint", allowed many to read the O.T. due vast majority of known world speaking Greek.
  5. (63 BC) Roman rule of Israel begins
  6. (3 BC) Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem.
  7. (30 AD) Jesus sentenced to death by Romans.
  8. (60 AD) First Gospel is published, believed to be written by Mark.
  9. (161 AD) Widespread persecution of Christians by Marcus Aurelius.
  10. (313 AD) Edict of Milan issued by Roman Emperor Constantine, Christianity now a legal religion in Rome.
  11. (367 AD) St. Athanasius is the first to list all 27 New Testaments books.
  12. (382 AD) Saint Jerome begins a translation of the Bible into Latin.

Constantine (280 AD- 337 AD
Roman Emperor Constantine I, is in my eyes undoubtedly one of the most significant figures in not only Christian history but the history of the world as we know it. Constantine was born to be a leader, rising up in the Roman military ranks. Even before he was Emperor, Constantine had followed the word of the Lord, as he wrote once to a Persian king, "aided by the divine power of God, i have come to bring peace and prosperity to all the lands. It was of course not uncommon to enlist the help of some divine being before going into battle, but to do so in the name of the Christian God was unheard of for most Romans. Now emperor, Constantine would construct the "Edict of Milan", which gave religious tolerance to all Christians living in the Roman empire. Constantine was far from done in expanding Christianity. He had Constantinople built, which would challenge Rome as the epicenter of the Christian religion. Clearly Jesus Christ is the most important figure in early Christian history, but Constantine the Great is right behind him.


Finals Badges:


Group 7: Judith Badge

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Good Day to you Sir,

I write to you today regarding the story on a woman named "Judith". There has been much deliberation on how Judith will be portrayed in her story, but I have come forth with a representation which fits the narrative perfectly. In this painting, we see our hero, Judith, passing off the head of the evil Assyrian general Holophernes to her servant. This painting truly tells conveys the whole message of the Book of Judith. Holophernes is shown as a ghastly, drunken, brute but no doubt large in stature. Judith, with the strength of God, had just decapitated the Godless warlord. Judith is to be pictured as a stunning woman, enough to seduce any man. Even after secretly killing the general of thousands of menacing soldiers, Judith stays completely composed, as her face should display that of one who knows that God is protecting them. Before she slayed Holophernes, Judith pleaded with God, "O Lord, God of all power, look favourably now on what I am doing to bring glory to Jerusalem, for this is the moment to come to the aide of your heritage and prosper my plan for crushing the enemies who have attacked us." (Judith 14:4) This quote exemplifies her virtuous character, as even as she is about to behead a sinful madman, she begs for forgiveness and approval from her God which she is so very faithful to. Even as her cover could have potentially have blown, she still prayed to her God to give her strength and guidance. Also, this shows how dedicated to her fellow Hebrews Judith is, as she claims she is "crushing the enemies who have attacked us." Using this painting and this quote I would like you to author "The Book of Judith".

Regards,
William Bradbury III


Group 9: (Re)Writings Badge

ATTENTION DECIMUS GALLUS III:


You and members of your legion have been ordered to perform Crucifixion duty, during the Hebrew Passover. At morning time, you are to report to the great and honorable Pontius Pilate's judgement hall and preside over prisoners as they go on trial. A enemy to the Roman Empire going by the name of Jesus of Nazareth is to be captured and tried, a man who many claim to be the "King of Kings". If this traitor continues this act of treason he is to be dealt with accordingly. Be wary, soldier. The prisoners are to be transported a few miles from the site of the trial. Also, riots could potentially break out, as Jesus of Nazareth could have as many supporters as he has enemies. Star sharp Decimus, this is no ordinary crucifixion.


Hemingway's "Today is Friday": 1st soldier

To all Superior Officers,

This is Decimus Gallus III, and I would like to announce my formal resignation from the Roman Army. For six long years I have served the Roman Empire with honor and courage, but after my latest assignment I do not feel I can carry out my duties as a soldier anymore. I have performed hundreds of be-headings, crucifixions, and other forms of execution but one specific case has made me unable to kill any longer. This has made me rethink my stance on life as a whole. I previously considered all my executes as condemned, villainous men who need to be put to death. Cowardly men who beg for mercy to me like a punished child. The prisoner "Jesus", showed less grimacing than I had ever seen a prisoner display. He didn't one beg the soldiers for mercy. It was almost as if he was welcoming this crucifixion. When we raised him up, I have never seen a man show much strength, this one man is making me question all of my beliefs. I have been drinking myself into madness ever since this specific crucifixion, I plead to you all, most honorable, to honor my resignation from the Roman Army. I wish you a good day.

Decimus Gallus III


Group 10: Heresy Badge

Gnosticism: Heresy which is made up of a diverse set of beliefs. It is the teaching based on the idea of gnosis (a Koine Greek word meaning "secret knowledge"), or knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of internal, intuitive means.

Heresy: Opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine,especially of a church or religious system.

My friends, I plead with you five reasons why these texts considered "heretic" should not be destroyed.
Reason #1, most important, we need heretic texts so that we know which ones are holy and non-heretic. They can be used as a guideline for what isn't holy.
Reason #2, no text should ever be destroyed, as even if a text is sac-religious, it can be studied at the progression of our religion.
Reason #3, it would be an extreme disservice to anyone who wrote these heretic texts, as they spent a lot of hard time and effort on these texts, they have a right to have an opinion, even if we disagree.
Reason #4, adding off of the third reason, is the way to deal with differing opinions to destroy them? We must discuss our differences in belief so that we can better understand why someone many have a certain belief on God.
Reason #5, someday these texts could possibly be considered canonized, as church doctrine changes over time and if would not be a good look if you destroyed texts which were eventually recognized as the word of God.