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Five Books from the Old Testament - Essay Example

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Five books from the Old Testament. Moses The Fifth Book of Moses called Deuteronomy is a book in the genre, law (The Holy Bible, Deuteronomy, 5.1-34). This book comprises of the three sermons given by Moses to the Israelites when they were about to enter the Promised Land and it recollects the past of Israelites, stresses the importance of following the teachings and reveals the power of repentance in the face of wrong doings, so that lost land and favors of God could be won back…
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Five Books from the Old Testament
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Five books from the Old Testament. Moses The Fifth Book of Moses called Deuteronomy is a book in the genre, law (The Holy Bible, Deuteronomy, 5 34). This book comprises of the three sermons given by Moses to the Israelites when they were about to enter the Promised Land and it recollects the past of Israelites, stresses the importance of following the teachings and reveals the power of repentance in the face of wrong doings, so that lost land and favors of God could be won back. It is the occupation of the Canaan that is referred to here. The long journey through the wilderness from Sinai to Kadesh and then to Moab is the backdrop of these sermons. The social and religious codes and laws to be followed are detailed and obedience to these laws is demanded. The consequences of breaking the laws and the benefits of keeping them are described. An important theme of this book is what God has given to his Israelites and what He expected back. The restatement of the Ten Commandments in this book gives it the nature of an ultimatum but still it is reminded that there is always a chance to rectify the wrongs as God’s mercy has no boundaries. Through the declaration of leadership change from Moses to Joshua, this book reiterates the continuity of command by the selected children of God. This is the only book in the whole of Bible that God has commanded to be read just because this book gives out the basic spiritual and social guidelines for a Christian to follow. It is the ultimate agreement with God and his creations. Values like love towards the stranger, are delineated in this book and they hold sway even in the modern times. Ruth The Book of Ruth comes under the narrative genre (The Holy Bible, Ruth, 8.1-4). This books talks about how God protects the faithful and the rightful of his creations. The story of Ruth, a young widow, is narrated and her special qualities including love, loyalty, obedience, and service-mindedness are described as the narrative unfolds. The major themes of this book are, an assurance that the faithful will be saved even though they are caught in helpless and tragic circumstances, a revelation that good values will bring in good tidings, and a reminder that service to the helpless will be reciprocated by God with reward. As the very meaning of the name, Ruth, is ‘mercy’, the whole book is allegorical of the infinite mercy of God to the faithful. The purpose of this book is to remind the readers of the same. When Naomi’s husband and sons died, she is left only with her loyal daughter-in-law, Ruth, who adamantly stays back with her instead of returning to her father’s house. It is the bonding between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law as well as the tiresome journey that they make together in search of food and shelter that weaves the main narrative of the story. They reach the fields of kinsman, Boaz, work there as laborers, and as per the instructions of Naomi, Ruth goes into the barn at night to request the kinsman to marry her and shoulder her responsibility as was the noble custom then. Her request is accepted and thus the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law are blessed with a benevolent protector. By reminding that Boaz paid the complete price required, the reader is reminded that good deeds would be rewarded in a complete manner. Psalms Psalms is a book in the genre, Psalms (The Holy Bible, Psalms, 19. 1-150). In the Psalms, the reader can see themes ranging from creation to victory. Notions of exodus, the supremacy of God, prophesy, pilgrimage, penitence, and malediction are discussed in this book. All the humanly possible emotions have found a place in the content of the Psalms. Pain of being betrayed, relief of the escapade from an enemy, the despair of being guilty, the pleasure of repentance and being forgiven, and many similar happenings in human life appear and reappear in the Psalms. And this is why Psalms are thought to have an ability to directly connect with the readers’ hearts. Psalms consist of five categories of verse, namely, laments that express sorrow and pain, declarative and context-specific praises for God, descriptive general praises for God, didactic psalms that imparts wisdom and knowledge, and songs of trust that tells God can always be trusted. The purpose of Psalms basically is to teach how one has to pray to God in the face of despair and other negative circumstances. Solomon Song of Solomon is a book that comes in the Wisdom Literature genre (The Holy Bible, Solomon, 22. 1-8). This part of the Bible, from a peripheral view is a conversation between a young woman and her lover. There is also an unspecified group also occasionally intervening into this dialogue and contributing to it. The woman is expressing her memories of the good times that she spent with her beloved and also wishing her lover to be back with her. Then the lovers are together and the man is praising her beauty. The verses oscillate between reality and dream as the lovers goes on praising each other and searching for each other. The rich metaphors alluding to nature are used throughout the lines. This song can be viewed as allegorical to many themes- the theme of Adam and Eve loosing and regaining God’s blessings, the theme of humans searching for their ultimate beloved, God. Here, human love and sexuality is equated with nature and the search for God. This song also is reflective of the happiness that God has bestowed upon humans in the form of man-woman love, which is the base of all creations on earth. In this sense, Song of Solomon is a reminder of what joyous blessings God has bestowed upon humans. Amos The Book of Amos is a book that is categorized under the genre The Prophets (The Holy Bible, Amos. 30. 1-9). Amos is considered as a minor prophet and he in this book, is talking about the omnipotence of God, the divinity of his judgment, and various aspects of social justice. This book was written in a period when Israelites were turning away from God by following their own greed and vices. Amos who himself acknowledges that he is a simple herdsman, says that he was called upon by God to tell the Israelites about the impending punishment of God for their wrong doings. The divine judgment is presented as an unstoppable consequence and the supremacy of God above all other things is stressed. In this manner, this book is prophetic as well as somewhat apocalyptic. It is from the angle of ethics that this book examines the acts of Israelites. Amos is presented with many visions by God and in some of those visions, he even convinces God to withhold his plans of punishment to Israelites. The notion of justice is an underlying theme throughout this book. It is reminded that though Israel is a privileged nation, it will not be spared of its crimes. And it is also strongly stated that justice has to be applicable for all nations and for all contexts. Five books from the New Testament. Mark Gospel According to Mark comes under the genre, Gospels (The New English Bible: New Testament, Mark. 2.1-16). This book was the earliest among all other gospels and is considered as the most reliable and truthful account of the life of Jesus Christ just because it was written at the time of Peter, the best disciple of Jesus. It is the life of Jesus after attaining adulthood that is described in this book. Mark has described the success of the acts and sermons of Jesus, as well as the hostilities that he had to face. The command that Jesus had over nature and natural forces are specifically mentioned in many places in this book. The major theme in this book is the immediacy of the end of the world. Another theme that recurs in this book is the ways in which the disciples of Jesus, many times, misunderstands and doubts him. But he has presented this mistrust to suggest that being a disciple, a follower, of the divine message is a very hard choice full of doubt, self-doubt and questioning. It is a tedious process of getting refined and becoming pure in the end. The victory of the divine message and the joy of resurrection is where this book ends its narrative. Luke The Gospel According to Luke is a book in the genre, Gospels (The New English Bible: New Testament, Luke. 3. 1-26). This gospel is different from other gospels in that it has a prologue and also a sequel to it. The purpose of the gospel is explained in the prologue and intimation is given on what is to come next. The purpose is described as having a clearer compilation of the earlier versions of the same narrative. The redemption history can be viewed as a major theme in this book. History in this book is categorized into three phases, one that of laws and prophets, the second one that of Jesus and the final one that spans from the exit of Jesus from earth to his return. The various aspects and methods of salvation are also elaborately discussed in this book. The concern for the poor and destitute, the need for protecting women and children, the transformation of the message of Jesus to a religious form, the prayers for salvation and peace, and many related themes appear in this book. Many virtues that modern humankind are familiar with have their one among the earliest mentions, in this book including tolerance and the value of womanhood. Apostles The Acts of the Apostles is a book that comes under the genre, Narratives (The New English Bible: New Testament, Apostles. 5.1-28). This book is a sequel to the Book of Luke and tells about the beginning of the apostolic ministry. The Acts starts its narrative from where gospels had ended. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus are described. The establishment of the church starting from Jerusalem is narrated and the book moves on to tell how Christians were persecuted. It is Paul and his ministry that dominates with their presence in this book. Saul’s conversion and his arrest is where the book concludes its narrative. How people in far-away lands of Rome are embracing Christianity is described. Certain norms and laws followed by early church have been discussed in this book. By telling the history of the church, The Acts record the spiritual growth in the realm of Christianity from the very beginning. The purpose of the church and how it should function have also been delineated. It also has a motivating role when it tells the story of people from different places and different tides of life converging on the platform of Christianity. Romans The Letter of Paul to The Romans is a book under the genre, Epistles (The New English Bible: New Testament, Romans. 6.1-16). This contains the letter written by Paul to the Roman church. In this book, Paul has expressed his desire to do religious work in Rome. In this letter, Paul has elaborated upon the wrong practices that were followed by humans before the arrival of Jesus Christ. He goes on to tell that both the Jews and Greeks had become sinners. Further he puts forward the idea of faith as a pathway from sin to salvation. With many examples, Paul substantiates his claim and then moves on to say how God showed mercy even to the sinners. Why Christians should undergo baptism is explained in this book and the virtue of a spiritual life as against a life of earthly pleasures is promoted. The expression of sadness in the fall of Jews, who had been the real children of Israel, permeates throughout the book. A detailed explanation of the codes and laws necessary for achieving a better spiritual life for Romans, comprise the concluding part of the book. The book ends with a narration of Paul’s plans to further the Christina religion. Revelation The Book of Revelation is a book that is under the apocalyptic book genre (The New English Bible: New Testament, Revelation. 27. 1-22). This is the last book in the New Testament and talks about the impending apocalypse and how the righteous can spiritually survive that. It is a prophecy about the events that would happen when the world reaches to its end. It is about resurrection, judgment and the dawn of a new era. All these thing are described to happen along with the second coming of God. The prevailing argument has been that the book of revelation is about the end of the world but there is also another approach that says, revelation symbolizes the eternal fight between good and evil. The broader perspective offered by Book of Revelation is with respect to the way in which things begin and end, the way in which God plans to establish his kingdom on earth. The theme and purpose of revelation is so general and vast that it can relate to the spiritual journey of a single individual as well as to that of whole humanity. Works Cited The Holy Bible. Ed. Cambridge: The British And Foreign Bible Society, 1611. Print. The New English Bible: New Testament. Trans. Joint Committee. Oxford: The British And Foreign Bible Society, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, 1961.Print. Read More
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