Prospectus: Moses the Chosen One

As we all have read and should have figured out by now (if you didn’t already know), Moses is a central character in the Old Testament, and a main character in the Torah/ early books of the Bible.  He is essentially God’s ‘Chosen One’, God’s specific messenger and mediator, selected to carry out God’s tasks.  My research paper will focus on Moses, his behaviors, his interactions with God and other people, and attempt to answer the question of why he was God’s ‘Chosen One’.

Any character in the Old Testament could have been selected by God to be His messenger, not just Moses.  The question of “Why Moses?” has been asked for many years, and I will bring this question to the forefront and try to answer it.  It has been presented multiple times that Moses was not the best public speaker, that he was uncomfortable talking to others, and that he could have had a speech impediment.  This just adds “fuel to the fire” to the question of why God chose Moses as His select one.

Moses’ interactions with God and other people are very numerous, so Biblical sources are prevalent.  From the Egyptian plagues involving God and Pharaoh, to the 10 Commandments, to the burning bush, to the Golden Calf scenario, and the massive task of the Tabernacle, there are plenty of Biblical texts applicable to this essay.  I have not yet fully decided which of these verses and scenes I am going to incorporate into my essay, but I know where they are all located in the Old Testament.

As far as outside sources go, there are numerous scholars who have studied this topic.  One specific document I found relates Moses receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai to the relevancy of the Torah and its applicability as time goes on.  I think this would qualify as a good source, and I could also incorporate the Biblical text of Moses on Mount Sinai to support it as well.

Freud’s Moses and Monotheism could also be used as a source.  Interactions with other people, including Pharaoh, and Moses’ speech problems are all discussed in this book.  I do not think it would be very difficult to choose a short passage or two from this work and incorporate it into my research project.

Other questions that could potentially be answered in the essay are: In what different ways is Moses used by God? Why did God and God’s people need Moses? What would have happened if Moses had not have done what he did? What if God had chosen someone else?

Obviously this topic can get very deep and opinionated, but I plan on presenting the sources as they are and remaining neutral, trying to avoid doctrinal arguments and not cross religious and denominational borders.  Any input on how to do this would be appreciated.  Also, input on other potential sources and which specific events to focus on between interactions with Moses and God and other people, as well as Moses’ actions would help me out.  Thanks in advance.

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About jtb31

Jordan is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky studying biology with a pre-pharmacy track. He hopes to attend pharmacy school and to eventually become a pharmacist. Outside of school, he spends his time playing or watching sports.
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2 Responses to Prospectus: Moses the Chosen One

  1. Jordan, good thoughts here! As hard as it is, I really encourage you to move from the extremely broad statements like, “I’m going to ask why Moses is God’s chosen one” to an interpretative claim about why you think Moses is God’s chosen one. Or, a claim about how you see the text depicting the relationship between God and Moses.

    Another idea I have is to write specifically about how you see Moses and Monotheism and being useful to your analysis. Which part of it will you cite? And what will you say about it? Ditto for other sources. One idea that has always fascinated me is the idea of charisma, which Max Weber and other writers on religion has written about.

    Finally, you should identify a specific section of the Torah as a starting place.

  2. Pam says:

    I considered writing about Moses too. I’ll be interested to see the conclusions you draw. You indicate that you would like to know how to remain objective, I’m going to argue that maybe you shouldn’t. Allow your research to guide your intuition to form an opinion as to why you think Moses got the lead role? Did God really choose Moses, or was Moses a narcissist and incredibly successful at manipulating people? I’m not at all saying that is what I think, it’s just an example of how secular an opinion can be. I’m glad you’re going to rely on Freud. I don’t know that his account is completely correct, but it certainly broadens the discussion and could be part of the answer.

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