Late Semester Exam Study Guide

This post is just a friendly reminder that we’ll be having our “Late Semester Exam” this coming Friday, April 22.  You may be dissatisfied that we’re having such a substantial exam—a comprehensive exam that’s worth 20 percent of your class grade—during what is inevitably a hectic time of the semester.  For this sad scenario you can thank in part the University Senate and the Academic Ombud (feel free to write them and complain about the dead week policy changes they’ve sanctioned, because I’m pretty sure they don’t improve your educational experience).

Fortunately, I have provided a study guide for the final exam. As always, be familiar with the significance of all of these terms, and know the distinctive traits of all the books in the OT we’ve read thus far. The potential essay questions may have a striking resemblance to some of the questions that will appear on the exam. Feel free to post questions to the blog, and I’ll answer them (to the benefit of you and your colleagues).  Note:  the content of this exam, although comprehensive, will skew toward what we’ve covered in the last half of the course.

Terms to Know
wisdom literature
cynical wisdom
synonymous parallelism
synthetic parallelism
antithetical parallelism
OT prophetic voice
messenger formula
J, E, P, D, R, and H
Documentary Hypothesis
the Bible’s “theological triangle”
penitentiary Psalm
Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar
Servant Songs
history, ideology, theology, revisionism
trickster figures
Deuteronomistic History
messenger formula
classical vs. non-classical prophets
First Isaiah
Second Isaiah
Third Isaiah
Hapax legomena
prophetic superscription
prophetic initiation
anxiety of influence
Priestly Blessing
Julius Wellhausen
Imago Dei
Jacob Cycle
Obstacle story
Historical Critical method
The OT as being “fraught with background”
Lot Complex
Blood sacrifice in Leviticus
Deuteronomy as a “pious forgery”

Potential Essay Questions

1. One of the interpretative mistakes people make when reading the Old Testament is to assume that biblical prophets existed to “foretell the future,” much like modern psychics or soothsayers. In an essay response, refute this erroneous understanding of biblical prophecy. Be sure to define the following question: what is the biblical prophetic voice and message? Focus on a specific OT prophet to demonstrate your definition.

2. Since its canonization, most readers of the Song of Songs have been scandalized by its erotic dialogues between two lovers. In an essay response, attempt to provide a convincing answer to the following question: “Why is the Song of Songs in the Bible?” Be sure to reference examples from the text.

Now available!!!! MS Word format:  Late semester exam study guide


About Andrew Battista

Andrew Battista is Librarian for Geospatial Information Systems at New York University
This entry was posted in Exam Study Guides and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Late Semester Exam Study Guide

  1. Pam says:

    Can you please make the study guide into a Word document? I’d like to work with it to create a review, but I can’t cut and paste this text without getting all the sidebar links involved. Thanks! Pam

  2. Ben Ward says:

    Pam, I am not sure how to upload an attachment through a comment like this, but I was able to upload a Word Document with all of these terms and questions included to the Media Library section of our Blog. If you go to your Dashboard (as if to make a new post), and then click on the “Media” tab on the left side of the page… it is available for download there. I hope this helps. If not, let me know and I’ll just attach it to a brand new post, or maybe Andrew can edit this original post with the file included.

  3. Ashley Lee says:

    Koholeth? Is that talking about the book of Ecclesiasties? I dont remember this from class, I may have been absent, and when I look it up online… I find “KohEleth” as the book of Ecclesiasties, and “KohOleth” is nothing specific; it turns up a bunch of random results

  4. bethanyschuler says:

    Koheleth is basically the author of Ecclesiastes

  5. lmwa223 says:

    I am having some difficulty finding sufficient definitions/explanations of the following terms:

    Classical vs. non-classical prophets
    Prophetic initiation
    Obstacle story

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    • For the distinctions between classical and nonclassical prophets, see Brettler’s chapter on the prophets. There’s a convenient chart!

      We talked somewhat about the concept of prophetic initiation in class, but maybe not as much as we should have. Think of all the sequences of prophets being called by God: Isaiah says, “woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips.” Moses says, “I have a speech impediment.” We didn’t read this, but Jeremiah says, “I am only a boy, too young.” What we see here is a pattern of the prophet as an unwilling figure who delivers a message to a (perhaps) unwilling and unreceptive audience. From the perspective of interpretation, what do we make of this?

      On obstacle stories, see Brettler on the Joseph cycle.

  6. cmweid2 says:

    I can’t find a definition to accurately describe cynical wisdom…help?

  7. cmweid2 says:

    I’m struggling with a few answers to our study guide.
    I need help with the following:
    OT prophetic voice
    cynical wisdom
    history, ideology, theology, revisionism
    trickster figures
    The OT as being “fraught with background”

    Any assistance, please?

    • I’m a little confused. For all of these are you having problems understanding what they are, or are you having problems being able to talk about them in the context of the literature that we’ve been reading?

  8. cmweid2 says:

    trouble understanding what they are and/or a definition for them. Make sense?

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