Religion -- Books of the Old and Essay

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Religion -- Books of the Old and New Testaments

The Bible contains many types of genres, themes, events and characters illustrating the seeds of Christianity in the Old Testament and the Old Testament's fulfillment by Jesus and the young Christian Church of the New Testament. Using the genres of epic and simple narratives, law, prophecy, wisdom, pastoral letters and apocalyptic expression, both Testaments show the struggle of ordinary people trying to understand God and build their relationships with Him. Beginning with the Old Testament, how their understanding of God grew from that of a tribal god to the universal, loving God.

Old Testament


The book of Exodus is written in the basic epic narrative genre. The book and flows from Genesis into the designation of Israelites as God's people and His salvation of His people from earthly powers. The key themes/purposes/personalities/issues of Exodus are: describing signs and wonders, including the Plagues, which Moses used to free his people from earthly powers; God's choice of Moses and the designation of Moses as the mediator of God's word, worship/service of God; and delivery of God's chosen people, the Israelites, out of bondage. The major events in Exodus are: Moses' designation as the mediator of God's word; the signs and wonders, including the plagues, and delivery of the Israelites out of Egypt. The major personalities are Yahweh, Moses, Aaron, the Pharaoh and the Israelites. The major issues are: the designation of the Israelites as God's chosen people; God's presence for his people, the Israelites; the power of God, which is superior to Egypt's earthly power; worship of God; and service to God (Gatiss, 2005; Harbin, 2005, pp. 124-133).


"Deuteronomy" means "second law."
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Its basic genre is Law and it was supposedly written by Moses, himself. Deuteronomy presents the key themes/purposes/personalities/issues of: the transfer of leadership from Moses to the new leader, Joshua; land, inheritance and rest for the people of God, the Israelites; Moses' two addresses, which are essentially farewells, to the Israelites; God completely overcoming and defeating His enemies; God's refusal to compromise with idolatry in any form; the importance of the Israelites' faithfulness to the covenant between God and his people; an extended list of God's blessings for the obedience of the Israelites and curses for disobedience and a host of other acts of which God disapproves; the predicted failure; the death of Moses; the next generations, including the next leader -- Joshua. The major personalities in Deuteronomy are: God, Joshua, the king, the prophet, the Israelites as God's people, and idolaters (Copp, 2012; Harbin, 2005, pp. 6, 16).


The book of Amos is written in the basic genre of prophecy. Amos indicates how the theology of the Israelites is evolving. He makes a significant advance over other Old Testament prophets in that he is the first to talk about a God who is universal rather than just a tribal God. The key themes/purposes/personalities/issues addressed in Amos are: Amos' five visions from God, which reveal God's purposes; God as universal the judge of every nation; God's demands for moral purity and justice instead of mere rituals and sacrifices that the people have come to rely on too heavily in organized religion; denunciation of the wealthy person's hypocrisy in obeying the letter of the Law but oppressing the poor; prophecies against Israel for obeying the letter of the law but being unjust and impure; God's judgment and condemnation of seven other nations in the geographic area; restoration of the…

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Mark is written in the basic genre of a narrative Gospel. Mark is believed to be the first written of the four Gospels despite the fact that it comes second in the order of Gospels. In many ways, is the simplest and most straightforward in its telling of Jesus' life, which has led some scholars to believe that it was written the closest in time to the actual life of Jesus. The key themes/purposes/personalities/issues are: the Messianic Secret, which consists of Jesus' exhortation to his followers to keep his mission as Messiah unrevealed to others; the suffering of the Messiah who reveals his Messianic mission to the people and arouses their anger against him because of his true revelations of his mission; the fact that the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus as Messiah casts its shadow over the entire course of Jesus' adult mission to the people; the Church of the risen Jesus being Israel's genuine successor in God's providence (Browning, 1997; Harbin, 2005, p. 334).


Acts is written in the basic narrative genre and recounts the gospel's spread from its Jewish small beginnings to Rome, which is the very seat of the greatest worldly power of that time. The book's key themes/purposes/personalities/issues are: Luke's testimony and Paul's guidance; the continued and, in some ways, renewed hope for the second coming of Jesus, the Messiah; the growth

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