Friday, January 27, 2006

Joseph and his brothers

On Feb. 8 we'll begin the last story of the first book of the Bible, the Joseph story (Gen. 37-50).

We'll continue our reading on Feb. 22. A few questions to consider as we go through the story:
  • In terms of the major kinds of figures we find in the Bible, what is Joseph? Is he a patriarch? a prophet? or something else?
  • What is the nature of dreams in this story, and how do they differ from earlier dreams narrated in Genesis?
  • Although we won't have time to examine it in detail, the story of Judah and Tamar (chapter 38) offers numerous points of relevance and contrast to the tales of Jacob and of Joseph. What are your observations?
  • Consider the plot structure of Joseph: the anticipatory dreams, the heinous act, the covering up of that act, the discovery of Joseph to his brothers, the denouement. In some ways, the plot structure can be suggestively compared with that of Greek tragedy as outlined by Aristotle in his Poetics. We may wish to note some of these similarities and differences with reference to Oedipus the King.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Artifacts of the Bible

A comprehensive exhibition on the history of the Bible, known as Ink & Blood: Sacred Treasures of the Bible, is on display at Florida International Museum (FIM) from January 13th to May 14.

The artifacts include authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments, ancient Biblical manuscripts and 5,000-year-old pictographic clay tablets from ancient Mesopotamia.

Directions to the new home of FIM, 244 Second Avenue North, St. Petersburg.