Final review2

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What did you learn or gain as a result of taking this class?

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Review for Final Exam

Ancient Religions of Iraq and Iran

Gilgamesh is the king of Uruk who sought immortality for his friend Enkidu.
Inanna/Ishtar is the goddess of love, fertility, and war. Shamash is the
Mesopotamian agricultural goddess who descended into the underworld of Hades.
Marduk is the hero of the Babylonian myth the Enuma Elish because he defeated
the gods who threatened to destroy the gods of Babylon.
       A ziggurat symbolized a meeting place for gods and humans. Hammurabi
offered peoples justice based on a code received from Shamash.
       Zarathustra's first vision or revelation was of Ahura Mazda. In
Zoroastrianism, spiritual truth as a virtue is asha.
       Abraham from Ur, Sumeria was the ancestor to the Arab and Jewish people
and is important to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


The Tanakh is the sacred book of the Jews. It was written over a fifteen hundred
year period beginning with the book of Job which was written about the time of
Abraham or about 2,000 B.C. and ending with the last book, the book of Ezra-
Nehimiah around 500 B.C. The book of Tanakh is made up of Torah—Law,
Nevi'im—Prophets, and Kethuvim—Writings. Torah or the Law of Moses make
up the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
       Torah or the Law was given to Moses after he led the nation of Israel out of
Egypt. Jews believe that Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel are important Prophets.
Psalms, Proverbs, and Job were part of the Kethuvim or Writings. An official
collection of scriptures is called a “canon”.

      The Hebrew Scriptures present God as the only God. Jews are monotheists.
The Shema is “Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.” The God of
the Bible is the all-powerful creator of a good world. The Tanakh teaches that all
people are created in the image of God. In Judaism, the problem for humans is
      After the Jews returned to the land of Israel they rebuilt the Temple in
Jerusalem and also built smaller places of worship called “synagogue” where
people could worship God locally. From this time until the destruction of the
Temple in A.D. 70 people could worship in both places. After the Temple was
destroyed, Jews focused more on Torah.

       Kashruth are food laws of Jews. According to the Kashruth, milk cannot be
eaten with meat. These rules determine which foods can be called kosher.
Koshering of meat is preparing it to remove all blood. The Tanakh forbids Jews
from eating blood. Most information regarding kashruth is found in the Hebrew
Bible in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Jews observing
kashruth may eat only meat that God called “clean”. Pork and the meat of some
other animals are considered “unclean”. Meat and dairy products must be strictly
separated; they may not be eaten at the same meal or from the same set of dishes.
No restrictions apply to the use of fruits and vegetables. During Passover, bread
and other baked goods must be made without leaven/yeast. Kosher meat is meat
that has been prepared to remove all blood.
       The Orthodox Jews are the dominant group in Israel. Reformed Jews ordain
women as rabbis. A rabbi is a Jewish teacher who today usually goes to seminary
and is ordained.
       A child born to Jewish parents is a Jew. When a Jewish person died his
family washes the body and the body is placed in a simple coffin.
       Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement. God is holy and separate
from sin. Therefore, he commands that those who want to follow him should be
like him. In the Tanakh God says, “You shall be holy because I am holy.”
       Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish holiday when Jews celebrate the rededication
of the temple after Judas Maccabeus defeated the Seleucids under king Antiochus
IV. Passover is the Jewish celebration of their deliverance from Egypt.


Jesus was born in Bethlehem and was crucified in Jerusalem. Jesus taught much
about the Kingdom of God. The Apostle John wrote that Jesus is the Word of God
become flesh.

       In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he gave commands that seemed to contrast
with the teaching of Moses. The Bible describes Jesus as the Son of God. When
Jesus asked his disciples who the people believed he was, Simon Peter said, “You
are the Christ (Messiah).”
       When Jesus admitted that he was God’s Messiah the high priest, Caiaphas,
said that Jesus had spoken “blasphemy.”
       When Jesus’ disciples went to anoint Jesus’ dead body they found the tomb
empty and then Jesus appeared to some of them. This is called “the resurrection of
       One of Jesus most famous parables is the parable of the Prodigal Son.
       In Jesus’ day baptism was a Jewish ritual.
       The most important day of the Christian calendar is Easter.
       Prior to his vision and subsequent conversion the Apostle Paul persecuted
Christians by participating in their execution and imprisonment. Paul’s Hebrew
name was Saul. His Greek name was Paul.
       According to the Bible people can be forgiven of sin only by the grace of
God through faith in Jesus alone.
       The Bible teaches that all Christians should try to persuade unbelievers to
believe in Jesus.
       The Christian doctrine of one God in three persons is known as the trinity.
       Sharing bread and cup is part of the sacrament of Holy Communion.
       In Episcopal organization, authority flows from top to bottom.


A Muslim is a person who submits to God. Islam was started by the Arab
Muhammad. Muhammad was born in Mecca in the year 570 C.E. He was a
member of the Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe. He is buried in the city of
Medina in northwest Saudi Arabia. The city of Medina and Mohammed's tomb are
very holy to Moslems. The Muslim calendar begins In the year of the Hijrah.
This was the journey (hijrah) of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in A.D. 622 to
escape persecution and start a community of his followers. Muhammad's role in
Medina became that of prophet and leader of the community.
       Muhammad’s first wife was Khadijah. Husayn ibn Ali was born to
Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah and her husband Ali ibn Talib. Husayn is
important to Islam because he was Muhammad’s grandson and also a Shiah Imam.
Husayn ibn Ali was killed when he fought against rival Arab leaders and tried to
establish an Islamic state. Today he is honored as a martyr.

       The anniversary of Husayn ibn Ali’s death is called “Ashura”. Ashura is a
very solemn day of mourning for all Muslims but especially for Shi’ites. Shi'ites
believe that they are partisans of the family of Muhammad.
       The Qur'an is collection of teachings and traditions comprises the law of
Islam. An important aspect of Islam is the Five Pillars of Islam. In Islam, male
infants are usually circumcised. Muslims trace their ancestry through Ishmael to
       Before Muhammad gave the Quran, some Arabs believed in the God of the
Bible. Some had converted to Judaism and some had become Christians. Most
only believed in other gods and spirits. In Mecca at the Ka’bah —a cube
structure—Arabs kept hundreds of idols that represented their gods. According to
Muslim tradition, the Ka'bahin Mecca was built by Abraham and Ishmael. The
Hajj is a pilgrimage to the city of Mecca.

        Moslems believe that angels are made of light and always obey Allah
because they do not have free will. But God created another form of spirit beings
called jinn. God created jinn from fire and they have a free will and can rebel
against God. Satan who is called Iblis is not an angel but one of the jinn. God told
the jinn to serve Adam but the jinn named Iblis. Iblis refused. Iblis said that he
was superior to Adam because he was made from fire and Adam was only made of
clay. Because of his rebellion God expelled Iblis (Satan) out of paradise. Today
Iblis tries to trick people into disobeying God.
        Muslims believe that judgments lead to heaven or hell. Most Moslems
believe that Jesus and Muhammad were prophets, but they believe that Muhammad
was God’s greatest prophet.
        In Islam, the Shari'a or Law is a term that literally means the “path to the
water source”. This is a collection of rules or laws that govern the everyday public
and private lives of Muslims. The Shari'a is built upon the teachings of the Quran
and includes teachings from the Sunna and the ijma. Ijma is the consensus of
Muslim religious leaders of matters of everyday, practical life. Shari'a guides
Moslems in daily living, politics, banking, and many other social issues. Muslims
are prohibited from making money by usury. The Quran states that women can
inherit property. Sadaqa is what Muslims call informal charity amongst
        In addition to the Quran and Shari'a, Moslems also have the Hadiths.
Hadiths are reports of what Muhammad said or did.
        The complete cycle of Islamic prayer ritual is called “Rak'a”. Salat is the
prescribed prayer in Islam.

       The largest group of Moslems is the Sunni. Sunni Muslims approve the
historical order of the first four caliphs as the rightful line of succession to
Mohammed. The Sunna is Muslim law which Sunni Moslems believe are based
on the teachings and customs of Mohammed. These laws are a supplement to the
Quran and observed by orthodox Muslims.
       Sometime in the early sixth century, the Quraysh took control of the
sanctuary in Mecca and by the turn of the seventh century had established
themselves as prosperous merchants. Clan rivalries, however, caused a split within
the tribe, a split which made itself felt during the lifetime of Muhammad and
afterwards. Most significantly, the Abd Shams clan, which had initially rejected
Muhammad's prophetic mission, gained pre-eminence through the Umayyad
dynasty; their rivals, the Hashim clan to which Muhammad belonged, were
represented by the Shi`ites and the Abbasids. According to Sunni political theory,
the caliph must be from the Quraysh tribe.
Shi’ites are fewer in number than Sunnites. Shiites consider Ali, Mohammed's
son-in-law and the fourth of the caliphs, as the first Imam and the rightful
successor of Mohammed, and do not accept the Sunna as authoritative. Sufis are
Moslems who try to commune with God through mysticism.
       A Mahdi is a Muslim messianic leader such a leader and prophet. He is the
expected one. Muslims expect that the Mahdi will appear on earth before the
world ends. Al-Ghazali was a mystic who opposed formal education.
       A successor to Muhammad is a Caliph. A Caliph is a supreme ruler over
Moslesms. Caliph is the title used by Mohammed's successors.
Contrary to common Western belief, Muslim women can be very active on the
political scene, organizing events, rallies, mourning sessions, and debates.

Essay – You will choose ONLY FOUR of these topics to write one essay each.
They will count five points each (for a total of twenty points).

1. Rituals and symbols in Judaism.
Jewish feasts
articles in the Temple

2. The Absolute in Judaism.
Characteristics of God

3. The Bible in Judaism. Tanach

4. The most important ethical requirements of Judaism.

5. Basis of authority for Christians. – the Bible, words of Jesus
6. The Problem and Solution for Humans in Christianity.

7. Formations of Scriptures and Doctrines in Christianity.

8. The Absolute in Islam and in Christianity.
9. The five pillars of Islam.
10. The life and teachings of The Prophet Muhammad.
11. Major divisions in Islam.

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