My religious background began in the Church of God in Christ also known as C.O.G.I.C. whereas the Old Testament was the primary teachings that shaped my life’s values and forms.

Upon publicly stating that I believed in Jesus Christ and that He died for my sins, I was baptized and thereafter considered “saved and sanctified.” The basis of my knowledge the New Testament derived mainly on the importance of my belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; he died for our sins and is our risen Savior. As such the Old Testament was the letter of the law, and if I did not live up to its teachings I was a sinner and God would punish me.

Therefore my lens of the world was black and white, if one did not follow it verbatim then God would surely deal with them, thus it became fire and brimstone to me. For example, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was commonly preached to illustrate the punishment that would happen if you was disobedient and committed sin. At this point, I must pause to address the common teaching in today’s society regarding the story of Sodom and Gomorrah primarily used to validate the “sin” of homosexuality. In fact, I cannot recall ever being taught from that stance; it was briefly mentioned that men slept with men or same sex relationships.

However, as stated above, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was used to point out the Lord used fire to destroy the city for committing a vast number of sins. Moreover, the Bible was strict, an open and shut case—either good or bad. Either you were going to heaven and live with God, or hell with the devil, constantly burning. In this narrow-minded perception of the world, I viewed anyone who lived differently as a sinner.

If a woman dressed in a way as to expose any flesh she was considered, as being a “loose” woman and was not saved. Also the Bible was the only source of reading, with the exception of schoolbooks, and you should carry it everywhere because it was your sword and protected you from the world. Because of this belief I grew up afraid, trying desperately to live exactly as the Old Testament instructed so that I had the assurance that God would be pleased and therefore I would go to heaven when I died.

My adult years are the time period at which I learned that the Old Testament was also known as the Hebrew Bible. With this knowledge I came to understand scripture and thus derive at my own interpretation. Therein I got a more in-depth view learned the Hebrew Bible is the history of God’s history and his creation of the world. How he interacted with all people (Jews and Christians), even though his son Jesus would be a Jew.

The Hebrew Bible also tells that the Jewish country was the beginning of the inhabitants and how God selected Israel to be his chosen people. It was then that I discovered God was, in fact, a forgiving God. There is written numerous accounts whereas God’s chosen people strayed, committed sin and disobeyed his Word; after repentance; they was forgiven. Furthermore The Hebrew Bible also tells of the prophecies of the birth of Jesus Christ that would be fulfilled in the New Testament.

The prophet Micah foretells the story of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem (5:1-2). In the New Testatment, the Gospel according to Matthew tells the story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlelem (2:1-6); thus fulfilling Micah’s earlier prophecy. However, I came to further understand the Hebrew Bible because it gave me another viewpoint that prompted the birth of Jesus that in my opinion was connected to societal ills. Which is evident in the historical account of Israelites social structure is the fact that it depicted inequalities of racism, classism and sexism.

Here is a few examples of how the Israelites used their interpretation of scripture to defend their belief-system: 1) instruction to only marry amongst themselves to eliminate the possibility of having mixed children to ensure purity (racism);

2) Rome was notorious for their hierarchical and patriarchal cultural, in addition to their influence on government and religion to ensure they remained at the top (classism); 3) ancient Israel held the notion that women were subservient to men, they had no voice and was treated as property (sexism).

My misguided religious upbringings along with societal ills are two examples of how scripture can be taken out of context. This type of teaching reaffirms my goal of delving deeper into the Hebrew Bible and its interpretation of that time period anticipating that it will help me form a sound doctrine for myself.

I believe that you must know your past, which helps you understand your present, and these discoveries guide your future. Although these stories could have affected my view of the Hebrew Bible and Christianity, quite possibly turning me against religion altogether.

I knew the Word of God was sacred then as it is now. God is sovereign and just; His Word is a guidebook on how I am to live my life’s purpose, to lead others to follow in His ways. As a result of this reflection, my goal is to delve further in the Hebrew Bible and its interpretation during that time period anticipating that this course will heighten my knowledge and awareness in order to convey and apply it to this time period.

While simultaneously providing me with a basic theological framework to build a solid foundation in the ministry that God and seminary will equip me with the tools that I will need to build upon His kingdom by giving a voice to the present same as God’s chosen gave to the past which the basis once I have more thorough expecting so that once that is accomplished I can take my findings and apply it to to help someone else in order to apply it to the present world.

By close examination of the As a result of this reflection I expect to gain a more thoroughly theological ace high This brings me to my expectations is to lead others to him. Yet the way I am able to carry-out with the sole purpose of Omniscient

given me the could have hindered my further study of the Bible, there, let I believe that you must know your past, which helps you understand your present, and in turn guides your future.

For that reason, I will use this principle as the foundation for my ministry; and it is my prayer that the knowledge to use what I gain to assist others. However, it also brought me an awareness of the importance of seeking knowledge and wisdom for myself. U However I know that the study of Jewish thought and practice during that time is as critical now as it was then. ,

The stories, ideas and philosophies of the sacred texts, encompassing millennia of Jewish study and thought, are evident in much of Israel's modern culture, which draws on the legacies of the past even as it gives voice to the issues and concerns of the present.

. By close examination of the Hebrew Bible my goal is to delve deeper into the written text and its interpretation of that time period expecting so that once that is accomplished I can take my findings and apply it to to help someone else in order to apply it to the present world. need to closely examine the Hebrew Bible expecting that it will help me form a sound doctrine for myself

All of us come to the study of the Hebrew Bible Old Testament with a range of expectations about its significance, and with varying range degrees of familiarity with its actual content. As readers of the Bible, we have been shaped by different contexts and we intend to address different contexts. Keeping these facts in mind, reflect upon and discuss your own prior relationship to the Hebrew Bible Old Testament and your presupposition (belief) about it coming into this class.

Things to consider might include: ·The influence of your religious, social, cultural, and personal background on your beliefs about the Hebrew Bible; ·Your actual familiarity with the details of the text of the Hebrew Bible as opposed to opinions you have received from others); your views about the significance of the Hebrew Bible for contemporary theological and ethical reflections, and why you hold those views,

·And your expectations about what you hope to achieve though a close examination of the Hebrew Bible, including your expectations about its possible significance for your future ministry. Note that there is no single “correct” answer for this particular paper. You will be evaluated primarily on the thoughtfulness with which you consider the issues involved in your relationship to the Hebrew Bible, and the overall quality of the paper. What I thought when I came into class, and why do I think its useful.

How to properly apply the message of the Bible to our lives today.