Note: When approaching these reading assignments for this class, it usually helps a lot to have specific questions in mind that you are trying to answer. This will keep you from getting bogged down, and make your studying go more quickly. Like poetry, these books are so “rich” that every chapter (and sometimes a single verse!) might merit hours of study. I certainly don’t mind you spending hours and hours on this class (!), but, if time is limited, focus on getting the information/ideas that will best help you address the potential exam questions.
1. If you were to lead a discussion of Deuteronomy, what are some of the questions you might ask? Why these particular questions?
2. Once again, we have a book that gives a lot of preliminary material before it gets to statutes, to the “rules and regulations.” Why is this preliminary material important to law?
3. What are the basic reasons the book of Deuteronomy gives for keeping the law?
4. What is the significance of a divinely ordained law as opposed to the kinds of laws we have today? Is law man-made or divine? Is justice man-made or divine? (Maybe better: are law and justice discovered or invented?)
5. How do the Ten Commandments in particular differ from other ancient laws?
6. Ought the priesthood be limited the way it is in Deuteronomy? Why, or why not? What would be the problem of not limiting the priesthood? Is the penalty here an appropriate one?
7. What is your reaction to the penalty for apostasy in Deuteronomy 13? Why is any spoil burnt?
8. Why the dietary regulations in Deuteronomy 14? What are the basic principles here?
9. How do the laws in Deuteronomy protect weaker members of society? What laws are particularly effective in this regard?
10. What are the laws regulating bondservants? Why the awl through the ear of a servant who chooses to remain a servant?
11. Why are ceremonial laws mixed with other types of laws?
12. What laws do you find particularly attractive? What laws do
you find difficult?