Environmentalism and the Old Testament

Bible Verses Relating to Environmentalism

Online Bible: This site provides a free online Bible that allows you to pick the book and verse you are looking for. It is a reliable online source because the material is the same as a hard copy of a New American Bible Revised Edition. For environmentalism, I would pay close attention to Genesis 1-3, 6-9 and Job 24-25.

The Web of Creation: (It may take a while to completely load, but it should eventually). It is maintained by the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and provides Bible verses and online articles that relate biblical teachings to the way humans should treat the environment. It not only addresses articles that would interest adults, but also provides a link for children. This source also provides introductory information regarding eco-Bibles and other scholarly works. The List of Bible Verses is extremely helpful if you want to find direct substantiation in the Bible to support a given argument about how the environment should be treated and why.

Environmentalism

What is Biodiversity: This page helps distinguish the importance of the environment and how each part of it holds a specific role in the overall picture. This site is run by multiple people who have studied the environment and dedicate their lives to make sure we are educated about how we are affecting the world around us.

Biodiversity: Many people are familiar with PBS and its TV shows. However, it also provides a multitude of sources online for a range of viewers, many of which are presented by well-known researchers and professors. For environmentalism, I recommend this video by a professor from Columbia University, but that does not limit you to the other sources you can find with the search bar.

Environmentalism and the Bible

This Scottish Church: This website provides links to different documents that address religion and the environment. More specifically, a lot of the articles are related to the Bible. I would suggest this article in particular, The Tanakh and the Environment, because it addresses the environment in relation to Jewish Tradition.

The Meaning of Dominion: This article discusses the meaning of the human role in accordance with God’s creation found in Genesis. This site is part of The Bible Odyssey, which is a helpful site where you can find articles on anything that relates to the Bible. Whether it is about the historical accuracy of a story or the evaluation of given characters, it provides a researcher with a number of articles to choose from.

What the Bible Says about the Environment: This article discusses the Genesis story and the role humans have with creation. Similar to the link above, it analyzes what it means to be a steward of God as found in the Bible. This site is ideologically-motivated, but this article is written by a professor and makes use of scholarly material.

Religion and the Environment

Religion and the Environment: As stated above, PBS is a great resource for any topic, including religion and the environment. I suggest looking at this page in particular for information regarding how religion can affect your attitude about the environment.

JRI Blog: Although blogs can be tricky in determining if they are reliable, I found this blog to be particularly helpful because it is based on a professionally established charity geared towards the environment and Christian beliefs. It provides other resources the author recommends for reading further about the topic, which provides you with more resources. Most of the other links are religious, so this could help cover religious issues you may be concerned about for your research.

Green Christian: This is strictly a religious organization geared towards the environment. This link should provide you with other resources under the links tab of their website. It provides a number of other links to Christian organizations that help with the environment (go to the links tabs to find more helpful blogs). For example, this article, Do/Should Christians care, helps reason out why Christians need to get involved and how they can do so.

Environmental Ethics: This webpage provides a number of different articles and research relating to all types of environmental ethics. It is from the University of San Diego, and has a home page that has links for different ethical theories. It organizes everything for the researcher, so it is easy to find exactly what you are looking for from philosophy to acts passed by governments.

The New Atlantis: This is a journal based on technology and society. However, if you research environmentalism and religion, it brings up many different links and journal articles. I found Environmentalism as Religion helpful because it addresses environmentalism and its relationship to different religions.

Religion, Nature, and Environmentalism: This article shows how environmentalism relates to religion. The broader site, The Encyclopedia of Earth provides a range of articles, definitions, pictures, etc. about the environment. It also has links on the side that relate to more specific topics within the range of ecology and a search bar.

Catholicism

If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation is a speech by Pope Benedict XVI that concentrates on the importance of stewardship and selflessness. This is one of the World Day of Peace speeches given by Pope Benedict XVI (also known as the Green Pope) because they are specifically aimed toward the environment.

This list was compiled by: DMC

The Book of Job

Primary Source:

Job, Chapter 1 (NABRE): This is the Book of Job itself. We can rely on this website for an accurate translation (NABRE) and additional information. It is approved by the USCCB (the United States Council of Catholic Bishops), which is “an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States.” This conference plays a role in approving and denying translations for Catholic use.

Summary:

The Book of Job: Father Most has doctorates in both Classical Languages and Theology. He has written more than 230 theological works and is a distinguished theology scholar. Do not be deceived or turned off by the bland look of the article. This article looks at various aspects of the book of Job, especially the main one; suffering. Fr. Most explains what suffering is and clears up confusion on suffering that people had back in the time the book took place. In addition, he looks at a very important question: why is there suffering?

Book of Job – Shmoop is a website that was designed to help students with homework, and grew and expanded to eventually cover the Bible. Shmoop is a well put together website and hires PhDs from prestigious universities to post on their website and work or them. The book of Job on Shmoop talks about how Job is blameless and upright but still suffers because God tests him, and it covers the main plot of the book. This summary is accurate and gives a nice chapter-by-chapter breakdown, and a whole book overview too. Shmoop also analyzes and looks at themes and quotations from the Book of Job and the rest of the Bible.

Reception:

The Reception of Job: This article, like several others on this list, is taken from Bible Odyssey. Bible Odyssey is a website with work from professors and doctors from prestigious universities all over the country. The works on this website can be factual and even opinion based, but they are all reliable because of the Editorial Board who reviews the works and ensures the validity of the web page. This article in particular looks at how this book can be looked at differently. The main way for Choon-Leong Seow is the reception of Job’s wife. He compares how she is usually depicted in the Bible, and shows a new way to look at her, maybe even the way she should be seen universally.

The Reception of Job in Visual Art: This is another article from Bible Odyssey. Brennan Breed mainly answers the question: Why does Job look so different in all the works of art? This article is especially helpful because it can lean towards the question: Well, why does this happen with art about any book of the Bible? Breed shows how Job changes throughout the book and how there are different ways to look at Job, which can lead to a variety of opinions and works of art.

William Blake’s Job: This article talks about William Blake, a poet, theologian and illustrator, and his works of art about the Book of Job. His works of art don’t merely provide illustrations, but include symbolism and capture everything that needs to be known in his art. This article gives us some information about William Blake and why his art is so important and why it must be looked at, especially for the book of Job.

Job’s Last Words

Job’s Last Words: David J. A. Clines covers a very interesting topic about the book of Job here. Did we properly translate what Job last words were (“Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” [42:6]). This seems odd, after all, what could Job despise about himself? Interestingly, this isn’t the only word in that statement that may have been translated incorrectly. So, what exactly did Job say?

Job’s Last Words – Amy Erickson (like the other “Job’s Last Words” article) discusses what Job meant when he said “Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (42:6). This article goes along with some points that were made by Clines, but has more to add to what Job said, such as, did he mean what he said? Erickson steps outside of the box to cover more possibilities of interpretation than Clines does.

Theodicy:

Job: Why do bad things happen to good people? We all ask ourselves this question every day. We think we’re perfect, yet we still don’t suffer. Now, look at Job. If we think we shouldn’t suffer, why does he? This article does a nice job explaining why. Not only does it explain how faith works, but also explains why God wouldn’t do the bare minimum and directly answer Job’s questioning.

Theodicy in the Hebrew Bible: In a world created by one good God, how does evil exist? This article by James Crenshaw discusses theodicy in the Hebrew Bible, which is a big issue for Jews and Christians because they both share the same one God. This article takes a stab at understanding why God does what he does, as well as exploring if we should or shouldn’t hold God accountable for the evil we experience. This article shows why theodicy doesn’t provide a rational explanation for evil.

This list was compiled by: Sean Duthie

Adam and Eve

Primary Sources

Genesis 2-3 (NABRE) : When researching Adam and Eve in the Old Testament, the best place to start is the book of Genesis. This is the text of the story in the New American Bible Revised Edition, a Catholic translation of the Bible with notes and cross-references.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church : The Catechism is a summary of Catholic teaching. This online catechism has a search bar, so one can search Adam and Eve.

Scholarly Sources

Tanakh : The Tanakh is a canon of the Hebrew Bible. This website gives you multiple links of scholarly journals from many scholars great input on the readings of Genesis. Scroll down to “Genesis 2-3” for the most applicable sources.

The Theology of Sexuality in the Beginning: Genesis 1-2 : This article analyzes Genesis 1-2 in light of what it says about sexuality.

What Does Eve Do to Help? : In this article, the author, biblical scholar David Clines, looks at the story with a feminist view and interprets the ways that Eve plays a significant role in shaping humanity.

Genesis 1-3 and the Male/Female Role Relationship : This article analyzes the story from an anti-feminist perspective and discusses the application of the roles of Adam and Eve today.

The Principles of Interpreting Genesis 1 and 2 : The site that is given is actually a pdf file written by Allan A. McRae who was the President of Faith and Theological seminary and at The West Minister Theological Seminary.

For Fun

The Brick Testament : This is an odd but quite entertaining website. The author of the site depicts Adam and Eve through Legos. The author is not religious.

This list was compiled by: Theology Student MW

David and Goliath

Text of David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17 (NABRE): This is the text of the story in the New American Bible Revised Edition, a Catholic translation of the Bible with notes and cross-references.

David and Goliath in the Book of Samuel

The True Height of Goliath: The height of Goliath is a description of how big Goliath really was. This creates an illustration that helps readers to fully grasp the size and strength of Goliath compared to the average size of people. This blog is written by biblical scholar Deane Galbraith.

Not by Spear or Sword: Reflections on David and Goliath in Biblical Theology: This article from pastor David McDonald goes into the context of the story of David and Goliath. He discusses background to the story. This source is very informative and provides perspectives on the biblical story.

Did Saul Know David?: This article explains the question of whether Saul knew David prior to Goliath’s Death. The writer of the book of Samuel portrayed Saul as having ignorance of David after the death of Goliath. The article, written for apologetical purposes, provides explanations about the relationship between Saul and David. It is a good source that gives many examples directly from the Book of Samuel. This source has many citations at the conclusion of the article. It is well written and informative.

Videos and Sites for Kids

The Story of David and Goliath: This is a good resource for teaching children. It provides the most famous Bible quotation from the story of David and Goliath. It gives main points and, most importantly, highlights the themes of the biblical story. This resource comes from a Luthern site. It is not said who wrote the information but the criteria seems solid and, again, answers the questions.

God’s Story: David and Goliath: This video is more for younger viewers to understand that God sent a younger rescuer to free us all. It reminds us that God loves us and uses this video to explain the story of David and Goliath. This source can be catchy for a younger viewer but also has some glitches. Because the video is aimed for a younger crowd, there is less detail and a much broader storyline.

The Story of David and Goliath Animated Cartoon: This is an entertaining comic cartoon movie. This animated movie is very informative. This video is not completely reliable because it is vague in many aspects.

Malcolm Gladwell and David and Goliath

Why Malcolm Gladwell is Wrong about David and Goliath: This is based on the NPR podcast and the book by Malcom Gladwell. There has been much criticism on Malcom Gladwell’s perspective on the story of David and Goliath. This source attempts to prove his account wrong. This source goes into detail about what they think were details missed when categorizing David and Goliath as weak and strong. It kind of provokes the thought of what weak and strong really means. Was the fight as lopsided as they say?

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell–A Review: In this article, there is a review on the ideas that Gladwell had in his writing. It is a very good article to read, regarding interpretations of the strengths and weaknesses of both David and Goliath.

This list is compiled by: KW

The Church Fathers – Reception and Interpretation of the Old Testament:

Church Fathers and their Writings

Author’s note: The Church Fathers wrote and preached about a wide variety of themes, but, certainly, the biblical interpretation is present in all their works representing the core of their contribution to their readers. The following links are a near extensive list of material found on the internet about their writings:

Church Fathers: Churchfathers.org gives answer to the most basic questions about this topic: Who are the Church Fathers? What did they do? Why should we read them? Besides the answer for those questions, this website provides very introductory quotations on the most relevant material produced by the Fathers in all areas they wrote about, such as ethics, morality, salvation, papacy and obviously, scripture. This website is a concise and fundamental introductory material which can be useful for those who have no knowledge of the legacy of the Fathers.

Early Church Fathers: The Christian Classics Ethereal is an online library which contains the most relevant material on the classical Christian writings in its entirety. It is maintained by the Calvin College since 1993 and the texts were translated by different scholars. The Patristic section is divided in three parts: the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers and Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. It is aimed for those who wish a deeper understanding of the patristic legacy, by reading a translation straight from the originals.

Early Church Fathers – Additional Texts: This website is a continuation of the Patristic section of Christian Classics Ethereal Library, but for editorial reasons, it was allocated to a different webpage.

The Fathers of the Church: This website contains some of the Church Fathers writings present on other websites, but what makes it distinct from them is that it includes the consequence of the biblical and theological investigation of the Fathers: The decision of the Ecumenical Councils. It also makes available other compilations made by the Fathers such as treatises, liturgies and constitutions.

Early Christian Writings: This website is developed and updated by Peter Kirby, a prominent researcher in the field of early Christian writing and biblical interpretation. It contains not only the writings from the Fathers, but also a very helpful list of links with additional patristic material such as papers, books and other commentaries written by diverse distinct authors.

Biblical Commentaries

Biblia Clerus: Clerus Bible is a Roman Catholic initiative from the Congregation for the Clergy which aims to make available an online scripture commentary according to the Church’s tradition and Magisterium. Available in Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German and English, this website features the biblical text from the Old and New Testament, plus an explanation from the Church Fathers writings or sermons for the given passage. Furthermore, it includes comments from the Symbol of faith, the Catechism and various encyclicals and exhortations.

Search the Scriptures: This website was created by Eugenia Constantinou, Ph.D. Doctor Eugenia received her Ph.D. degree from Université Laval, Canada and she is now a professor at the University of San Diego in California. She is author of innumerous books and articles, including the translation of a volume in the acclaimed series of the Fathers of the Church published by the Catholic University of America. Her website aims to provide an accessible Bible study for orthodox Christians. It features an MP3 lecture and pdf handouts ranging from subjects such as the biblical canon to the Fathers biography. The core of this website however, is a verse-by-verse analysis of the books of Old Testament paraphrasing the Church Fathers. Since Doctor Eugenia provides a record of her lectures, it is a convenient device for those who are willing to learn about the Church fathers in a practical and modern way.

Patristic Lectionary for the Divine Office: The Patristic Lectionary for the Divine Office is an initiative of the Center for Catholic Studies from the Durham University. This website contains downloadable files containing both the biblical readings for the celebration of the Divine Office in the Roman Catholic tradition, and 1,544 commentaries or homilies made by the fathers for the day. This website claims to help the restoration of the ancient practice of accompanying the scriptural readings with a sermon delivered by “most eminent orthodox and catholic fathers.” It contains some commentaries about the New Testament, but it is also full of Old Testament commentaries.

Saint Athanasius Bible Study: This website is a parish webpage, developed for an average orthodox Christian church parishioner interested in the study of the scripture in a congregational setting. Despite this popular goal, it does not disappoint in the academic quality of the material provided. The downloadable material is prepared my Mark Kern, a distinguished contributor of the best sold orthodox book in America, the Orthodox Study Bible published by Thomas Nelson. Some of the material on this site focuses on the New Testament, but it does not fail to recall the roots in the Old Testament, and to reflect the opinions of the Church Fathers. It is a very useful tool for those who wish to read the scripture in a Bible study format accompanied by a high quality compilation of the Fathers exegesis.

Reflections on Patristic Biblical Thought

A Lamp for Today: A Lamp for Today: “Understanding the Old Testament with Jesus and the Apostles” is a blog which exemplifies the typical patristic Christocentric interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. The author of this blog is Edith M. Humphrey, who received her Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christian Origins from McGill University; she is now a professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. This blog is aimed for Orthodox Christians who attend the Sunday Divine Liturgy. The Eastern Eucharistic Liturgy does not include readings from the Old Testament. In spite of this fact, Edith M. Humphrey skillfully analyses New Testament passages following the Lectionary of the Orthodox Church connecting to it a reflection of the Old Testament passages.

This list was compiled by Kairo Chorne.

Ancient Medicine

Medicine in the Bible:

Healing Bible Verses: This site lists a collection of Bible passages that discuss disease and healing in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Passages from the Old Testament include Proverbs 4:20-22, Exodus 15:26 and 23:25, Psalm 107:19-21 and 30:2, and Isaiah 53:4-5. These passages highlight how healing was attributed to the Lord.

Medicine and the Hebrew Bible: Bible Odyssey highlights passages in the Hebrew Bible that illustrate medical beliefs that were held in ancient Israel. The author describes how the approach to healing in the Old Testament differs from the approach taken today. The site is run by the Society of Biblical Literature, which aims to research the Bible objectively.

Medicine: This site describes ancient Jewish knowledge about various diseases and their treatments, knowledge about anatomy, and the role of the physician. This site is maintained by a Jewish organization, and so presents information strictly relevant to the Hebrew Bible. However, the information is presented objectively and in great detail, which allows the reader to develop a thorough understanding of Old Testament medicine.

Scientific Foreknowledge and Medical Acumen of the Bible: This site describes various aspects of Old Testament medical information, which includes the importance of blood, the cleanliness of water, and the use of quarantine. While this organization has a specific religious attitude that is outlined on the background page of the site, this article provides unbiased information and covers a wide range of medically relevant topics.

Medicine in Ancient Greece:

Greek Medicine: This site presents information on the Greek approach to medicine, and analyzes beliefs that the Greeks held with regard to healing. The author highlights how medicine was seen in both the spiritual and physical domain. This website is maintained by a non-religious organization that aims to present unbiased and objective information.

Medicine and Superstition in Ancient Greece: This video presents a lecture on medicine in ancient Greece by a professor at the University of Wisconsin. The lecturer discusses what can be taken from ancient Greek medicine, and what can only be taken as historical information. This is a long lecture, but it presents the information in a way that is approachable to people who lack a medical background.

Medicine in Ancient Egypt:

Health Hazards and Cures in Ancient Egypt: BBC describes the health hazards faced by the ancient Egyptians, including threats such as parasites, poor nutrition, infection, and injury. It analyzes a variety of sources such as written records and bones. This publication—written in 2011—was written by an expert in the field with advanced education in this particular topic and was published by a reliable and well-known educational organization.

Ancient Egyptian Medicine: This article, written by a team of physicians, describes the roles and ranks of physicians in ancient Egypt, as well as their study of anatomy and focus on the head. The information was written recently, and presents a great deal of detail about the topic at hand, while still being approachable to someone who lacks medical knowledge. Readers will need to sign up for a free account to access this site.

Medical Practices of Multiple Cultures:

Medicine in the Ancient World: This site presents information on medical practices in ancient Greece and other ancient cultures from an archaeological standpoint, using ancient writings and human remains. This organization is unbiased and is not associated with a particular religious background. The information is presented in an educational format with writing that is simple and accompanied by photographs that highlight the text.

Ancient Medicine: This site highlights medicine in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome. It presents a comparison of these cultures in a simplified and readable way. The various beliefs of each culture are defined with respect to diet, surgery, and healing. This site is written by various authors and is a good initial source of information for people who wish to obtain a rudimentary background on ancient cultures.

7 Unusual Ancient Medical Techniques: This site outlines ancient medical practices such as bloodletting, skull boring, mercury use, dung ointment, the use of human remains, pregnancy remedies, and psychiatric illness. It presents a brief description of each, the culture in which they were found, and the reasoning behind the belief. This is also a good source for obtaining a rudimentary background before doing further research.

This list was compiled by: NK