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Although many ancient peoples created national literatures of self-glorification, the Israelites were perhaps unique in adding a large measure of self-castigation to theirs. The Hebrew Bible thus has something of a Tale of Two Cities stance toward the “chosen people” as both “the best” and “the worst” of peoples. This lecture will survey these themes in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as well as the ways they manifest themselves in the New Testament.
GIVEN: FEBRUARY 2010