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The Bible
1.“Deeper” meanings
Imagine that you are Christian allegorist intent on uncovering the “deeper” or “spiritual” meaning concealed in the story of Noah’s flood, or in that of the Israelites safely crossing the Red Sea as Moses miraculously parts the waters, or in that of the announcement of Sarah’s unlikely pregnancy. How about the idea that the tree in Eden, like Noah’s ark, is made of wood? As a Christian allegorist, you would assume (as one of the rules of your interpretive matrix) that according to an earlier event in the Hebrew scriptures will likely predict a later event in the New Testament. What future events in the New Testament can you argue are foreshadowed—according to a Christian interpretation—by such episodes in the “Old” Testament? Choose two or three significant moments in Genesis and/or Exodus which, looking below the literal surface of the story, a Christian interpreter would see a clear prototype of something in the New Testament. You should choose either two or three relevant examples to discuss in detail, but be sure not to pick one which has already been discussed in the lecture. (BTW, “prediction” means to “speak ahead,” and “prototype” means “a picture before.”)

  1. Knowledge: Disclosure and Secrecy
    Choose a scene, or scenes, in Genesis or in Luke where some kind of knowledge is represented. For instance, when “his disciples asked him what [a] parable meant,” Jesus answers: “to you, it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others, I speak in parables so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand’” (Luke 8: 9-12). And yet, at other moments, Jesus seems to be preaching publicly to large crowds. According to one scholar writing with the parable in mind, “the history of interpretation may be thought of as a history of exclusions. . .we must ask what it means to be an insider and what it is that keeps outsiders outside.” To take another example from Luke, Jesus says to his disciples, “‘Listen to what I have to tell you. The Son of Man is to be given up to the power of men.’ But they did not understand what he said; its meaning had been hidden from them so that they could not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it’” (Luke 9:43). What is the “hidden” meaning in this passage—that is, what does Jesus know, and they don’t? Why are the disciples “afraid to ask”? Why is it hidden? Is it just that the disciples don’t get it, or does Jesus intend to hide his meaning for some reason? Does Luke reveal it at the end? Is there an example of open or hidden knowledge in Genesis? Write a paper that explores the representation of this (and other) instances of the relationship between dissemination (of the Word) to all, and concealment—the sense that there are private or sacred matters than can only be known to an elect few. Hint: go to a Bible concordance online and search for the word “secret” in the four Gospels.
  2. Women
    Although the Bible (particularly the Hebrew Scriptures) portrays a patriarchal society, where women are most marginalized and subordinate to men, there are occasions where women stand out. The most prominent among such women is Eve, the mother of mankind, Sarah, the mother of the “chosen people” in Genesis, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the New Testament. All three receive the word of God, but each reacts in her own way to the message. Eve, for example, challenges the divine order to eat from the tree of knowledge, for better or worse. Sarah seems to laugh at the idea that she will be able to conceive a child at such an old age (one may ask: does she not trust God?), while Mary shows a complete abandonment to “the call” and a faith in God, like no other. With that in mind, how can we interpret the different responses and actions of these women, and how can we compare them with each other? In other words, can you construct an argument that connects these three women as representing a kind of subplot in a world otherwise dominated by men?

The Odyssey

  1. Women
    Although a casual reading of The Odyssey might suggest that it aims to celebrate the masculine prowess of heroic men such as Odysseus, female characters emerge as prominent figures throughout the story. Build an argument analyzing the representation of women in The Odyssey. Focus your analysis on 2-3 scenes in which the question of gender comes into play. For instance, you might turn your attention to characters such as Penelope, Arete, Calypso, Circe, Eurycleia, Helen, Clytemnestra, Athena, or others.
  2. Bards
    The text of the Odyssey, as we know, is the transcription of an art form that was originally performed as a song or a sequence of songs— as the literal meaning of the Greek word “epos ” suggests. The trace of oral performance remains in the text in the figure of the bard, the singer whose calling is to provide the entertainment, so to speak. But his is actually a much more significant role in the poem. Your assignment is to analyze the importance of such performances and then, in the end, to offer a more general account of the bards’ function in the epic based on your analysis of the various occasions on which they perform. Your primary example for analysis should be the account of the bard’s performance at the court of Alcinous in Book VIII.

Sample Solution

During the frenzy of 1873 agribusiness costs fell quickly and made financial difficulties for once wealthy ranchers. Ranchers started to censure the administration for their money related battles they had been confronting. Since the United States cash approaches were made by Bankers and Industrialists, ranchers contended that they couldn’t have cared less for or know the hardships during this period for the lower common laborers. Autonomous political activity was too frail to even think about making a distinction, so they started to meet in gatherings and examine their complaints. These confederations were called Farmers Alliances and they were sporadically framed all through the North and South, anyway it was predominantly white men, Southern blacks shaped their own partnerships. Development of these various Farmers Alliances turned out to be so quick and well known that making a whole ideological group was built. The Populist party came to fruition from the monetary breakdown of agrarian items driving numerous ranchers to look for help through political activity. These financial issues started after the Civil War in the West and South from the change of ranches into sharecropping and harvest lien frameworks basically. Offer trimming sank millions into interminable neediness. (Foner 651) At first there were Farmers Alliances over the West and South sporadically, numerous Southern ranchers stayed aligned with the Democratic party in dread of parting the white vote and permitting the blacks into power. They didn’t get a lot of cultivated and just won little triumphs inside their networks until the pioneers of every one of these groups met up in 1891 to frame one aggregate ideological group, the Populist Party (or the People’s Party). Talking for the benefit of all average workers, they planned to pull in supporters from workers and change bunches that will be roused to help their reason for improving their financial condition. Populists contended that the explanation their battles started was from high cargo costs, over the top telephone organization rates, and the monetary strategies executed by the national government. (Educator Jackson, US Since 1877, 13/9/2018) Therefore, they upheld for guideline of railways, the national market, and government decisions. In particular, the free coinage of silver, taxes for income just, a graduated personal assessment, and direct appointment of legislators. It is critical to remember that populists were not against present day innovations, they just felt that there ought to be greater government obstruction and guideline. They accepted these things would fortify political and monetary vote based system over the United States. The populist stage, embraced in 1892 at the Omaha show, expressed the entirety of their objectives recently referenced with the expansion of an arrangement of minimal effort open financing to sell yields, and rights for worker’s organizations. They even supported ladies’ suffrage developments in four western states. “The stage set forth a not insignificant rundown of recommendations to reestablish majority rules system and financial chance”. (Foner 653) In 1892 the Populist Party named their first president, James B. Weaver. He conveyed just five Western states and got just 22 appointive school votes, yet they despite everything persevered. The Populists chose three governors and fifteen congress individuals. With the developing discontent in 1893 after the downturn started, expanded clash among workers and capital prompted the Populists bolster expanding, explicitly in rustic zones. “In 1896, Democrats and Populists joined to help William Jennings Bryan for administration.” (Foner 657) Bryan got the selection after he communicated ranchers’ complaints and objectives. Populists were particularly attracted to free silver to build the money available for use which would get more income for ranchers at expanding rural costs. Bryan didn’t win in any case, he lost to the Republican chosen one William McKinley. At last, the objective of Populists was to make a progressively bound together and democratized America that was all the more financially equivalent and controlled.>

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