Thursday, January 15, 2015

Monotheism: Abraham's Journey; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Yesterday we started class by reading a passage from Genesis - from the Christian and Jewish Holy books.  According to Jews and Christians, God and Abraham made a covenant, or agreement/promise.

You can read what we read HERE.  They answered a few questions from the reading.

After they were done, we had a little refresher on the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt.  Abraham left Mesopotamia, and by the end of the passage we read yesterday, ended up in Egypt.

We reviewed the polytheism of these ancient civilizations, and then I read a section from the Qur'an.  In book 6, God shows the errors of polytheism.  Abraham tries to explain this to the people of Mesopotamia, but they will not listen.  (In fact, later in the Qur'an Abraham's father threatens to stone him if he doesn't accept the Mesopotamian gods.)

You can read the section of the Qur'an HERE.  (We actually read 72-81.)

The point of yesterday's lesson was that all three major monotheistic religions trace their roots back to Abraham.  An interesting thing to consider: the lives of more than 3 billion people today are directly influenced by that man.  (2 billion Christians, and 1 billion Muslims.)  That doesn't even take into account the number of non-religious people whose lives are influenced by him because of the countries in which they live.  Governments are set up that use the Qur'an or Bible or Torah to help inform how their countries are run.

Side note: In a couple classes, we discussed social media: many of my students have Facebook or Instagram.  We all agreed that it's fun when people "like" the stuff we post.  I happen to love being able to experience winter.  Driving in to work yesterday, the trees looked AMAZING, so I snapped a picture.

Social media connects us to other people.  It allows us to influence others.  It's crazy to think about how much influence Abraham has had on the world.  How many people would follow him on Facebook or Twitter...

We finished out yesterday by beginning a map of Abraham's journey.  Instead of giving it as an assignment, we're completing it as a class.

We haven't finished it yet.  I plan on wrapping it up tomorrow.  I'll post a picture when it's finished.

Today we've moved on from Judaism and Christianity to Islam.  We watched the Islam video - the last video we'll watch for quite some time.

If you want extra credit today, you need to write two names on a piece of scrap paper, then have the adult you read it with sign the paper.  All three major monotheistic religions trace their roots back to one man, who is it?  Who is the founder of Islam?  Those are the names you need.  ...Well... you should also make sure your name is on it...

...Man... I didn't even get to tell how I time-traveled with a couple classes...  Was it your class?

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