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The Torah

Let there be Shmoop.

What are the two things you're never supposed to talk about in polite company? Politics and religion. And the first five books of the Bible have them both—in spades.

So yeah, the Torah can be a touchy subject. Nothing can derail a nice evening out with friends quicker than someone dropping some accusatory verses from Leviticus, areweright?

Shmoop knows that everyone out there has different takes on these books—and guess what? That's okay. Whether or not you think God once wiped out all of humanity in a flood, you're cool by us.

See, we'll be studying the Bible as literature. That means our Bible curriculum won't be trying to figure out if Eve really gave Adam that fruit. We'll be analyzing these books like you would a short story, novel, or poem. That means you will

  • think about Genesis as the beginning of all literary beginnings, including an activity that compares it to Dickens and Austen. 
  • complete close-reading activities to compare the different creation stories.
  • examine the use of symbolism in the Torah.
  • discuss and debate how biblical laws impacted the lives of the ancient Israelites and how they still influence us today.
  • write literary essays about the Bible the way you would about any other work of literature.

And it will be good.

Course Breakdown

    Unit 1. The Big Five

    Get ready to tackle Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy in one fell swoop. (NB: 1 fell swoop is equivalent to 15 lessons.)

  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, College
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • Humanities
    • Literature

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