Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament. It is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history; the primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History tells of God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of the Exodus; the narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind to a special relationship with one people alone.
In Judaism, the theological importance of Genesis centers on the covenants linking God to his chosen people and the people to the Promised Land. Christianity has interpreted Genesis as the prefiguration of certain cardinal Christian beliefs the need for salvation and the redemptive act of Christ on the Cross as the fulfillment of covenant promises as the Son of God. Tradition credits Moses as the author of Genesis, as well as the books of Exodus, Leviticus and most of Deuteronomy, but modern scholars see them as a product of the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Genesis appears to be structured around the recurring phrase elleh toledot, meaning "these are the generations," with the first use of the phrase referring to the "generations of heaven and earth" and the remainder marking individuals—Noah, the "sons of Noah", etc. down to Jacob. It is not clear, what this meant to the original authors, most modern commentators divide it into two parts based on subject matter, a "primeval history" and a "patriarchal history".
While the first is far shorter than the second, it sets out the basic themes and provides an interpretive key for understanding the entire book. The "primeval history" has a symmetrical structure hinging on chapters 6–9, the flood story, with the events before the flood mirrored by the events after. God consecrates the seventh as a day of rest. God creates the first humans Adam and Eve and all the animals in the Garden of Eden but instructs them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A talking serpent portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster, entices Eve into eating it anyway, she entices Adam, whereupon God throws them out and curses them—Adam to getting what he needs only by sweat and work, Eve to giving birth in pain; this is interpreted by Christians as the fall of humanity. Eve bears two sons and Abel. Cain kills Abel but not Cain's. God curses Cain. Eve bears Seth, to take Abel's place. After many generations of Adam have passed from the lines of Cain and Seth, the world becomes corrupted by human sin and Nephilim, God determines to wipe out humanity.
First, he instructs the righteous Noah and his family to build an ark and put examples of all the animals on it, seven pairs of every clean animal and one pair of every unclean. God sends a great flood to wipe out the rest of the world; when the waters recede, God promises he will never destroy the world with water again, using the rainbow as a symbol of his promise. God sees mankind cooperating to build a great tower city, the Tower of Babel, divides humanity with many languages and sets them apart with confusion. God instructs Abram to travel from his home in Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan. There, God makes a covenant with Abram, promising that his descendants shall be as numerous as the stars, but that people will suffer oppression in a foreign land for four hundred years, after which they will inherit the land "from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates". Abram's name is changed to Abraham and that of his wife Sarai to Sarah, circumcision of all males is instituted as the sign of the covenant.
Due to her old age, Sarah tells Abraham to take Hagar, as a second wife. Through Hagar, Abraham fathers Ishmael. God resolves to destroy the cities of Gomorrah for the sins of their people. Abraham gets God to agree not to destroy the cities for the sake of ten righteous men. Angels save Abraham's nephew Lot and his family, but his wife looks back on the destruction against their command and turns into a pillar of salt. Lot's daughters, concerned that they are fugitives who will never find husbands, get him drunk to become pregnant by him, give birth to the ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites. Abraham and Sarah go to the Philistine town of Gerar, pretending to be sister; the King of Gerar takes Sarah for his wife, but God warns him to return her, a
Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. Calvinists broke from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Calvinists differ from Lutherans on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, theories of worship, the use of God's law for believers, among other things; as declared in the Westminster and Second Helvetic confessions, the core doctrines are predestination and election. The term Calvinism can be misleading, because the religious tradition which it denotes has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. In the context of the Reformation, Huldrych Zwingli began the Reformed tradition in 1519 in the city of Zürich, his followers were labeled Zwinglians, consistent with the Catholic practice of naming heresy after its founder. Soon, Zwingli was joined by Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, William Farel, Johannes Oecolampadius and other early Reformed thinkers.
The namesake of the movement, French reformer John Calvin, converted to the Reformed tradition from Roman Catholicism only in the late 1520s or early 1530s as it was being developed. The movement was first called referring to John Calvin, by Lutherans who opposed it. Many within the tradition find it either an indescriptive or an inappropriate term and would prefer the word Reformed to be used instead; some Calvinists prefer the term Augustinian-Calvinism since Calvin credited his theology to Augustine of Hippo. The most important Reformed theologians include John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, William Farel, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, John Knox. In the twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, Karl Barth, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, R. C. Sproul were influential. Contemporary Reformed theologians include J. I. Packer, John MacArthur, Timothy J. Keller, David Wells, Michael Horton. Reformed churches may exercise several forms of ecclesiastical polity.
Calvinism is represented by Continental Reformed and Congregationalist traditions. The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 100 million members in 211 member denominations around the world. There are more conservative Reformed federations such as the World Reformed Fellowship and the International Conference of Reformed Churches, as well as independent churches. Calvinism is named after John Calvin, it was first used by a Lutheran theologian in 1552. It was a common practice of the Catholic Church to name; the term first came out of Lutheran circles. Calvin denounced the designation himself: They could attach us no greater insult than this word, Calvinism, it is not hard to guess. Despite its negative connotation, this designation became popular in order to distinguish Calvinists from Lutherans and from newer Protestant branches that emerged later; the vast majority of churches that trace their history back to Calvin do not use it themselves, since the designation "Reformed" is more accepted and preferred in the English-speaking world.
Moreover, these churches claim to be—in accordance with John Calvin's own words—"renewed accordingly with the true order of gospel". Since the Arminian controversy, the Reformed tradition—as a branch of Protestantism distinguished from Lutheranism—divided into two separate groups: Arminians and Calvinists. However, it is now rare to call Arminians a part of the Reformed tradition. While the Reformed theological tradition addresses all of the traditional topics of Christian theology, the word Calvinism is sometimes used to refer to particular Calvinist views on soteriology and predestination, which are summarized in part by the Five Points of Calvinism; some have argued that Calvinism as a whole stresses the sovereignty or rule of God in all things including salvation. First-generation Reformed theologians include Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, John Oecolampadius, Guillaume Farel; these reformers came from diverse academic backgrounds, but distinctions within Reformed theology can be detected in their thought the priority of scripture as a source of authority.
Scripture was viewed as a unified whole, which led to a covenantal theology of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper as visible signs of the covenant of grace. Another Reformed distinctive present in these theologians was their denial of the bodily presence of Christ in the Lord's supper; each of these theologians understood salvation to be by grace alone, affirmed a doctrine of particular election. Martin Luther and his successor Philipp Melanchthon were undoubtedly significant influences on these theologians, to a larger extent Reformed theologians; the doctrine of justification by faith alone was a direct inheritance from Luther. John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger, Wolfgang Musculus, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Andreas Hyperius belong to the second generation of Reformed theologians. Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion was one of the most influential theologies of the era. Toward the middle of the 16th
Female education is a catch-all term of a complex set of issues and debates surrounding education for girls and women. It includes areas of gender equality and access to education, its connection to the alleviation of poverty. Involved are the issues of single-sex education and religious education, in that the division of education along gender lines as well as religious teachings on education have been traditionally dominant and are still relevant in contemporary discussions of educating females as a global consideration. In the field of female education in STEM, it has been shown that girls’ and women under-representation in science, technology and mathematics education is deep rooted. While the feminist movement promoted the importance of the issues attached to female education, the discussion is wide-ranging and by no means narrowly defined, it may include, for AIDS education. Universal education, meaning state-provided primary and secondary education independent of gender is not yet a global norm if it is assumed in most developed countries.
In some Western countries, women have surpassed men at many levels of education. For example, in the United States in 2005/2006, women earned 62% of associate degrees, 58% of bachelor's degrees, 60% of master's degrees, 50% of doctorates. Education for disabled women has improved. In 2011, Giusi Spagnolo became the first woman with Down Syndrome to graduate college in Europe. Improving girls' educational levels has been demonstrated to have clear impacts on the health and economic future of young women, which in turn improves the prospects of their entire community; the infant mortality rate of babies whose mothers have received primary education is half that of children whose mothers are illiterate. In the poorest countries of the world, 50% of girls do not attend secondary school. Yet, research shows that every extra year of school for girls increases their lifetime income by 15%. Improving female education, thus the earning potential of women, improves the standard of living for their own children, as women invest more of their income in their families than men do.
Yet, many barriers to education for girls remain. In some African countries, such as Burkina Faso, girls are unlikely to attend school for such basic reasons as a lack of private latrine facilities for girls. Higher attendance rates of high schools and university education among women in developing countries, have helped them make inroads to professional careers with better-paying salaries and wages. Education increases a woman's level of health awareness. Furthering women's levels of education and advanced training tends to lead to ages of initiation of sexual activity and first intercourse age at first marriage, age at first childbirth, as well as an increased likelihood to remain single, have no children, or have no formal marriage and alternatively, have increasing levels of long-term partnerships, it can lead to higher rates of barrier and chemical contraceptive use, can increase the level of resources available to women who divorce or are in a situation of domestic violence. It has been shown, in addition, to increase women's communication with their partners and their employers, to improve rates of civic participation such as voting or the holding of office.
In Pakistan, a negative relationship was found between the formal level of education a woman attains and the likelihood of violence against that woman. The researcher used a sampling method where participants are referred. Ethical and privacy issues made this the most convenient method. An informant played a major role in gathering information, cross-checked; the sample of victims of violence was made up of married women from ages 18–60 both from rural and urban communities. The study described different forms of physical violence that are present and provided an idea of what women go through across communities. Education in this study was stressed to be a necessity in eliminating violence. A discussion of political and social barriers is needed; the relationship is a lot more complicated than it seems, women can be illiterate but still become empowered. Immigrant Latina Women were part of a qualitative study of 8 to 10 participant groups, at a time, completed an 11-week program centered on self-esteem, domestic violence awareness and healthy relationships.
Immigrant Latina Women are a affected group by domestic violence. Though this program took place outside of a traditional classroom, critical thinking and emotional well-being were stressed, areas that should be acquired while in school. Lastly, though many of the women were illiterate they were still able to come away with a stronger sense of control over their own lives, an important life skill; the Empress Alexandra Russian Muslim School for Girls of Baku was the first secular school for Muslim girls in the world, it was established in Baku, Azerbaijan by Z. Tagiyev, national industrial magnate and philanthropist. Despite what might seem to have been a project worthy of much praise, Zeynalabdin Taghiyev had great difficulty in gaining permission to open the school, he met with vigorous resistance.
As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred throughout history in all forms of art because it can illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners. Writers or speakers use allegories as literary devices or as rhetorical devices that convey hidden or complex meanings through symbolic figures, imagery, or events, which together create the moral, spiritual, or political meaning the author wishes to convey. First attested in English in 1382, the word allegory comes from Latin allegoria, the latinisation of the Greek ἀλληγορία, "veiled language, figurative", which in turn comes from both ἄλλος, "another, different" and ἀγορεύω, "to harangue, to speak in the assembly", which originates from ἀγορά, "assembly". Northrop Frye discussed what he termed a "continuum of allegory", a spectrum that ranges from what he termed the "naive allegory" of The Faerie Queene, to the more private allegories of modern paradox literature.
In this perspective, the characters in a "naive" allegory are not three-dimensional, for each aspect of their individual personalities and the events that befall them embodies some moral quality or other abstraction. The origins of Allegory can be traced at least back to Homer in his "quasi-allegorical" use of personifications of, e.g. Terror and Fear at Il. 115 f. The title of "first allegorist," however, is awarded to whoever was the earliest to put forth allegorical interpretations of Homer; this approach leads to two possible answers: Theagenes of Rhegium or Pherecydes of Syros, both of whom are presumed to be active in the 6th century B. C. E. Though Pherecydes is earlier and as he is presumed to be the first writer of prose; the debate is complex, since it demands we observe the distinction between two conflated uses of the Greek verb "allēgoreīn," which can mean both "to speak allegorically" and "to interpret allegorically." In the case of "interpreting allegorically," Theagenes appears to be our earliest example.
In response to proto-philosophical moral critiques of Homer, Theagenes proposed symbolic interpretations whereby the Gods of the Iliad stood for physical elements. So, Hephestus represents Fire, for instance; some scholars, argue that Pherecydes cosmogonic writings anticipated Theagenes allegorical work, illustrated by his early placement of Time in his genealogy of the gods, thought to be a reinterpretation of the titan Kronos, from more traditional genealogies. In classical literature two of the best-known allegories are the Cave in Plato's Republic and the story of the stomach and its members in the speech of Menenius Agrippa. Among the best-known examples of allegory, Plato's Allegory of the Cave, forms a part of his larger work The Republic. In this allegory, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall; the people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows, using language to identify their world.
According to the allegory, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality, until one of them finds his way into the outside world where he sees the actual objects that produced the shadows. He tries to tell the people in the cave of his discovery, but they do not believe him and vehemently resist his efforts to free them so they can see for themselves; this allegory is, on a basic level, about a philosopher who upon finding greater knowledge outside the cave of human understanding, seeks to share it as is his duty, the foolishness of those who would ignore him because they think themselves educated enough. In Late Antiquity Martianus Capella organized all the information a fifth-century upper-class male needed to know into an allegory of the wedding of Mercury and Philologia, with the seven liberal arts the young man needed to know as guests. Other early allegories are found in the Hebrew Bible, such as the extended metaphor in Psalm 80 of the Vine and its impressive spread and growth, representing Israel's conquest and peopling of the Promised Land.
Allegorical is Ezekiel 16 and 17, wherein the capture of that same vine by the mighty Eagle represents Israel's exile to Babylon. Allegorical interpretation of the Bible continues. For example, the re-discovered IVth Commentary on the Gospels by Fortunatianus of Aquileia has a comment by its English translator: The principal characteristic of Fortunatianus’ exegesis is a figurative approach, relying on a set of concepts associated with key terms in order to create an allegorical decoding of the text. Allegory has an ability to freeze the temporality of a story, while infusing it with a spiritual context. Mediaeval thinking accepted allegory as having a reality underlying any rhetorical or fictional uses; the allegory was as true as the facts of surface appearances. Thus, the Papal Bull Unam Sanctam presents themes of the unity of Christendom with the pope as its head in which the allegorical details of the metaphors are adduced as facts on, based a demonstration with the vocabulary of logic: "There
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text a religious text. Traditionally the term was used for work with the Bible. Exegesis includes a wide range of critical disciplines: textual criticism is the investigation into the history and origins of the text, but exegesis may include the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the author and original audience. Other analyses include classification of the type of literary genres presented in the text and analysis of grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself; the terms exegesis and hermeneutics have been used interchangeably. One who practices exegesis is called an exegete; the plural of exegesis is exegeses. Adjectives are exegetical. In biblical exegesis, the opposite of exegesis is eisegesis, in the sense of an eisegetic commentator "importing" or "drawing in" his or her own purely subjective interpretations into the text, unsupported by the text itself. Eisegesis is used as a derogatory term; the earliest examples, one of the largest corpora of text commentaries from the ancient world, come from Mesopotamia in the first millennium BCE.
Known from over 860 manuscripts, the majority of which date to the period 700–100 BCE, most of these commentaries explore numerous types of texts, including literary works, medical treatises, magical texts, ancient dictionaries, law collections. Most of them, comment on divination treatises, in particular treatises that predict the future from the appearance and movement of celestial bodies on the one hand, from the appearance of a sacrificed sheep’s liver on the other; as with the majority of the thousands of texts from the ancient Near East that have survived to the present day, Mesopotamian text commentaries are written on clay tablets in cuneiform script. Text commentaries are written in the East Semitic language of Akkadian, but due to the influence of lexical lists written in Sumerian language on cuneiform scholarship, they contain Sumerian words or phrases as well. Cuneiform commentaries are important because they provide information about Mesopotamian languages and culture that are not available elsewhere in the cuneiform record.
To give but one example, the pronunciation of the cryptically written name of Gilgamesh, the hero of the Epic of Gilgamesh, was discovered in a cuneiform commentary on a medical text. However, the significance of cuneiform commentaries extends beyond the light they shed on specific details of Mesopotamian civilization, they open a window onto what the concerns of the Mesopotamian literate elite were when they read some of the most studied texts in the Mesopotamian intellectual tradition, a perspective, important for “seeing things their way.” Cuneiform commentaries are the earliest examples of textual interpretation. It has been argued that they influenced rabbinical exegesis. See Akkadian Commentaries and Early Hebrew Exegesis The publication and interpretation of these texts began in the mid-nineteenth century, with the discovery of the royal Assyrian libraries at Nineveh, from which ca. 454 text commentaries have been recovered. The study of cuneiform commentaries is, far from complete, it is the subject of on-going research by the small, international community of scholars who specialize in the field of Assyriology.
A common published form of biblical exegesis is known as a Bible commentary and takes the form of a set of books, each of, devoted to the exposition of one or two books of the Bible. Long books or those that contain much material either for theological or historical-critical speculation, such as Genesis or Psalms, may be split over two or three volumes. Some, such as the Four Gospels, may be multiple- or single-volume, while short books such as the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel and Jeremiah, or the pastoral or Johannine epistles are condensed into one volume; the form of each book may be identical or allow for variations in methodology between the many authors who collaborate to write a full commentary. Each book's commentary consists of a background and introductory section, followed by detailed commentary of the book pericope-by-pericope or verse-by-verse. Before the 20th century, a commentary would be written by a sole author, but today a publishing board will commission a team of scholars to write a commentary, with each volume being divided out among them.
A single commentary will attempt to give a coherent and unified view on the Bible as a whole, for example, from a Catholic or Reformed perspective, or a commentary that focuses on textual criticism or historical criticism from a secular point of view. However, each volume will lean toward the personal emphasis of its author, within any commentaries there may be great variety in the depth and critical or theological strength of each volume; the main Christian exegetical methods are historical-grammatical, historical criticism and rational. The historical-grammatical method is a Christian hermeneutical method that strives to discover the Biblical author's original intended meaning in the text, it is the primary method of interpretation for many conservative Protestant exegetes who reject the historical-critical method to
Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. Along with grammar and logic, it is one of the three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the capacities of writers or speakers needed to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. Aristotle defines rhetoric as "the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion" and since mastery of the art was necessary for victory in a case at law or for passage of proposals in the assembly or for fame as a speaker in civic ceremonies, calls it "a combination of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics". Rhetoric provides heuristics for understanding and developing arguments for particular situations, such as Aristotle's three persuasive audience appeals: logos and ethos; the five canons of rhetoric or phases of developing a persuasive speech were first codified in classical Rome: invention, style and delivery. From Ancient Greece to the late 19th century, rhetoric played a central role in Western education in training orators, counsellors, historians and poets.
Scholars have debated the scope of rhetoric since ancient times. Although some have limited rhetoric to the specific realm of political discourse, many modern scholars liberate it to encompass every aspect of culture. Contemporary studies of rhetoric address a much more diverse range of domains than was the case in ancient times. While classical rhetoric trained speakers to be effective persuaders in public forums and institutions such as courtrooms and assemblies, contemporary rhetoric investigates human discourse writ large. Rhetoricians have studied the discourses of a wide variety of domains, including the natural and social sciences, fine art, journalism, digital media, history and architecture, along with the more traditional domains of politics and the law; because the ancient Greeks valued public political participation, rhetoric emerged as a crucial tool to influence politics. Rhetoric remains associated with its political origins; however the original instructors of Western speech—the Sophists—disputed this limited view of rhetoric.
According to the Sophists, such as Gorgias, a successful rhetorician could speak convincingly on any topic, regardless of his experience in that field. This method suggested. In his Encomium to Helen, Gorgias applied rhetoric to fiction by seeking for his own pleasure to prove the blamelessness of the mythical Helen of Troy in starting the Trojan War. Looking to another key rhetorical theorist, Plato defined the scope of rhetoric according to his negative opinions of the art, he criticized the Sophists for using rhetoric as a means of deceit instead of discovering truth. In "Gorgias", one of his Socratic Dialogues, Plato defines rhetoric as the persuasion of ignorant masses within the courts and assemblies. Rhetoric, in Plato's opinion, is a form of flattery and functions to cookery, which masks the undesirability of unhealthy food by making it taste good. Thus, Plato considered any speech of lengthy prose aimed at flattery as within the scope of rhetoric. Aristotle both redeemed rhetoric from his teacher and narrowed its focus by defining three genres of rhetoric—deliberative, forensic or judicial, epideictic.
Yet as he provided order to existing rhetorical theories, Aristotle extended the definition of rhetoric, calling it the ability to identify the appropriate means of persuasion in a given situation, thereby making rhetoric applicable to all fields, not just politics. When one considers that rhetoric included torture, it is clear that rhetoric cannot be viewed only in academic terms. However, the enthymeme based upon logic was viewed as the basis of rhetoric. However, since the time of Aristotle, logic has changed. For example, Modal logic has undergone a major development that modifies rhetoric. Yet, Aristotle outlined generic constraints that focused the rhetorical art squarely within the domain of public political practice, he restricted rhetoric to the domain of the contingent or probable: those matters that admit multiple legitimate opinions or arguments. The contemporary neo-Aristotelian and neo-Sophistic positions on rhetoric mirror the division between the Sophists and Aristotle. Neo-Aristotelians study rhetoric as political discourse, while the neo-Sophistic view contends that rhetoric cannot be so limited.
Rhetorical scholar Michael Leff characterizes the conflict between these positions as viewing rhetoric as a "thing contained" versus a "container". The neo-Aristotelian view threatens the study of rhetoric by restraining it to such a limited field, ignoring many critical applications of rhetorical theory and practice; the neo-Sophists threaten to expand rhetoric beyond a point of coherent theoretical value. Over the past century, people studying rhetoric have tended to enlarge its object domain beyond speech texts. Kenneth Burke asserted humans use rhetoric to resolve conflicts by identifying shared characteristics and interests in symbols. By nature, humans engage in identification, either to identify themselves or another individual with a group; this definition of rhetoric as identification broadened the scope from strategic and overt political persuasion to the more implicit tactics of identification found in an immense range of sources. Among the many scholars who have since pursued Burke's line of thought, James Boyd White sees rhetoric as a broader domain of social experience in his notion of constitutive rhet
An acrostic is a poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word, message or the alphabet. The word comes from the French acrostiche from post-classical Latin acrostichis, from Koine Greek ἀκροστιχίς, from Ancient Greek ἄκρος "highest, topmost" and στίχος "verse"; as a form of constrained writing, an acrostic can be used as a mnemonic device to aid memory retrieval. Simple acrostics may spell out the letters of the alphabet in order; these acrostics occur in the first four of the five chapters that make up the Book of Lamentations, in the praise of the good wife in Proverbs 31, 10-31, in Psalms 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145 of the Hebrew Bible. Notable among the acrostic Psalms is the long Psalm 119, printed in subsections named after the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each section consisting of 8 verses, each of which begins with the same letter of the alphabet and the entire psalm consisting of 22 x 8 = 176 verses; some acrostic psalms are technically imperfect. E.g. Psalm 9 and Psalm 10 appear to constitute a single acrostic psalm together, but the length assigned to each letter is unequal and five of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are not represented and the sequence of two letters is reversed.
In Psalm 25 one Hebrew letter is not represented, the following letter repeated. In Psalm 34 the current final verse, 23, does fit verse 22 in content, but adds an additional line to the poem. In Psalms 37 and 111 the numbering of verses and the division into lines are interfering with each other. Psalm 111 and 112 have 10 verses. Psalm 145 does not represent the letter Nun, having 21 one verses, but one Qumran manuscript of this Psalm does have that missing line, which agrees with the Septuagint. Acrostics are common in medieval literature, where they serve to highlight the name of the poet or his patron, or to make a prayer to a saint, they are most frequent in verse works but can appear in prose. The Middle High German poet Rudolf von Ems for example opens all his great works with an acrostic of his name, his world chronicle marks the beginning of each age with an acrostic of the key figure. In chronicles, acrostics are rare in other languages; the ease of detectability of an acrostic can depend on the intention of its creator.
In some cases an author may desire an acrostic to have a better chance of being perceived by an observant reader, such as the acrostic contained in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. However, acrostics may be used as a form of steganography, where the author seeks to conceal the message rather than proclaim it; this might be achieved by making the key letters uniform in appearance with the surrounding text, or by aligning the words in such a way that the relationship between the key letters is less obvious. This is referred to as null ciphers in steganography, using the first letter of each word to form a hidden message in an otherwise innocuous text. Using letters to hide a message, as in acrostic ciphers, was popular during the Renaissance, could employ various methods of enciphering, such as selecting other letters than initials based on a repeating pattern, or concealing the message by starting at the end of the text and working backwards. A famous acrostic was made in Greek for the acclamation JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, SAVIOUR.
The initials spell ΙΧΘΥΣ, which means fish: Ιησούς I esous Jesus Χριστός CH ristos Christ Θεού TH eou of God Υἱός Y ios son Σωτήρ S oter saviour There is an acrostic secreted in the Dutch national anthem Het Wilhelmus: the first letters of its fifteen stanzas spell WILLEM VAN NASSOV. This was one of the hereditary titles of William of Orange, who introduces himself in the poem to the Dutch people; this title returned in the 2010 speech from the throne, during the Dutch State Opening of Parliament, whose first 15 lines formed WILLEM VAN NASSOV. Vladimir Nabokov's short story "The Vane Sisters" is famous for its acrostic final paragraph, which contains a message from beyond the grave. An acrostic poem written in English by Edgar Allan Poe is entitled "An Acrostic": In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, the final chapter "A Boat, Beneath A Sunny Sky" is an acrostic of the real Alice's name: Alice Pleasance Liddell. In January 2010, Jonathan I. Schwartz, the CEO of Sun Microsystems, sent an email to Sun employees on the completion of the acquisition of Sun by Oracle Corporation.
The initial letters of the first seven paragraphs spelled "Beat IBM". James May, presenter on the BBC program Top Gear, was fired from the publication Autocar for spelling out a message using the large red initial at the beginning of each review in the publication's Road Test Yearbook Issue for 1992. Properly punctuated, the message reads: "So you think it's good? Yeah, you should try making the bloody thing up. It's a real pain in the arse."In the 2012 third novel of his Caged Flower series, author Cullman Wallace used acrostics as a plot device. The parents of a protagonist send e-mails where the first letters of the lines reveal their situation in a concealed message. In 2013 a school headmaster resigned after announcing the retirement of a teacher in a statement which began "We all now know every great