This unit introduces students to the history and literature of the Old Testament. A wide range of OT texts will be read to situate and examine biblical themes such as creation, flood, law, covenant, temple, worship, exodus, kingship, prophecy, exile, ethics, and the divine-human interaction. Students will also examine issues of genre, source, canonization and translation in order to critically assess and interpret the Old Testament.
Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:
- Describe the broad historical, cultural, religious, and theological world of Old Testament texts including an awareness of key figures and dates
- Situate a particular text within the history, literature, and theology of the Old Testament
- Demonstrate an awareness of critical skills and tools for exegesis, including relevant reference tools and resources
- Research, write and reference an exegetical essay using primary and secondary resources
- Identify different interpretations of biblical texts and the assumptions and strategies involved
- Construct an argument for interpretation based on a close analysis of the text using the critical skills required and in conversation with other interpretations.
*recommended for purchase
*NRSV Study Bible
Alter, R. The Art of Biblical Narrative, Philadelphia: Basic Books, 1981/2011.
Barton, J. Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study, Louisville: Westminster, 1996.
Boadt, L. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction, 2nd ed. Nashville: Abingdon, 2005.
Bright, J. A History of Israel, London: SCM Press, 1962.
Campbell, A. The Study Companion to Old Testament Literature: An Approach to the Writings of Pre-Exilic and Exilic Israel, Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1989.
Carr, D. The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
*Collins, J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014.