Spring 2014/Menlo Park
OT500: WRITING AS INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT (4 Units). Brad Kelle.
DESCRIPTION: This course offers an inductive introduction to the Old Testament through the lens of its latest canonical portion, the Writings. Close attention will be given to the Psalms, the Wisdom literature (Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes), the Festival books (Ruth, Song of Songs, Lamentations, and Esther), and the historical books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah and discussions will center on the content, interpretive issues, and theological perspectives of these books. From these varied works, examples of literary, historical, and theological connections will be traced to the rest of the canon, “the Law and the Prophets.”
LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students who successfully complete the course will have shown that they (1) have grasped the outline of Israel’s history as portrayed in Old and New Testaments and in light of modern study; (2) understand the nature and process of the Old Testament’s composition, especially as illustrated by the books in the Writings; (3) understand the nature of worship, prayer, and wisdom as illustrated by the Writings and its relationship with ancient Near Eastern equivalents; (4) know how to interpret Old Testament narrative, as illustrated by the Writings; (5) have looked at aspects of the Writings from angles other than those of the male, white, Western world; (6) have reflected on the significance of the Writings for Christian theology, mission, and discipleship; (7) understand the theological perspectives of the books of the Writings and the ways in which those perspectives intersect with one another and inform the contemporary life of faith.
COURSE FORMAT: This course meets on four Saturdays, for a total of 30 hours of class time, plus weekly online engagement using Moodle. The format will include a combination of lecture, discussion, small group/collaborative and online work. A final “post-class” assignment, as well as collaborative work with other students, extends the course’s learning beyond the four meeting times.
REQUIRED READING: 1,000 pages required.
The Bible (in NRSV, TNIV, or CEB).
Arnold, Bill T. and Bryan E. Beyer. Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study. Baker Academic, 2002. ISBN: 978-0801022920, Pub. Price $24.99 [40 pp. assigned].
Brueggemann. Walter. The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary. Augsburg Fortress, 1985. ISBN: 978-0806621203, Pub. Price $19.00 [150 pp. assigned].
Clifford, Richard J. The Wisdom Literature. Abingdon Press, 1998. ISBN: 978-0687008469, Pub. Price $24.99 [100 pp. assigned].
Collins, John J. A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Augsburg Fortress, 2007. ISBN: 978-0800662073, Pub. Price $39.00 [105 pp. assigned].
Doran, Robert, Leander E. Keck, J. McCann, and Carol A Newsom, eds. The New Interpreter’s Bible Volume IV: Introduction to Hebrew Poetry, Job, Psalms, 1 & 2 Maccabees. Abingdon Press, 1996. ISBN: 978-0687278176, Pub. Price $75.99 [350 pp. assigned]. [Also available through iPreach in Hubbard Library databases].
Falk, Marcia. The Song of Songs: A New Translation. Harper San Francisco, 1993. ISBN: 978-0062503060, Pub. Price $26.00 [45 pp. assigned].
Moodle readings on Gender and the books of Ruth and Esther:
Newsom, Carol A. and Sharon Ringe, eds. Women’s Bible Commentary: Essays on Ruth and Esther. Westminster John Knox, 1998. [Readings available on Moodle and will be discussed in class]. [12 pp. assigned].
ASSIGNMENTS AND ASSESSMENT:
RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Old Testament "c" (OTC) and Seminary Core Requirement (SCR) for MATM, MAICS, MAFS, MACL.
FINAL EXAMINATION: None.
NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.