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Winter 2013/Fuller-NW


P. Scalise





DESCRIPTION: The course introduces study of the Old Testament as the Word of God, a work of literature, a work emerging out of Israel’s history, and a work that needs to be studied critically to grasp its significance. It focuses on the third section of the Hebrew Bible, the Writings: Psalms, Job, Proverbs, the Scrolls (Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, and Esther), Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles.


SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: The course seeks to induct students into the study of the Old Testament in a way that will excite them with its significance and inform and motivate them for further study in seminary, in their lives, and in their ministry.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students who successfully complete this course will have shown that they (1) have grasped the outline of Israel’s history as portrayed in the 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 Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Daniel; (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.


COURSE FORMAT: The course meets weekly for three-hour sessions, Thursdays, January 10-March 14, 2:30-5:30 PM. Classes combine lecture and plenary discussion, with some dramatized reading and group projects.



The biblical books Ruth, 1-2 Chronicles, Lamentations, Psalms, Daniel, Esther, Ezra-Nehemiah, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs, in NRSV, TNIV or CEB.

Anderson, Bernhard W. Out of the Depths. 3rd revised & expanded ed. Westminster John Knox, 2000. ISBN: 978-0664258320. $29.95. 241 pp

Brown William P. Character in Crisis. Eerdmans, 1996. ISBN: 978-0802841353. $20.00. 164 pp

Lapsley, Jacqueline. Whispering the Word, Hearing Women’s Stories in the OT. Westminster John Knox, 2005. (pp. 1-19, 89-108) ISBN: 978-0664224356. $24.95. 39 pp

Seow, C. L. Daniel. Westminster Bible Companion. Westminster John Knox, 2003. ISBN: 978-0664256753. $29.95. 196 pp

Articles and chapters by authors such as Julie Chu, C. T. Gilkes, Madipoane Masenya, and Itumeleng Mosala (available in eReserves on the class Moodle page). 107 pp



Childs, B. S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Fortress, 1979. ISBN: 978-0800698331. $36.00.

Fox, Michael V. Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther. 2nd ed. Wipf & Stock, 2010. ISBN: 978-1608994953. $38.00.

Goldingay, J. E. Daniel. Word Biblical Commentary. Word, 1989. ISBN: 978-0849902291. $49.99.

Miller, Patrick D. They Cried to the Lord. Fortress, 1994. ISBN: 978-0800627621. $29.00.



1.     Reading in preparation for class and participation in class activities (20%). For the first day of class, read the book of Lamentations and Bob Yoder, “The Role of Biblical Lament in Adolescent Ministry,” The Journal of Youth Ministry 7/2 (Spring 2009): 33-54 (available in eReserves on the class Moodle page).
Every week before class submit on Moodle a list of reading you have completed and a brief question or comment about what you have learned from the reading.

2.     A paper that includes researched interpretation and theological exposition of a Psalm (2500-3000 words) (30%). Due March 7, 2013.

3.     A midterm exam (1000 words; take-home, open book) (20%). Due February 7, 2013.

4.     A final exam (1500 words; take-home, open book) (30%). Due March 14, 2013.




RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Old Testament “c” (OTC) and Seminary Core Requirement (SCR) for MATM, MAICS, MAFS, MACL (effective Winter 2010).