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Summer 2012/Phoenix







DESCRIPTION:  The course introduces study of the Old Testament as the Word of God, a work of literature, a work emerging out of IsraelÕs history, and a work that needs to be studied critically to grasp its significance. It focuses on the third section of the Jewish canon, 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 the course will have demonstrated that they (1) have grasped the outline of IsraelÕs history as portrayed in the Old and New Testaments and in light of modern study; (2) understand the nature and process of the Old TestamentÕs 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 involves four weeks of individual study (six hours each week) with weekly posting of homework on Moodle.  It then involves a two-week intensive which involves both class and preparation time.  A midterm paper will be due during that two-week period.  Classes combine lecture and plenary discussion.  After the two weeks it involves two weeks of further private study including the writing of a final paper.  The course meets from July 16 – July 28.

July 16, 17, and 19, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM;

July 21, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM;

July 23, 24, and 26, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM.;

July 28, 8:00 AM – 12:30 PM.



NRSV or TNIV Bible.

Arnold, B. T., and H. G. M. Williamson, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. InterVarsity Press, 2005.

Longman, Tremper, and Peter Enns, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. InterVarsity Press, 2008.

Lapsley, Jacqueline. Whispering the Word, Hearing WomenÕs Stories in the OT. Westminster John Knox, 2005. (Pp 1-19, 89-108) 0-664-22435-0.

Syllabus and Course Notes.



Brown, M. What They DonÕt Tell You: A SurvivorÕs Guide to Biblical Studies. Westminster John Knox, 2000.

Brueggemann, W. The Message of the Psalms. Augsburg, 1984.

Childs, B. S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Fortress, 1979.

Crenshaw, J. Old Testament Wisdom. Revised ed. Westminster John Knox, 1999.

Goldingay, J. Old Testament Theology. Three vols. InterVarsity Press, 2003, 2006, 2009.

Bar-Efrat, Shimon. Narrative Art in the Bible. New York, T&T Clark, 2004.

Kidner, D. The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. InterVarsity Press, 1985.

Levison, John R., and Priscilla Pope-Levison, eds. Return to Babel. Westminster John Knox, 1999.



1.     Attendance at classes, preparation homework, and participation in online discussion (pass/fail).

2.     Two papers, each 2500-3000 words. The grade comes from these papers (each 50%), subject to reduction for missing a class, or not posting satisfactory preparation homework, or not taking part in online discussion.




RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM:  Meets MDiv core requirement in Old Testament ÒcÓ (OTC) and meets OT Seminary Core Requirement (SCR) in professional MA programs.