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Summer 2013/Phoenix




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 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 Israel’s history as portrayed in the Old and New Testaments and in light of modern study; (2) understand thenature 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 involves a two-week intensive at the beginning of the quarter which involves both class and preparation time. A midterm paper will be due during that two-week period. Classes combine lecture and plenary discussion. The course will continue in Moodle format for the rest of the quarter. The final paper will be due at the end of the quarter. The course meets from June 21 – July 2. (June 21, Fri 6:30-9:30; June 22, Sat 8-5; June 24, Mon 6:30-9:30; June 25, Tues 6:30-9:30; June 27, Thurs 6:30-9:30; June 29, Sat 8-12; July 1, Mon 6:30-9:30; July 2, Tues 6:30-9:30.)


NRSV, TNIV, or CEB Bible.

Arnold, B. T., and H. G. M. Williamson, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. InterVarsity Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0830817825. $60.

Longman, Tremper, and Peter Enns, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. InterVarsity Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0830817832. $60.

Lapsley, Jacqueline. Whispering the Word, Hearing Women’s Stories in the OT. Westminster John Knox, 2005. (Pp 1-19, 89-108). ISBN 978-0664224356. $25.

Syllabus, course notes, selected articles by Davis, Brueggeman, Tamez, Lumbala, Song, and others.


Bar-Efrat, Shimon. Narrative Art in the Bible. New York, T&T Clark, 2004. ISBN: 978-0567084958. $49.95.

Bartholomew, Craig G. and Ryan P. O'Dowd. Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction.InterVarsity Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0830838967. $30.

Brueggemann, W. The Message of the Psalms. Augsburg, 1984. ISBN: 978-0806621203. $19.

Childs, B. S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Fortress, 2011. ISBN: 978-0800698331. $39.

Crenshaw, J. Old Testament Wisdom. 3rd ed. Westminster John Knox, 2010. ISBN: 978-0664234591. $35.

Goldingay, J. Old Testament Theology. Three vols. InterVarsity Press, 2003, 2006, 2009. ISBN: 978-0830825615, 978-0830825622, 978-0830825639. $45, $50, $50.

Kidner, D. The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. InterVarsity Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0877844051, $16.00.

Levison, John R., and Priscilla Pope-Levison, eds. Return to Babel. Westminster John Knox, 1999. ISBN: 978-0664258238. $30.


  1. Attendance at classes, preparation homework, quizzes, and participation in online discussion (pass/fail). (Learning Outcomes 1-6 will be engaged here.)

  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. (Learning Outcomes 4, 5, and 6 should be engaged here.)


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

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.