RLGN 1301: Old Testament History
Robert Gibbs, Instructor
Course Description: “historical literature with special attention to the institutions, religion, and national life of the Hebrew people”
Unit One: The Torah, or Pentateuch: Weeks 1-4
Unit Two: The History Books: Weeks 5-7
Unit Three: The Prophets: Weeks 8-9
Unit Four: The Writings: Week 10-11
1. Read all assignments in the Old Testament and the text,
Encountering the Old Testament, by Arnold and Beyer
2. Participate in class discussion with an open, collegial attitude
3. Take all weekly exams at the beginning of each class
The Final Course Grade will be based on the average of your weekly exam scores--except your lowest score, which will be dropped. Exam scores may be adjusted upward or downward each week by participation in class discussion. The participation score may raise or lower the quiz grade by as much as 20%, that is, by two full letters. The final scores will be distributed as A= 90%; B= 80%; C= 70%; D= 50%.
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Compare and contrast various approaches, study tools and interpretive models of the Old Testament
2. Describe key Old Testament historical events and their significance for Judaism and Christianity
3. Describe key Old Testament literary forms and their conventions
4. Describe key Old Testament theological ideas and how they are communicated
5. Evaluate your own values and beliefs and your Church’s values and beliefs with an Old Testament perspective
--The course will use discussion and exams to measure the completion of objectives.
-- There are readings each week in both the Old Testament and Encountering the Old Testament by Arnold and Beyer
--The exams will be short answer and short essay and will be given at the beginning of class each week. The exams are cumulative and may include anything from the first week’s readings and class notes to the present week’s readings
--The class will meet from until each week, as scheduled, with -minute break each evening.
Week 1. Introductions, Creation of the Universe: Genesis 1-11; Encountering ch. 4
Week 2. Reading Assignment: Creation of the Family: Genesis 12-50; Encountering ch. 5
Week 3. Reading Assignment: Creation of the Faith Community: Exodus 1-24, 32-34; Leviticus 8-18; Encountering chs. 6-7.
Week 5. Reading Assignment: Creation of the Tribal Settlements: Judges 1-16; Ruth (all); 1st Samuel 1-15: Encountering chs. 12-13.
Week 6. Reading Assignment: Creation of the Nation: 1st Samuel 16- 31; 2nd Samuel (all); Encountering chs. 13-14.
Week 8. Reading Assignment: God’s Judgment: Isaiah 1-12; Amos (all); Hosea 1-3; Encountering chs. 24-5, 32 (where appropriate).
Week 9. Reading Assignment: The Babylonian Exile: Isaiah 40-55 and Encountering 26; and your choice of either Jeremiah 26-51 with Encountering 28 or Ezekiel 1-24, 37 with Encountering 29.
Week 10. Reading Assignment: Restoration and Judaism: Ezra 1, 9-10; Nehemiah; Esther; Jonah; Haggai; and Zechariah 1-4 with Encountering 18.
Week 11. Reading Assignment: Wisdom: Proverbs 16-29; Job 1-3, 38-42; Song of Songs; Ecclesiastes with Encountering (your choice of one from either 20, 21, 22, or 23)
Messages may be left for me at the Wayland office, 826-7595; my home phone, 691-0493; or my email, firstname.lastname@example.org. DO NOT call to report an absence unless you will be missing two or more weeks. If I am late to class please call my cell phone, 863-8785, to find out what’s up. Do not call my cell phone at any other time or for any other reason.
Class discussion is the foundation of this course. It is based on several key requirements: respect for every member’s contribution, every member making a contribution, and every member coming to class prepared to participate. These requirements will be the basis of your participation grade. I am usually tolerant of people who resist this class, as long as it doesn’t last too long, but if your need to resist learning or join in discussions runs too deep, you will not do well in this class.
Attendance is required, and grades will be adjusted for each absence according to the policy in the student handbook. Three absences will result in an “F” for the course. There are no “excused” absences; they all count. Deductions will also be made for arriving late or leaving early, and if you miss too much of the class you may be counted absent for that week.