University – San Antonio
Religion 1301 – Old
Summer 2008 Class
Dr. Steven Spivey,
Course Description: A survey of
the First Testament/Hebrew Bible, with special attention to the institutions,
religion, and national life of the Hebrew people.
Outcomes: By the end of the course, the attentive
student should be able to:
the basic organization of the Hebrew scriptures
the primary outline of Israel’s
and describe the major covenants established between God and Israel
the key religious and political developments presented in the texts
and begin to comprehend the major ideas of the Hebrew prophets and sages as
expressed in the prophetic writings and wisdom literature of the Hebrew
Textbook: The Learning Bible
(NIV) – American Bible Society (2003)
- Attendance: Wayland’s attendance policy will be
followed. Students who miss more
than 25% of scheduled class sessions automatically fail the course. At Wayland San Antonio, this means that
three absences result in a failing grade.
The policy does not distinguish between causes for a student’s
absence. Experience shows that
students cannot miss this class often and expect to comprehend the
material or perform well on exams.
Attendance and participation are a part of the educational
commitment made when a student enrolls.
- This syllabus contains a course schedule with required
reading assignments. These readings
are to be completed prior to class sessions, so that a student may have a
better comprehension of the materials presented by the instructor.
- Four examinations will be given during the course,
with each exam comprising 25% of the student’s grade. Questions will be objective in nature,
and based upon readings, handouts, and class presentations. The first three exams will be
non-comprehensive, with the fourth exam containing both material covered
after the third exam and material from the first three exams. The university grade scale will be
used. Review materials will be
available by e-mail request approximately five days before the exam date. Make-up exams are given at the
discretion of the instructor, and are affected by the reason for the
student’s absence. A post-test
requested by the University will be given following the fourth exam. Instructions will be provided by the
- Extra Credit Option: A student may prepare an essay
of 5-7 pages in response to one of the questions/topics listed below. The grade will be based on these
elements: organization, logical argumentation, clarity, supporting
evidence, and originality of thought.
Any supporting evidence cited must be documented, with proper
credit given. The grade received
for this essay will replace the student’s lowest exam grade. The due date for this exam is noted in
the course schedule, and late papers will not be accepted for any reason, no matter how
regrettable the excuse. A student
is limited to one extra credit essay per course. Essays may be written on one of the
- Why did Israel
wage a “holy war” when entering Canaan?
- Why is David the “Model King” for Israel?
- Evaluate Solomon – was he faithful or unfaithful?
- Does Job deserve his reputation for patience?
- Were Ezra and Nehemiah’s reform priorities
- Were Jeremiah’s complaints to God justified?
With all these
essays I will expect the student to explain why their answer or position is
- The student’s grade for the course will be the
average of the four exam scores, or the average derived from the three
highest test scores and the extra credit essay. The WBU grade scale will be used, which
100 – 90 = A
89 – 80 = B
79 – 70 = C
69 – 60 = D
Below 60 = F
- Miscellaneous: Students in survey courses always
demonstrate a wide range of knowledge and experiences. Accordingly, the student is encouraged
to ask questions or for clarification whenever necessary. If needed, the student is permitted to
tape lectures for private use only.
Students should consider establishing relationships with each other
so that review groups may be formed or so that coverage may be provided
for material missed due to absences.
Do not hesitate to e-mail the instructor as needed.
- It is university policy that no otherwise qualified
disabled person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits
of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or
activity in the University.
Students should inform the instructor of existing disabilities the
first class meeting.
Major Units of Study
Old Testament Backgrounds and the “Primeval
The Stories of Israel’s Ancestors
The Exodus and the Covenant at Sinai
The Conquest of Palestine and the Tribal League
The United Monarchy
The Divided Monarchy
Exile and Restoration
Course Schedule and Reading
May 27/29 Old Testament Background and the Primeval History
For next class, read Genesis 1-18, 21-33,
37-50 and Exodus 1-17
Materials (pp. 9-36), The Ancient World: Peoples,
Politics (pp. 919-923), Abraham (p. 2254), Ancient
Story (p. 49), Birthright (p. 80), Jacob’s Children (p. 99),
(p. 386), LORD (p. 140), Pharaoh (pp. 110-111),
June 3/5 Class will not meet. Instructor out of town.
June 10/12 From Abraham to Mt. Sinai
For next week, read Exodus 19-20, 32-34 and
Leviticus 1-7, 16, 23
Ark of the
Covenant (p. 513), Tabernacle (p. 2346), Sacrifices and
(p. 219), People of the Law: The Religion of Israel
June 17/19 EXAMINATION #1 (first hour)
For next week, read Numbers 9-14, 20-21,
32-33, Joshua 1-8,
Judges 1-4, Israel
on the March (p. 288), Holy War
Canaanite Gods and Goddesses (p. 469), From Joshua
to the Exile (pp. 924-930)
June 24/26 From Sinai to Saul
For the next class, read 1st
Samuel 1-8, 13-18, 24-28, 31 and
Samuel 2-7, 9-19, Kingship in Israel
July 1/3 From David to Rehoboam
For next week, read 1st Kings
1-22 and 2nd Kings 9-10, 15-17,
Assyria (p. 711)
July 8/10 EXAMINATION #2 (first hour)
of the Northern Kingdom
For next week, read Amos 1-9, Hosea 1-14,
Isaiah 1-11, and
Day of the LORD (p. 1727) Prophets and Prophecy
July 15/17 Introduction to the Prophets
For next week, read 2nd Kings 11-12,
14, 16, 18-24; Isaiah 40-66, Ezekiel 1-5, 18,37; Babylon (pp. 1362-1363),
Hezekiah (p. 1293), Servant songs in Isaiah (p. 1398), Nebuchadnezzar (p. 1469),
Exile (p. 1541), After the Exile (pp. 931-934)
July 22/24 History of the Southern Kingdom and the Exile
For next week, read Nehemiah 1-13, Ezra 1-10,
Job 1-2, 38-42; Psalm 1, 51, 78, 145; Proverbs 1-9; Ruth 1-4; Jonah 1-4; Persia
(p. 859), Apocalyptic Writings (p. 1656)
July 29/31 EXAMINATION #3 (first hour)
and The Writings
CREDIT ESSAYS ARE DUE THIS SESSION
Aug 5/7 EXAMINATION #4 and WBU Post-test