Have you ever wanted to understand the Old Testament better? Do you wish you could take a class or sit down with a scholar and ask a bunch of questions? Perhaps like many other people, you find the Old Testament fascinating and puzzling, but alas, life is crazy busy and there isn’t time.
If only someone would provide the gist of it all in accessible bites for the person on the go.
You are in luck! I am planning to blog snapshots of my Introduction to Old Testament course that I am teaching this semester. This page will be a one-stop spot for all the posts I write. Over the next few months, I will gradually add hyperlinks to the headings below (ideally weekly). These correspond to the actual course units and lectures. Of course, a one semester class cannot possibly cover everything. One could easily spend a whole semester on one book of the Bible. My posts also cannot cover an hour + worth of class material for each session. But I am confident, you will find good substance to chew on. Enjoy!
UNIT 1: ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANCIENT ISRAEL
- Why Study the Old Testament?
- How Did Israel Become Israel? Origins in the Land (c. 1300-1025 BCE)
- Villages to Statehood: Did a United Israelite Monarchy Exist? (c. 1025-928 BCE)
- The Rise and Fall of Kings: Divided Kingdom to Exile (c. 928-586 BCE)
- Archaeological Clues to Israelite and Judahite Religion
- Family Life & Sexuality in Ancient Israel
UNIT 2: WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
- Origins of the Old Testament
- How to Read the Bible
- Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel
- The Nature & Function of the Bible
UNIT 3: TORAH
- “In the Beginning” (Genesis 1-3)
- Paradise Lost: Israelite Theology of Sin
- The Flood: The Impact of Science & Culture on Interpretation
- Israelite Ancestors: Abrahamic Covenant
- Exodus from Egypt
- The Creation of a Nation: Israel & Mosaic Law
- “Love the Lord Your God”: The Israelites & Worship
UNIT 4: PROPHETS (FORMER & LATTER)
- Conquest of Canaan: The Israelite Story of Israel’s Origins
- The Israelite Monarchy: King David as Exemplar
- Prophets & Prophecy in Ancient Israel
- Amos: Seeker of Justice
- Isaiah & Jeremiah Prophesy Destruction
- Isaiah & Jeremiah Prophesy Hope
UNIT 5: WRITINGS
- Has God Forgotten Us? The Tragedy of Exile (Lamentations)
- Psalms: Prayers of a People
- Introduction to Wisdom Literature
- Wisdom Literature & the Problem of Suffering