Intro to the Hebrew Bible

Instructor: Amy Erickson

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Draft Syllabus

---The Bible (*NRSV*).

Any study bible is fine as long as the translation is NRSV. I recommend HarperCollins Study BibleStudent Edition: Fully Revised & Updated. Edited by Harold W. Attridge, et al. Society of Biblical Literature; HarperOne, 2006. 

---Coogan, Michael. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN-10: 0199830118 | ISBN-13: 978-0199830114 | Edition: 2

---Matthews, Victor Harold, and Don Carlos Benjamin. Old Testament Parallels: Laws and Stories from the Ancient Near East. Mahwah, N.J: Paulist Press, 2017. **The library has this as an ebook.

Recommended (especially if you have read the Bible in church context [i.e. Bible study] or devotionally): Brown, Michael Joseph. What They Don’t Tell You: A Survivor’s Guide to Biblical Studies. Louisville: Westminster Knox, 2011 or 2000 (either version is fine). 





Course Overview


Course Objectives

Weekly reading quizzes: 30%

Participation (showing up, engaging in class, working in collaborative learning groups): 10%.

Quiz questions will come from Coogan’s questions for review (at the end of each chapter). You will self-grade these quizzes based on our collective review of the questions in class.

Please have a folder reserved for your all your quizzes. At the end of the quarter, you will turn in your folder and submit your overall quiz grade (you may drop your lowest grade) as well as your participation grade, which I’d like you to support in a paragraph or two.

Final exegesis paper (4-5 pages): 60%

Your paper should consist of 1000-1300 words (approximately four pages). You may choose any passage from the Hebrew Bible but I would recommend a selection from a book we've covered in class. You may not write your papers on texts we have covered in exegetical exercises (if you’re not sure, please ask!).

The paper is to be a focused essay demonstrating careful study of the passage chosen by the student (we recommend students limit the length of their passage to about 10 verses). Students are to identify the methodological approach or approaches they are employing, then demonstrate the use of that method in their exegesis (in my view, it would be wise to limit yourself to one primary method).

Students are expected to engage the scholarly literature related to their chosen passage by making reference to at least one scholarly monograph (book), at least two commentaries, and at least two scholarly journal articles (the library staff can help you find such items). 

Papers exceeding 1300 words will be frowned upon (i.e., your grade will be adversely impacted). Word count is to include all notes. Please include your word count at the end of your paper.

Degree Learning Goals: Please take some time to look over the Professional Degree Learning Goals (MDiv, MASC, MAPSC) and the Academic Degree Learning Goals (MTS, MA).

Incompletes:  Incompletes are typically not allowed in this course. That said, if a student is facing a truly exceptional circumstance, I will consider it. See the Master's Student Handbook for Policies and Procedures.

Pass/Fail:  Masters students wishing to take the class pass/fail should discuss this with the instructor by the second class session.

Academic Integrity and Community Covenant:  All students are expected to abide by Iliff’s statement on Academic Integrity, as published in the Masters Student Handbook, or the Joint PhD Statement on Academic Honesty, as published in the Joint PhD Student Handbook, as appropriate.  All participants in this class are expected to be familiar with Iliff’s Community Covenant.

Core ValuesAs a community, Iliff strives to live by this set of Core Values.

Accommodations:  Iliff engages in a collaborative effort with students with disabilities to reasonably accommodate student needs.   Students are encouraged to contact their assigned advisor to initiate the process of requesting accommodations.  The advising center can be contacted at or by phone at 303-765-1146. 

Writing Lab:  Grammar and organization are important for all written assignments.  Additional help is available from the Iliff Writing Lab, which is available for students of any level who need help beginning an assignment, organizing thoughts, or reviewing a final draft. 

Inclusive Language:  It is expected that all course participants will use inclusive language in speaking and writing, and will use terms that do not create barriers to classroom community. 

Sep 11, 2018Tue1. Biblical Studies: Questions of Approach and Authoritydue by 07:00PM
Sep 13, 2018ThuVideo - Overview of Israel's Historydue by 05:59AM
Sep 18, 2018Tue2. Creationdue by 07:00PM
Sep 25, 2018Tue3. Origin Stories and Ethnicity in the Hebrew Bibledue by 07:00PM
Oct 02, 2018Tue4. Shaping and Maintaining Identity: Boundaries and Relationshipsdue by 07:00PM
Oct 09, 2018Tue5. History and Memorydue by 07:00PM
Oct 16, 2018Tue6. Powerdue by 07:00PM
Oct 23, 2018Tue7. God’s Servant(s): Prophet, King, Messiahdue by 07:00PM
Oct 30, 2018Tue8. Justicedue by 07:00PM
Nov 06, 2018Tue9. The God of the Hebrew Bibledue by 08:00PM