Introduction to the Old Testament

VU Course ID: R108
Curriculum: 24 lectures
Prerequisites: None
Developer: Christine Hayes
Provider: Yale
Recordable: Yes

Course Description

This 24-unit course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical- critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.

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Lecture 1 – The Parts of the Whole
Lecture 2 – The Hebrew Bible: Biblical Religion in Context
Lecture 3 – The Hebrew Bible: Genesis 1-4 in Context
Lecture 4 – Doublets and Contradictions, Seams and Sources: Genesis 5-11 and the Historical-Critical Method
Lecture 5 – Critical Approaches to the Bible: Introduction to Genesis 12-50
Lecture 6 – Biblical Narrative: The Stories of the Patriarchs (Genesis 12-36)
Lecture 7 – Israel in Egypt: Moses and the Beginning of Yahwism (Genesis 37- Exodus 4)
Lecture 8 – Exodus: From Egypt to Sinai (Exodus 5-24, 32; Numbers)
Lecture 9 – The Priestly Legacy: Cult and Sacrifice, Purity and Holiness in Leviticus and Numbers
Lecture 10 – Biblical Law: The Three Legal Corpora of JE (Exodus), P (Leviticus and Numbers) and D (Deuteronomy)
Lecture 11 – On the Steps of Moab: Deuteronomy
Lecture 12 – The Deuteronomistic History: Life in the Land (Joshua and Judges)
Lecture 13 – The Deuteronomistic History: Prophets and Kings (1 and 2 Samuel)
Lecture 14 – The Deuteronomistic History: Response to Catastrophe (1 and 2 Kings)
Lecture 15 – Hebrew Prophecy: The Non-Literary Prophets
Lecture 16 – Literary Prophecy: Amos
Lecture 17 – Literary Prophecy: Hosea and Isaiah
Lecture 18 – Literary Prophecy: Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum and Habbakuk
Lecture 19 – Literary Prophecy: Perspectives on the Exile (Jeremiah, Ezekiel and 2nd Isaiah)
Lecture 20 – Responses to Suffering and Evil: Lamentations and Wisdom Literature
Lecture 21 – Biblical Poetry: Psalms and Song of Songs
Lecture 22 – The Restoration: 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah
Lecture 23 – Visions of the End: Daniel and Apocalyptic Literature
Lecture 24 – Alternative Visions: Esther, Ruth, and Jonah ~ Leave yourself notes in the cloud!

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