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Intro to OT St. John 2009

Intro to OT St. John 2009

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Published by: CharlesRix on Sep 01, 2009
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OT 301 Introduction to the Old TestamentNew Brunswick Theological Seminary: St. John’sFall 2009Tuesday Evening 6:20PM – 10:00PM
“The lesson of truth is not held in one consciousness. It explodes toward the other. To study well, to read well, to listen well, is already to speak: whether by asking questions and, in so doing, touching themaster who teaches you, or by teaching a third party.”--Emmanuel Levinas “Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures” (1994)
Professor: Rev. Charles RixPhone: (848) 218-2454, E-mail: CharlesRix@gmail.comOffice Hours: Tuesday by appointmentIntroduction to the Old Testament is a required course in Biblical Studies. Itspurpose is to provide students with the historical and theological foundations for thestudy, teaching, and preaching of the Old Testament in a parish setting. Anintroductory course will not answer all questions. Its focus is on where to begin yourwork and is a foundation on which you will build for the rest of your ministry.
Course Objectives
 To outline the historical and cultural circumstances in which the Old Testament was written, read, and canonized. To have a reasonable grasp onboth content and forms of the literature that comprises the Old Testamentand thereby articulate the theological perspectives of the Old Testament andunderstand the variety of expressions included within it.
 To understand what it means to “read ethically.” To begin to think about howthe Old Testament addresses the issue of theodicy: the justice of God.
 To describe the major issues in Old Testament study and to learn how thetheological traditions of the Old Testament inform today’s church traditions.
 To gain skill in applying methods of Biblical criticism to the exegesis of Old Testament texts, and in so doing engaging scholarly resources.
Required Course Materials
New Revised Standard Version of the Bible
Conrad Hyers, "And God Created Laughter: The Bible as Divine Comedy"David M. Gunn and Danna Nolan Fewell, "Narrative in the Hebrew Bible"William Millar, "Priesthood in Ancient Israel"David Pleins, "The Social Visions of the Hebrew Bible"Marvin A. Sweeney, "The Prophetic Literature"Walter Brueggemann, "The Psalms and the Life of Faith"J. Maxwell Miller and John H. Hayes, "A History of Ancient Israel and Judah"Jonathan Magonet, A Rabbi Reads the Bible
Secondary Course Materials(
Selections from these resources will either be in handouts or posted onthe class blog)
Levinas, Emmanuel
Difficult Freedom
. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1990.
Linafelt, Tod
Strange Fire: Reading the Bible after the Holocaust. New York:New York University Press, 2000.
Miller, Patrick 
. “The Theological Significance of Poetry” in
 Language, Theology and The Bible
 Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994, 213-230
Phillips, Gary and Danna Nolan Fewell
. “Ethics, Bible, Reading As If” in
Semeia 77 Bible and the Ethics of Reading
pp. 1-20.
Other Recommended Readings and Reference Materialsfor Term Papers
Stone, Ken.
Sex, Honor and Power in the Deuteronomistic History 
. Sheffield:Sheffield Academic Press, 1996.
Trible, Phyllis
God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality 
. Philadelphia: Fortress Press,1978.
Trible, Phyllis
Texts of Terror 
. Fortress Press, 1984.
Westermann, Claus
Genesis: An Introduction.
Philadelphia: Fortress Press,1984.
Course Expectations
1. We will approach the biblical text, the secondary readings, the instructor, andeach other with open minds. Be considerate of your classmates even whenopinions and analyses differ from your own.2. Be prepared for lecture and discussions.
Note the seminary attendance policy: missing more than 3 classes (i.e. when you miss the fourth class)you will be automatically dropped from the course.
3. Turn in all of your assignments
on time
Papers or blog postings turned in latewill receive a one point deduction for every day late up to one week. After oneweek past due, the paper will not be accepted unless prior arrangements have beenmade.
A. Applying the Old Testament Study to Current Ministry Life
Each week, one (or more) persons will be assigned to make a creative 10 minute presentation to the class on one aspect of how the Old Testament text(s) prepared for that week either inform or relate to your current place of ministry or desired place of ministry. You mayalso choose to share a piece of music or artwork that relates to your text. The goal is to think through how the week’s study is relevant to ministry life and can be useful for those to whomyou minister.
The assignment will be 10% of your grade
B. Blogging Assignments: http://hebrewbible21.blogspot.com
Each week you be asked to read an article posted on the class blog and posta short comment. Your responses will form a key part of our class discussion.
C. Term Paper
Choose from
of the following texts to research throughout the semester.Genesis 4:1-16Exodus 32:1-35 and Deuteronomy 9:7-10:5Leviticus 10:1-17Numbers 12:1-16Deuteronomy 14Isaiah 58:1-14

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