Survey of Old Testament

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About Course

Course Title: Survey of Old Testament

Course Description:

Welcome to “Survey of Old Testament,” a comprehensive exploration of the foundational texts that make up the Old Testament of the Bible. This course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the historical, cultural, and literary aspects of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Scriptures. Through engaging lectures, readings, discussions, and multimedia resources, students will embark on a journey to uncover the rich tapestry of stories, laws, poetry, and prophecies that shape the religious and cultural heritage of Judaism and Christianity.

Key Topics Covered:

1. **Historical Context:** Explore the historical background of the Old Testament, including the Ancient Near East, the development of ancient Israel, and the geopolitical forces that influenced the writing of these sacred texts.

2. **Literary Genres:** Examine the diverse genres present in the Old Testament, such as narrative, law, prophecy, wisdom literature, and poetry. Understand the distinctive features of each genre and how they contribute to the overall message.

3. **Major Themes:** Delve into the major themes that run throughout the Old Testament, including the covenant relationship between God and His people, the concept of justice, the role of prophecy, and the idea of salvation.

4. **Key Figures:** Study the lives and contributions of significant figures in the Old Testament, including patriarchs like Abraham, Moses, and David, as well as prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah.

5. **Theological Perspectives:** Analyze the theological messages embedded in the Old Testament and their impact on subsequent religious thought. Consider the ethical and moral teachings conveyed through these ancient scriptures.

6. **Textual Criticism:** Gain insights into the process of textual transmission, translation, and interpretation of the Old Testament. Explore the challenges and nuances of studying ancient texts and the role of different translations.

7. **Relevance Today:** Discuss the ongoing significance of the Old Testament in contemporary religious, cultural, and ethical discussions. Explore how these ancient texts continue to shape beliefs, values, and societal norms.

Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to critically engage with the material, fostering an appreciation for the Old Testament’s enduring influence on literature, art, philosophy, and theology. By the end of the course, students will have a well-rounded understanding of the Old Testament, equipping them with the tools to analyze and appreciate these sacred texts in a thoughtful and informed manner.

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What Will You Learn?

  • By the end of the course, you will have developed critical thinking skills, cultural literacy, and a deeper appreciation for the Old Testament's impact on literature, art, philosophy, and theology. Additionally, you will be equipped to engage in informed discussions about the Old Testament's relevance and significance in today's society.