Old Testament Survey
Two Books required:
As you go through the Coogan book, you will see that there are vocabulary words and some questions for each of the chapters.
Please be sure you understand the vocabulary words, and answer two questions from each chapter.
Write a reflection for each unit on your thoughts, what you have learned, what you think the value of the material in that unit may be for a Christian leader. Units are several chapters so I do not want a reflection for each chapter. Please write about what you disagree with and want to challenge in the material as well, but be sure to support your arguments.
None of this work is meant to be a burden. It is an opportunity to think about what you have read. Papers do not need to be long. They just need to fully express your ideas.
For Leon Wood's book, if you love the Old Testament, it will be an easy read. This book is meant to be read critically. There are three assignments for this text.
- You will note Wood's assumptions and biases, just as you may have noticed Coogan's. This author takes some interpretive liberty in his exposition of the meaning of certain events and archaeological findings throughout the text. Choose a point or two points made by the author that you disagree with and write a persuasive essay for your argument. Be sure to support your position thoroughly.Please support your argument.
- Do an expository essay on the typology of Christ (or a Christian interpretation of) either in the tabernacle or one of the Jewish Feasts. This paper should be researched, and sources should be cited. Again, it does not have to be long, but your claims should be supported.
- The Hebrew Bible contains the scriptures of the Jewish tradition. It is not incomplete or obsolete for them. The treatment of these texts as the "Old Testament" by Christianity has many implications, such as ignoring the Jewish socio-historical context, anti-Jewish stereotyping and bias, and co-opting of Jewish tradition. Choose one of these or another that you notice, and write a reflection.
Hopefully, some of the material in Coogan's book informed your reading of Wood. The final for the course will be a summarizing reflection that brings these two texts into conversation around an aspect of the nature or character of God as revealed in the Old Testament. Be sure to expound on scripture references that demonstrate this particular characteristic, and on at least one prayer from the Old Testament where the person praying is looking to this aspect or dimension of God's nature.
It is expected that you would read the Old Testament along with the Survey as you go through this course.
You may use the following assignment for an alternative to any of the writing assignments in this course:
- Do a biographical essay on the life of one of the Old Testament prophets. Include historical background, political events and personalities both in the Israel and Judah, and also in the surrounding nations, and archaeological evidence if available. This does not need to be more than three or four pages long. Just tell the prophets story.