Old Testament Hermeneutics
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Course Description:

This is a graduate level, advanced study of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible Hermeneutics. The graduate student will be introduced to both the history of Old Testament /Hebrew Bible interpretation and methodologies that have been used to understand the First Testament. Critical issues that have attracted the scholarly community, recent innovations in both the Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal sphere will be investigated.

Course Objectives:

This course intends to:

  1. introduce the graduate student to the history of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible interpretation;
  2. acquaint the student with the critical issues that scholars have been investigating over the years;
  3. expose the graduate student to the "state-of-the-art" in First Testament interpretation;
  4. consider some Asian and Pentecostal innovations.

Required Textbooks:

  • Enns, Peter. Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.
  • Krentz, Edgar. The Historical-Critical Method. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1975.
  • Noll, Mark A. Between Faith and Criticism: Evangelicals, Scholarship, and the Bible. 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Backer Book House, 1991.
  • Sandys-Wunsch, John. What Have They Done to the Bible? A History of Modern Biblical Interpretation. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2005.
  • Sekine, Seizo. Transcendency and Symbols in the Old Testament: A Genealogy of the Hermeneutical Experiences. trans. Judy Wakabayashi. BZAW 275. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1999.
  • Tucker, Gene M. Form Criticism of the Old Testament. Guides to Biblical Scholarship, Old Testament Series. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1971.

Syllabus: OT-Hermeneutics-2006

Course Outline:

Segment 1: Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible & the Historical Critical Method

 

Segment 2: The History of Old Testment / Hebrew Bible Interpretation

    • Presentation - History of OT/HB Interpretation - Part 1
    • Presentation - History of OT/HB Interpretation - Part 2
    • Reading:
      • Enns, Peter. "The Old Testament and Its Interpretation in the New Testament." In Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, 113-65. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.
      • Sandys-Wunsch, John. What Have They Done to the Bible? A History of Modern Biblical Interpretation. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2005.

     

Segment 3: Introduction to Text Criticism of the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible & History of Religions (Religiongeschichteschule or Religionswissenschaft) - The Comparative Method Today

    • Presentation - The Text of the OT/BH
    • Presentation - OT/BH Text Criticism
    • Presentation - History of Religions - Methodology & Usage; Cherubim; Ark; Lachish
    • Reading:
      • Enns, Peter. "The Old Testament and the Ancient Near Eastern Literature." In Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, 23-70. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.
      • Epp, Eldon Jay. "The Multivalence of the Term "Original Text" in New Testament Textual Criticism." HTR 93, no. 3 (1999): 245-81.
      • Finkelstein, Jacob J. "Bible and Babel: A Comparative Study of the Hebrew and Babylonian Religious Spirit." In Essential Papers on Israel and the Ancient near East, ed. Frederick E. Greenspahn, 355-380. New York: New York University Press, 1991.
      • Talmon, Shemaryahu. "The "Comparative Method: In Biblical Interpretation - Principles and Problems." In Essential Papers on Israel and the Ancient near East, ed. Frederick E. Greenspahn, 381-419. New York: New York University Press, 1991.
      • Tov, Emanuel. "Criteria for Evaluating Textual Readings: The Limitation of Textual Rules." HTR 75, no. 4 (1982): 429-48.

 

Segment 4: Source Criticism: The Demise of Documentary Hypothesis? & How Many Isaiahs Do "They"Say We Have?

    • Presentation - Multiple Isaiahs?
    • Readings:
      • Carr, David. "Controversy and Convergence in Recent Studies of the Formation of the Pentateuch." RSR 23, no. 1 (1997): 22-31.
      • Enns, Peter. "The Old Testament and Theological Diversity." In Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, 71-112. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.
      • Enns, Peter. "William Henry Green and the Authorship of the Pentateuch: Some Historical Considerations." JETS 45, no. 3 (2002): 385-403.
      • Noll, Mark A. Between Faith and Criticism: Evangelicals, Scholarship, and the Bible. 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Backer Book House, 1991.
      • Rendtorff, Rolf. "The Book of Isaiah: A Complex Unity. Synchronic and Diachronic Reading." In New Visions of Isaiah. JSOT Sup Series, no. 214. ed. Roy F. Melugin & Marvin A. Sweeney, 32-49. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996.

     

Segment 5: Form Criticism and Beyond via Rhetorical Criticism

Segment 6: Redaction Criticism & Canonical Criticism

Segment 7: Newer Methodologies: Narratology & Intertextuality

    • Presentation - Introduction to Narratology
    • Presentation - Introduction to Intertextuality
    • Readings:
      • Alter, Robert. "A Literary Approach to the Bible." In The Art of Biblical Narrative, 3-22. New York: Basic Books, 1981.
      • Bar-Efrat, Shimon. "Some Observations on the Analysis of Structure in Biblical Narrative." VT 30, no. 2 (1980): 154-73.
      • Claassens, L. Juliana. "Biblical Theology as Dialogue: Continuing the Conversation on Mikhail Bakhtin and Biblical Theology." JBL 122, no. 1 (2003): 127-144.
      • House, Paul R. "The Rise and Current Status of Literary Criticism of the Old Testament." In Beyond Form Criticism: Essays in Old Testament Literary Criticism, ed. Paul R. House. 3-22. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992.
      • Sternberg, Meir. "The Bible's Art of Persuasion: Ideology, Rhetoric, and Poetics in Saul's Fall." HUCA 54 (1983), 45-82.

     

Lecture 8: Seizo Sekine

    • Presentation - Transcendency and Symbols in the OT
    • Readings:
      • Sekine, Seizo. Transcendency and Symbols in the Old Testament: A Genealogy of the Hermeneutical Experiences. trans. Judy Wakabayashi. BZAW 275. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1999.
 

 

 

 

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