Biblical Studies - Old Testament
Courses that critically examine the literature, language and impact of the Hebrew Bible
BSOT-201. Old Testament/Hebrew Bible I.
This is the first half of a two semester course intended to enable students to engage in critical (that is, analytical) reading, thinking, writing, and speaking about the contents of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the history and religion of Israel. The first semester course focuses on Genesis-1 Kings 11 and the sources that make up this material. The purpose is for students to discover the original cultural setting insofar as this is possible (historical-critical method). In addition, class participants will have the opportunity to evaluate newer approaches to biblical interpretation, especially African American and feminist/womanist biblical interpretation. .
BSOT-202. Old Testament/Hebrew Bible II.
This is the second half of a two semester course intended to introduce students to a critical (that is, analytical) way of reading, thinking, writing, and speaking about the contents of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the history and religion of Israel. The second semester course focuses on the historical period beginning with the divided kingdom and the prophetic and wisdom literature of the HB/OT. The purpose is to understand the material in its original cultural setting insofar as this is possible (historical-critical method). In addition, newer approaches to biblical interpretation will be considered. Special attention will be paid to African American and feminist/womanist biblical interpretation.
BSOT-221. Hebrew Language and Grammar I.
This is the first half of a full year introduction to Biblical Hebrew Language and Grammar. Students will master the writing system, basic grammar, and essential vocabulary necessary for reading the prose sections of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in Hebrew. This is an online class taught with a combination of video-taped lectures and three virtual F2F sessions each week at lunch on M-W-F from 12-1 using Zoom video-conference videoconference software, during which time students go over homework and practice pronunciation.
BSOT-222. Hebrew Language and Grammar II.
This is the second half of a full year introduction to Biblical Hebrew Language and Grammar. Using Logos software, students will read the books of Jonah, Ruth, and as much of the first twelve chapters of Genesis as we can get through. They fill out Excel spreadsheets, one worksheet each for verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech, to consolidate their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, then in class pronounce and translate the material, answering questions about unusual forms. Prereq.: BSOT-221
BSOT-224. Introduction to Biblical Languages with Logos Bible Software.
This course introduces students to the alphabets, overall structure of the languages, basic vocabulary of Hebrew and Greek, and how to use Logos software to decipher biblical Hebrew and Greek texts so that they may understand the more technical commentaries. Depending on the ability and diligence of the students, which varies from class to class, the class may read several chapters of Genesis together as well as the prologue to the Gospel of John and other NT texts chosen by the students. This class does not substitute for a full year long course in Hebrew and Greek, but it does provide minimal tools for students who would like to be able to understand what the commentators are talking about when they begin to use Hebrew and Greek terms..
BSOT-225. Women of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.
This course focuses on the primary women of the Hebrew Bible including the apocryphal (or deuterocanonical) books and especially on feminist and womanist interpretations of these women. Included are the story of (Adam and) Eve, which is compared with Genesis 1; the matriarchs in the rest of Genesis including Sarah and Hagar, Rachel and Leah and their handmaids, Rebekah, Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law, and Dinah; in Exodus, the women who were instrumental in Moses's birth and survival past infancy and Miriam and Zipporah; in Joshua, Rahab; in Judges, Deborah and Jael, Jephthah's daughter, and the Levite's concubine; in 1 & 2 Samuel, Hannah, Abigail, Michal, Bathsheba, and Tamar, David's daughter; in 1 & 2 Kings, the Queen of Sheba, Jezebel, Athaliah, and Huldah; in the prophets, Gomer; in the wisdom literature, "Mrs." Job; among the short stories/novellas, Ruth, Esther, Susanna, and Judith, and many other lesser known women throughout the HB/OT.
BSOT-227. The Bible and African-American Literature.
This three-credit hour seminar is a reading-intensive course that explores the use of biblical texts in selected works in the African-American literary tradition. Prereqs.: Six credits of introductory HUSD biblical studies courses or the WTC equivalent
BSOT-306. Feminist and Womanist Biblical Interpretation.
This three-credit hour seminar surveys the history and development of feminist and womanist biblical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament. Prereqs.: Six credits of introductory HUSD biblical studies courses or the WTC equivalent
BSOT-330. Exegetical Study: Jeremiah.
This course provides a detailed exegetical study of one of the most important of the biblical prophets. Prereqs.: BSOT-201 and BSOT-202
BSOT-355. Justice and Mercy in the Hebrew Bible.
This course considers the Hebrew concepts and vocabulary of justice and mercy, including divine forgiveness, human repentance, and the place of sacrifice. It focuses on several specific areas: slavery, women’s rights, same gender sex, violence, capital punishment, ecology, tithing, poverty, doing justice within life’s constraints, and the question of whether God is just. The course is taught as an online course, using Zoom video conference software.
BSOT-405. Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Exegesis.
This three-credit hour course provides an introduction to modern, critical exegetical methods for studying the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Prereqs.: BSOT-201 and BSOT-202
BSOT-510. The Minor Prophets.
Addresses what each Minor Prophet preached and the overall message of each of the Minor Prophets' books. Students will discern how these themes apply today and consider how to communicate the truths found in the Minor Prophets' books. Prereqs.: BSOT-201 and BSOT-202
BSOT. Reel Religion: Hollywood Hermeneutics.
This course will introduce students to the relatively new field of film and religion studies, consider a variety of approaches to analyzing films with a religious lens; students will view, discuss, and write about a broad range of excellent films, some of which the students are likely to be familiar with and others of which they probably have never seen before. Categories include biblically based films, hero/superhero films, films with Christ figures, films about the Jesus story, films with a sacrifice theme, films about genocide, and more.