B111 Biblical Studies I: Torah and Former Prophets
This first required biblical studies course introduces students to a variety of interpretive tools for reading the Bible, with particular attention to the social and historical context of the Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy) and Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings).
B112 Biblical Studies II: The Latter Prophets and Writings
The course will provide a general introduction to the Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Book of the Twelve) and the Writings (with emphasis on the Psalms’, Proverbs’; Job, and the Five Scrolls). Attention will be given to historical context, literary style, and canonical shape, as well as a theological appropriation of the material for teaching and preaching in the church.
B113 Biblical Studies III: Jesus and Paul (through Fall 2010)
This course forms the chronological first half of the New Testament portion of the Biblical Studies curriculum, treating the two leading figures in the origins of Christianity: Jesus and Paul. The first half of the course will be devoted to the historical figure of Jesus, including the problems associated with the quest for the historical Jesus, as well as things Jesus was remembered to have said and done. The second half of the course will deal with the apostle Paul. This section of the course will examine the distinctive features of Pauline Christianity as they appear in the seven authentic letters of Paul. It will also include several sessions devoted specifically to the exegesis of Pauline texts. Attention will be given throughout the course to the question of whether and how the study of these origins might prove significant to our present understanding of the nature of Christian faith.
B114 Biblical Studies IV: Gospels, Epistles, Revelation (through Spring 2010)
Biblical Studies IV surveys the content and issues in interpretation of the canonical gospels, the Deutero-Pauline and pseudepigraphical epistles, and Revelation. It is a course in which students explore the historical origins of these writings as witnesses of ancient communities and the interpretation of these writings via various contemporary interpretive approaches. In conjunction with Biblical Studies I, II, and III the course seeks to hone the interpretive skills of students, both with a depth of appreciation for the contexts and content of the Biblical writings, and an understanding of how to most appropriately and faithfully interpret the Biblical writings for the practice of ministry in their own contexts of the church today.
B115 Biblical Studies III: The Gospels and Revelation (first offered Fall 2011)
Biblical Studies III surveys the content and issues in interpretation of the canonical gospels, and the book of Revelation. It is a course in which students explore the historical origins and sources of these writings, as well as engage them via various contemporary interpretive approaches. In conjunction with Biblical Studies I, II, and IV the course seeks to hone the interpretive skills of students, both with a depth of appreciation for the contexts and content of the Biblical writings, and an understanding of how to most appropriately and faithfully interpret the Biblical writings for the practice of ministry in their own contexts of the Church today.
B116 Biblical Studies IV: Paul and the Interpreters of Paul (first offered Spring 2011)
More than half of the New Testament is devoted to texts either written by Paul or in his name. This course offers an introduction to the figure of Paul in his social and historical context, and to the interpretation of his letters. It also explores how the figure of Paul (after his martyrdom) became an authority for ministry and the leadership of the church in the writings of the interpreters of Paul in the late first and early second century. The course seeks to engage students in their imaginations for ministry – attending to Paul’s relationship with his churches, his negotiation of authority in his leadership and his reliance upon and freedom within the traditions of his early Jewish religious heritage in communicating his understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ. Additionally, the course will explore how the interpreters of Paul represent the diversity of the early church as it developed within the Greco-Roman world, and how Paul’s writings and those of his interpreters raise questions about the nature of religious authority, the meaning of “scripture,” and the establishing of the canon. Finally, the course will offer the opportunity to explore how the interpretation of Paul in the overall life of the church has been a contested enterprise, particularly around matters of human freedom and justice related to gender, race, class and human sexuality.