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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Biblical Studies

Undergraduate Course: Prophets and Their Oracles (BIST08019)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is the partner to Moses and the Torah (level 8), and is aimed at students beginning their academic study of biblical literature. It is an introduction to the prophets of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and their writings in historical, literary, and theological context.
Course description Academic Description:
This course is one of a suite of four courses which introduce students to the academic study of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (HB/OT) and New Testament. In this course we explore the phenomenon of prophecy in the HB/OT and its substantial body of prophetic texts. The 'writing prophets' are set within the context of their ancient Near Eastern environment, and located within the historical moments of their own activity. Selected texts are examined more closely in historical, literary, and theological perspective. Shared themes are considered, as well as the various developments which distinguish periods of prophetic activity, and individual prophetic books.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The broad context for the study of the prophets is considered by covering the nature of the biblical canon, its historical structure, and the wider ancient Near Eastern cultural context. Prophetic elements of the 'historical books' of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (HB/OT) are investigated, before turning to the 'writing prophets', Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve ('Minor Prophets'). These are studied through the main phases of prophetic activity in the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian periods. The course concludes with the rise of apocalyptic prophecy in the book of Daniel, and its trajectory into later Jewish and Christian texts.

Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of three one-hour weekly lectures plus a one-hour tutorial per week. There will be interactive elements to the lectures, and there is a schedule of reading to be carried out before each lecture and each tutorial. A scholarly introduction to the prophetic literature is used as a supplementary textbook. Each week has assigned readings also from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (the New Revised Standard Version is used). Weekly tutorial sessions feature small-group work around a particular text or set of related texts which give insight into the issues involved in their interpretation, as well as their contribution to the development of the prophetic literature. Two essays -- one theme based, and one text based -- allow students to develop their analytical and writing skills. Through these, as well as the examination at the conclusion of the course, students will demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify and explain the significance of different literary genres found in the prophetic writings.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of seminal contributions to the study of the Hebrew prophets.
  3. Assess different theories of the origins and interpretation of the Hebrew prophets.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to identify key terms and their meanings.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsOld Testament,Hebrew Bible,Prophets,prophecy,apocalyptic,Isaiah,Jeremiah,Ezekiel,Daniel
Course organiserDr Suzanna Millar
Tel: (0131 6)50 8904
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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