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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Theology and Literary History of the Hebrew Bible (BIST11030)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course is designed as an exegetical module for the MTh/MSc in Biblical Studies at the School of Divinity. It will introduce the current state of research on theology and literary history of the Hebrew Bible, using the example of selected texts in their original language from different literary compositions (the three major prophets, the psalms, the Hexateuch,...). The course is designed as a companion to BIST11021 (Hebrew Bible in Historical-Critical Perspective), and in this form also serves to prepare students for further postgraduate work in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.
Course description Academic Description:
This course introduces postgraduate students to historical-critical research and prepares them for further postgraduate studies. With the current differentiation in diverse approaches, the question for the historical meaning of a text and its contribution to the theology of the Hebrew Bible is more than ever valid. This course will introduce the current state of research on theology and literary history of the Hebrew Bible, drawing on selected texts from different literary compositions in their original language (the three major prophets, the psalms, the Hexateuch; see the current course handbook for more information).

Sample Syllabus/Outline Content:
Theology and Literary History of the Three Major Prophets
1: Introduction: Historical-Critical Research and the Three Major Prophets
2: The beginnings: The Isaiah Memoir Isa 6-8
3: Deutero-Isaiah: Isa 40:1-9; 52:7-10
4: The servant of Yhwh: Isa 42:1-4; 52:13-53:12
5: Jeremiah's Call and Message: Jer 1
6: Gola and Diaspora: Jer 23:1-8; 24:1-10
7: The Little Book of Consolation: Jer 31,31-34; 32,37-41
8: Ezekiel's Commission: Ezek 2:9-3:15
9: The end is coming: Ezek 7:1-12a
10: Prophets and Prophetesses: Ezek 13
11: Salvation! Ezek 36:16-23

Student Learning Experience Information:
Students will be taught in weekly 2-hour sessions, which start from a lecture-style introduction and incorporate translation and interpretation sections with interactive elements. Over the course of the seminar, each student will be required to present a 10-min conference-style paper on the interpretation of a selected text, answer questions, and lead the seminar discussion. Students are assessed on their in-class presentation and an exegetical essay, in which they demonstrate the 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
Pre-requisitesVisiting students are welcome, if they fulfill the language requirements.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To critically analyse different texts from the Hebrew Bible and discuss their significance for Old Testament Theology.
  2. To analyse, critique, and evaluate research contributions on specific texts from the Hebrew Bible.
  3. To script a well-researched interpretation of a biblical text in discussion with current research on the wider literary composition.
  4. To present an exegetical interpretation of a Hebrew text in a conference-style presentation.
  5. To lead a scholarly discussion on a biblical text and discuss constructively different points of view.
Reading List
Indicative Bibliography:

Introductions and Overviews:
Boda, Mark J./McConville, Gordon, Dictionary of the Old Testament Prophets, Nottingham: IVP, 2012.
Gertz, Jan Christian, The T&T Clark Handbook of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Literature, Religion and History of the Old Testament, London: T&T Clark, 2012.
Kratz, Reinhard G., The Composition of the Narrative Books of the Old Testament, London: T&T Clark, 2005.
Kratz, Reinhard G., The Prophets of Israel, CSHB 2, Eisenbrauns, 2015.
Kratz, Reinhard G., Historical and Biblical Israel: The History, Traditions, and Archives of Israel and Judah, Oxford: OUP, 2015.
Sæbo, Magne et a. (ed.), Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. III: From Modernism to Post-Modernism. Part 3: The Twentieth Century ¿ From Modernism to Post-Modernism, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2014.
Rogerson, J.W. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies, Oxford: OUP, 2008.
Schmid, Konrad, The Old Testament: A Literary History, Fortress Press, 2012.
Schmid, Konrad, A Historical Theology of the Hebrew Bible, Eerdmans, 2019.
Spieckermann, H./Feldmeier, R., The God of the Living: A Biblical Theology, Baylor University Press, 2015.

Sample Readings for the Three Major Prophets:
Allen, Leslie C., Ezekiel 20¿48, WBC 29, Waco: Word Books, 1990.
Allen, Leslie C., Ezekiel 1¿19, WBC 28, Waco: Word Books, 1994.
Allen, Leslie C., Jeremiah: A Commentary, OTL, London: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
Berges, Ulrich, ¿The Literary Construction of the Servant in Isaiah 40-55¿, SJOT 25 (2010): 28-38.
Blenkinsopp, Joseph, Isaiah 1¿39: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 19, New York: Doubleday, 2000.
Blenkinsopp, Joseph, Isaiah 40¿55: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 19A, New York: Doubleday, 2002.
Blenkinsopp, Joseph, ¿The Sacrificial Life and Death of the Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)¿, VT 66 (2016): 1-14.
Block, Daniel I, The Book of Ezekiel. Chapters 1¿24, NICOT, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.
Block, Daniel I, The Book of Ezekiel. Chapters 25¿48, NICOT, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
Bowen, Nancy R., ¿The Daughters of your People¿, JBL 118 (1998): 417-433.
Greenberg, Moshe, Ezekiel 1¿20: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 22, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983.
Brettler, Marc/Levine, Amy Jill, ¿Isaiah¿s Suffering Servant: Before and After Christianity¿, Interpretation 72 (2019): 158-173.
Claasens, Juliana, ¿Going Home? Exiles, Inciles, and Refugees in the Book of Jeremiah¿, HTS 75 (2019): 1-6.
Greenberg, Moshe, Ezekiel 21¿37: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 22A, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1997.
Holladay, William Lee/Hanson, Paul D., Jeremiah: A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, Hermeneia, Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989.
Janowski, Bernd, ¿Er trug unsere Sünden: Jesaja 53 und die Dramatik der Stellvertretung¿, ZThK 90 (1993): 1-24.
Jong, Matthijs J. de, Isaiah Among the Ancient Near Eastern Prophets: A Comparative Study of the Earliest Stages of the Isaiah Tradition and the Neo-Assyrian Prophecies, VT.S 117, Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2007.
Klein, Anja. ¿Prophecy Continued: Reflections on Innerbiblical Exegesis in the Book of Ezekiel¿, VT 60 (2010): 571¿582.
Leene, Henk, ¿Ezekiel and Jeremiah: Promises of Inner Renewal in Diachronic Perspective¿, Pages 150-175 in Past, Present, and Future: The Deuteronomistic History and the Prophets, ed. Moore, Johannes C.D., Leiden: Brill, 2000.
Lust, Johan. ¿The Use of Textual Witnesses for the Establishment of the Text: The Shorter and Longer Texts of Ezekiel: An Exemple: Ez 7,¿ pages 7-20 in Ezekiel and His Book: Textual and Literary Criticism and Their Interrelation, Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 74, hg. v. Johan Lust, Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1986.
Nissinen, Martti, Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East, Writings from the Ancient World 12, Atlanta: SBL Press, 2003.
Nogalski, James, Interpreting Prophetic Literature: Historical and Exegetical Tools for Reading the Prophets, Louisville: Westminster, 2015.
Tiemeyer, Lena-Sofia, ¿Recent Currents in Research on the Prophetic Literature¿, ET 119 (2007): 161¿169.
Schmid, Konrad/Steck, Odil Hannes. ¿Restoration Expectations in the Prophetic Tradition of the Old Testament¿, Pages 41¿81 in Restoration: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian Perspectives, JSJ.S 72, edited by James M. Scott. Leiden et al.: Brill, 2001.
Seitz, Christopher R., Theology in Conflict: Reactions to the Exile in the Book of Jeremiah, BZAW 176, Berlin: deGruyter, 176.
Steck, Odil H., The Prophetic Books and Their Theological Witness, St Louis: Chalice Press, 2000 (German original 1996).
Stökl, Jonathan/Carvalho, Corrine L. (ed.), Prophets Male and Female: Gender and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Ancient Near East, Ancient Israel and Its Literature 25, Atlanta: SBL Press, 2013.
Sweeney, Marvin A., Isaiah 1-39, with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature, FOTL 16, Grand Rapids (Michigan): Eerdmans, 1996.
Tiemeyer, Lena-Sofia, ¿Recent Currents in Research on the Prophetic Literature¿, ET 119 (2007): 161¿169.
Zimmerli, Walther, Ezekiel 1: A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. Chapters 1¿24, Hermeneia. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979 (German original 1969).
Zimmerli, Walther, Ezekiel 2: A Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. Chapters 25¿48, Hermeneia, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983 (German original 1969).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Curiosity for learning and openness to different perspectives;
Finely-tuned skills in translation, analysis and interpretation of biblical texts in their original language;
Ability to communicate effectively with others, both orally and in writing.
KeywordsHebrew Bible,Theology,Literary History,Historical-Critical Perspective,Prophets,Hexateuch,Psalm
Course organiserDr Anja Klein
Tel: (0131 6)50 8960
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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