Syllabus - 8 40:201:02/563:220:02 H EBREW BIBLE/OLD TESTAMENT MW 5:00-6:20 p.m LSH-B117 Dr Steve A Wiggins Office hours MW 4:30-5:00 p.m Office 116

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840:201:02/563:220:02 HEBREW BIBLE /OLD TESTAMENT MW 5:00-6:20 p.m. LSH-B117 Dr. Steve A. Wiggins Office hours MW 4:30-5:00 p.m. Office: 116 Loree Office Bldg., Douglass Campus email: [email protected] This course is an introduction to the history and literature of the Hebrew Bible (sometimes known as the “Old Testament”). It will include a survey of the historical, cultural and religious traditions of ancient Israel, a study of the archaeological, historical and literary methods of research and a survey of the role of ancient Israel in ancient West Asia as indicated in the Hebrew Bible and related documents. Brief overviews of each book will be presented as well. This class has a supporting Sakai page (http://sakai.rutgers.edu) and much important information will be made available there. Students will be responsible for material that is posted on Sakai, so it is essential to make sure that access to the site is secured early in the semester. COURSE GOALS The Hebrew Bible, a product of an Eastern Culture, has become a standard component of all Western cultures. Given its prominence, understanding the document itself and how it has been used by various formative groups in Western culture is a priority. This course intends to provide the student with the critical methods for understanding the historical, cultural and religious traditions of ancient Israel and pertinent material from other countries of ancient West Asia so they may: 1. Understand the traditions and history of ancient Israel from the Ancestral Period to the Post-Exilic period 2. Form a synthesis of the literary, historical and archaeological data to demonstrate the layers of meaning within the text 3. Identify and understand the important religious beliefs of the ancient Israelites in shaping their culture and historiography 4. Respond intelligently to the question of how western culture has been influenced by ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible. STUDENT OBJECTIVES As an instructor, believe it or not, I have goals for you! You have elected to sign up for a course based on material that I have spent my whole life studying. I teach this material because I believe in its importance for the individual and society. Specifically, my hopes for you as students are that you might 1. Develop an understanding of the history of ancient Israel and foster the ability to distinguish between historical and metaphorical writing. You should learn to determine acceptable use of and recognize misuse of the Hebrew Bible. 2. Understand the use, as far as the English text will allow, of various critical methods for analyzing the text, interpretation of archaeological data and extra-biblical sources. You should be able to identify several ways in which Western cultures have understood the Hebrew Bible.
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3. Understand the various Israelite religious beliefs and practices within the different historical periods, and the idea of popular religion as opposed to formal religion. You should learn how to distinguish an historical text from a rhetorical text.
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course JEWISH STU 100 taught by Professor Wiggins during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Syllabus - 8 40:201:02/563:220:02 H EBREW BIBLE/OLD TESTAMENT MW 5:00-6:20 p.m LSH-B117 Dr Steve A Wiggins Office hours MW 4:30-5:00 p.m Office 116

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