Biblical Studies Course Descriptions
BIBL 101 Nature and Meaning of the Old Testament (3)
A descriptive and critical introduction to the nature of biblical revelation, principles of interpretation and major elements of the Old Testament, including the primeval and patriarchal histories, the exodus, conquest and monarchic traditions, the message of the prophets and the exilic period.
BIBL 102 Nature and Meaning of the New Testament (3)
A descriptive and critical introduction to the principles of biblical interpretation and major elements of the New Testament, including the Jesus of the Gospels, the developing church in Acts, Paul the interpreter of Christ, the General Letters, and visions of the Revelation. Prerequisite: BIBL 101.
BIBL 201 Research Methods in Biblical Studies (3)
A course that will help students develop research and writing skills that will allow them to participate in the discourse of biblical studies. Special attention will be given to the appropriate and defensible construction of bibliographies, the development of bibliographic control, and the process of preparing good research papers. The course will also address some basic questions and methodologies in the discipline of biblical studies.
BIBL 216 Praise and Lament in the Psalms (3)
A study of the Psalms in their cultural-historical, literary, theological, and canonical dimensions.
BIBL 220 1 and 2 Corinthians (3)
This course is a study of Paul's letters to the Corinthians within their historical, cultural and theological contexts. Special attention will be given to Paul's response to the moral and pastoral situation faced by the Corinthian congregations and the application of his insight to issues confronting Christians today.
BIBL 265 Biblical Hermeneutics 3
The art and theory of biblical interpretation will be explored through a historical, philosophical, and theological survey. The primary aim is to prepare students for an academically rigorous course of study in biblical and theological studies, but our discussion will also provide the basis for both personal Bible study and the preaching and teaching of the Bible.
BIBL 308 Genres of the Hebrew Bible 3
Among the most important issues in reading any piece of literature is its genre. How did the author compose the text and how did the author expect readers to understand and interpret it? We will tackle this problem as it relates to the Old Testament by examining the various genres used in the ancient world and the Old Testament. Special attention will be given to genre theory and to the nature and benefits of comparison as an interpretative tool.
BIBL 310 History and Historiography in Ancient Israel 3
The purpose of this course is to reconstruct the history of ancient Israel on the basis of the complex sources available to us from the Bible, ancient texts, and the archaeological record. Pursuit of this objective will include a detailed and in-depth analysis of the biblical books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. As we pursue our historical aims, we shall not lose sight of the important theological questions engaged by the sacred books.
BIBL 312 The Hebrew Prophets 3
A detailed investigation of the prophetic books in the Hebrew Bible and of the place and significance of prophecy in Hebrew history, with special emphasis on its social, political and Messianic thrust.
BIBL 314 I-II Samuel 3
A study of I-II Samuel with a focus on cultural-historical, literary, theological, and psychological issues.
BIBL 320 Jesus and the Gospels 3
This course will study our main canonical witnesses to Jesus—the Gospels. We will see how the Gospels present Jesus similarly and differently, notice main themes in the canonical presentation of Jesus, attend to post-biblical appropriations of Jesus (e.g., political, cultural, scholarly, literary and cinematic), and think together about how Jesus can and ought to shape Christian faith and faithfulness.
BIBL 322 Paul: His Life, Letters and Theology 3
The history of the interpretation of Paul from the early Church of the modern period precedes an careful study of Paul’s life and thought as presented in Acts and his letters.
BIBL 324 The Gospel and Letters of John 3
An exegetical introduction to the Gospel and letters of John. Special attention will be given to the structure, spiritual symbolism and major themes of these books, including a cultural and historical approach to the Christian communities addressed by John.
BIBL 325 Women in Scripture 3
This course investigates the changing roles and perceptions of women as they evolve through the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, with special attention paid to leading female personalities in both the Old and New Testaments. In addition, the course will evaluate conflicting interpretations of key texts as they have been used throughout history to determine the functional placement of women in society and the church.
BIBL 335 Early Judaism and the New Testament 3
An introduction to the literature, groups, beliefs and practices that comprised Second Temple Judaism. The course selectively illustrates how knowledge of early Judaism enlightens our understanding of the ministry of Jesus and the writings of the New Testament.
BIBL 350 Wisdom Literature 3
A concentrated study of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon with special attention to their meaning and relevance for modern life. The basic frame of reference will be Wisdom’s creation theology and its relation to biblical faith as well as other living faiths of the world.
BIBL 360 Visions of Daniel and Revelation 3
A general introduction to apocalyptic literature followed by a historical-cultural study of the symbolism and meaning of these two outstanding apocalyptic books. Special attention will be paid to competing varieties of interpretation, e.g., traditional, dispensational, critical.
BIBL 370 The Dead Sea Scrolls 3
An introduction to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their contents. The course highlights ways in which the Scrolls help us better understand the development and literature of early Christianity and early Rabbinic Judaism.
BIBL 380 Studies in the Pentateuch 3
An exegetical, historical and theological study of the traditions about Israel’s emergence as the people of God. Elements treated are the primeval history, patriarchs, exodus, the law of Sinai and the wilderness experience.
BIBL 390 Hebrews and the General Epistles 3
An analytical survey of the interpretation and meaning of Hebrews, James, I and II, Peter and Jude. Special emphasis will be given to the historical circumstances, structure and distinctive themes of these books.
BIBL 440 Senior Seminar 3
Consideration of special topics essential for integrating the educational experience of seniors in the major.
BIBL 460 Biblical Texts in Context 3
A study of the text and theology of a biblical text or texts in its canonical context and in the context of Christian interpretation. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in BIBL 201.
BIBL 461 Genesis in Context 3
A study of the text and theology of Genesis in its canonical context and in the context of Christian interpretation. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in BIBL 201.
BIBL 463 Romans in Context 3
A study of the text and theology of Romans in its canonical context and in the context of Christian interpretation. Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C in BIBL 201.