7.1.2 Th.M./Ph.D. Level Courses

OT 703 The Minor Prophets

  • To investigate the unique content, form, and theology of each of  the twelve Minor Prophets
  • To review recent contributions regarding the unity of the Minor Prophets 
  • To engage in original research on unifying motifs and themes through the Minor Prophets

Topics covered include the contribution of the Minor Prophets to the canon and to redemptive historical hermeneutics, the history of scholarship on the unity of the Minor Prophets, and evaluation of purported redactional activity in the Minor Prophets.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Kelly.

OT 731 The Book of Psalms

  • To read the Psalms with attention to poetic language, literary forms, and in the context of the thought world of the ancient Near East
  • To read the Psalter in the context of Israel’s covenantal relationship with God 
  • To reflect on the Psalter’s function as Scripture 
  • To develop a Christian interpretation of the Psalms

Topics covered include the history of interpretation of the Psalms including recent research on the shape and shaping of the Psalter; theological themes in the Psalms; the Psalms and redemptive history; kingship and the psalms; messianic interpretation.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Green.

OT 743 Hebrew Text-Linguistic Seminar

  • To introduce Hebrew syntax and macro-linguistic structuring of the Hebrew texts of the Bible (that is, structuring beyond the level of the clause)

Topics covered include the study of the relationship between formal and functional linguistic approaches. While extensive use of computerized databases and electronic tools will be part of the course, only general familiarity with the computer is needful. Prior experience with the databases and programs is not required. The necessary computing facilities are available on campus. This seminar is sponsored in cooperation with the J. Alan Groves Center for Advanced Biblical Research.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Lowery.

OT 751 Ugaritic I

  • To obtain basic reading competence in Ugaritic
  • To compare Ugaritic to Hebrew and other Semitic languages to better understand Hebrew as a West Semitic language
  • To enter the thought world of an ancient Near Eastern culture 
  • To show how the study of Ugaritic enriches Old Testament interpretation

Topics covered include the place of Ugaritic among Semitic languages; introduction to Ugaritic grammar and syntax; translation of selections from Ugaritic mythological texts. Prerequisite, OT 013, or equivalent.
   Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Green.

OT 753 Ugaritic II

  • Advanced study of the Ugaritic language
  • Further study and in-depth analysis of Ugaritic mythological texts

Prerequisite, OT 751.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Green.

OT 761 Biblical and Inscriptional Aramaic (formerly Biblical and Targumic Aramaic)

  • To gain a competence in reading biblical Aramaic texts
  • To provide linguistic background to the study of Biblical Aramaic with an introduction to Inscriptional Aramaic

Topics covered include a survey of biblical Aramaic grammar, with an emphasis upon translation of the Aramaic portions of the Old Testament, and a brief introduction to Inscriptional Aramaic, including translation of two or three texts from Syria-Palestine and Mesopotamia, dating from the ninth and eighth centuries B.C.
Prerequisite, OT 013, or equivalent. Student enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation will need to obtain a final grade of B- or better in this course to satisfy the requirement of demonstrating competence in Biblical Aramaic.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Green.

OT 773 Explorations in Biblical Hebrew Poetry

  • To review recent theories on parallelism and prosody in biblical Hebrew
  • To investigate recent advances in biblical Hebrew text-linguistics, and apply text-linguistic theory to biblical Hebrew poetic texts
  • To engage in original text-linguistic research in the book of Jeremiah

Topics covered will include the nature of the grammar of Hebrew poetry, formalist and functional text-linguistic theories and their application to narrative and non-narrative genres in the Hebrew Bible, and text-linguistic structure of the book of Jeremiah. A portion of the course will involve seminar discussions led by students.
  Spring semester, Mr. Kelly.

OT 803 Bible Translation

  • To reflect on issues involved in translating biblical texts.
  • To evaluate modern translations. 
  • To develop skills in the art of translation.

Topics include a discussion of the possibility of translation given linguistic non-isomorphism, the nature of translational decision, and the role of precedent in translation. In addition to lectures and discussion, students will work together to produce three translations of the biblical book of Jonah: “inter-linear”, “essentially literal”, and “fluid.” Prerequisite, OT 012 or equivalent.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Putnam.

OT 821 Genesis 1 – 3

  • To engage in a grammatical-historical interpretation of Genesis 1-3 (with particular attention to the ancient Near Eastern background to these chapters and to their literary function as an introduction to the Pentateuch)
  • To reflect on the history of Jewish and Christian interpretation of these chapters, from early Jewish to post-reformational

Topics covered include creation in the ancient Near East; Genesis 1-3 as an introduction to the Pentateuch; the image of God; royal imagery in Genesis 1-3; Genesis 3: fall or maturation?; and Adam in early Jewish and Christian interpretation.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015.) Mr. Green.

OT 833 Restoration in Old Testament Interpretation

  • Offer a biblical and theological study of the OT writers' own interpretation of the 6th-5th century period of restoration from exile.

Revaluation of Old Testament interpretation of this period is crucial for understanding the movement of Israel’s history, the rise of early Judaism, and the future hope of God’s people. To this end, the course will examine the relevant canonical literature of the restoration period (e.g., Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah). Topics covered include the historical circumstances of the period, the hermeneutical and historical problems involved in its contemporary study, and significant theological developments (e.g., the role of temple and priesthood, the absence of a reigning Davidic monarch, the nature and vocation of Israel, repentance and eschatological delay). The import of these developments for understanding Second Temple Judaism and the NT period will also be considered.
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015).

OT 861 The Suffering Servant

  • To engage in a grammatical-historical reading of Isaiah’s servant poems (Isa 42:1-9; 49:1-12, 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12) in the context of the finished book of Isaiah.
  • To review the history of Jewish and Christian interpretation of these chapters with particular attention to early interpretive tendencies in subsequent Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts (including the New Testament).
  • To investigate the contribution of these poems to the motif of the “suffering righteous/righteous sufferer” in the OT and early Judaism. 
  • To assess the import of these poems for the construction of a Christian theology of atonement.

Topics covered include hermeneutical and critical issues in the interpretation of the servant poems, the task and identity of the servant figure, OT conceptions of righteousness and suffering in contexts of exile and restoration, vicarious suffering, representation, and messianism.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). 

OT 903 Critical Methodologies

  • To explore various methods and approaches of biblical criticism and study
  • To learn to be critical about the nature of one’s assumptions concerning the nature of the Bible, its coherence, and its study

Topics covered include the traditional critical methods (source, form, redaction) as well as the more contemporary approaches (e.g., literary, canonical, reader-response, ideological, etc.)
  Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Green and Mr. Kelly.

OT 913 The Book of Proverbs

  • To provide an inductive and exegetical orientation to the book of Proverbs

Topics covered include Proverbs’ purpose, organization, provenance and interpretation, emphasizing the translation, interpretation and use of the individual wisdom saying found in Proverbs 10:1-30:9.
 Spring semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). Mr. Putnam.

OT 923 Lamentations

  • To engage in a close reading of the Hebrew of Lamentations, its poetic features and acrostic form, literary and rhetorical structures, theological content and reception.

Topics covered include Lamentations’ theology of sin and suffering, its explanation of why the fall of Jerusalem occurred, and its portrayal of disillusionment with Yahweh’s willingness to intervene for his people's deliverance. In light of God’s sovereignty, justice, and ultimate mercy in Christ, students will reflect on the role of prayer, meditation, complaint, and repentance in Lamentations as a way of handling catastrophe.
  Spring semester.  (Not given in 2014-2015). 

OT 931 The Book of Isaiah

  • To engage in a grammatical-historical reading of the book of Isaiah
  • To explore its structure, themes, and theology 
  • To develop a distinctly Christian interpretation of this book

Topics covered include a study of the history of the critical approaches to Isaiah, the structure and content of the book, motifs in the prophecy, and an orientation to Old Testament prophetic literature. Special attention will be given to the issue of the book’s unity and its role in redemptive history.
  Fall semester. (Not given in 2014-2015). 

OT 944 Metaphor in Scripture

  • To understand and be able to explain various theories of metaphor, from Aristotle to cognitive science
  • To apply the cognitive theory of metaphor to literary texts and to Scripture
  • To identify, describe, and explore the theological and ministerial implications of a biblical metaphoric world
  • To provide an inductive exploration of metaphoric “worlds” in Scripture

Topics covered include the identification of textual metaphors and their underlying root metaphors in Scripture, the alignment of those metaphors with others that belong to the same metaphoric “world”, and discerning the theological and pastoral implications of those different “worlds.”
  Spring semester, Mr. Putnam.

OT 963 Judges

  • To engage in a close reading of the Hebrew and Greek texts of the book of Judges.
  • To explore redemptive-historical interpretation of the book of Judges.
  • To understand the book of Judges in the broader theory of the Deuteronomistic History.

Topics covered include the history of interpretation of the book of Judges; matters of special introduction to the book; the role of the book of Judges in constructing an Old Testament Theology; the use of literary methods in reading the book of Judges synchronically; the relationship between history and theology; and various proposed historical situations for the composition of the book of Judges.
  Spring semester, Mr. Duguid.

OT 983 Readings in Old Testament Introduction and Theology

  • To introduce the broad spectrum of Old Testament introduction and theology

Topics covered include general introduction (canon, text, historical background, and language); special introduction (background to the individual books); critical methodologies; and Old Testament theology. Required of all Ph.D. candidates in Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation.
  Fall and spring semesters. Students may take only one semester for credit. Mr. Kelly.

Holy Land Studies
Students may elect to take a course at the Jerusalem University College in Jerusalem. For more information see Holy Land Studies in section 5.9. Course offerings are available in the Registrar’s Office.