Our Old Testament course offerings are diverse in order to meet the needs and interests of students. Current course titles and descriptions are outlined below. 

Old Testament ThM/PhD Level Courses
OT 703 The Minor Prophets

  • To investigate the unique content, form, and theology of each of the 12 Minor Prophets
  • To review recent contributions regarding the unity of the Minor Prophets
  • To engage in original research of unifying motifs and themes through the Minor Prophets

Topics covered include the contribution of the Minor Prophets to the canon and 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. Faculty.

OT 731 The Book of Psalms

  • To read the Psalms with particular 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, and Messianic interpretation. 

Fall semester. Faculty.

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. 

Fall semester. Dr. 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. 

Fall semester. Faculty.

Prerequisites: OT 013 (or equivalent).

OT 753 Ugaritic II

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

Spring semester. Faculty.

Prerequisites: OT 751.

OT 761 Biblical and Inscriptional Aramaic

  • To gain 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 2 or 3 texts from Syria-Palestine and Mesopotamia dating from the 9th and 8th centuries B.C.

Fall semester. Faculty.

Prerequisites: OT 013 (or equivalent). Students enrolled in the PhD 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.

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 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. 

Fall semester. Faculty.

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 3 translations of the biblical book of Jonah: “inter-linear,” “essentially literal,” and “fluid.” 

Spring semester. Dr. Putnam.

Prerequisites: OT 012 (or equivalent).

OT 821 Science and Genesis 1-3 in the Light of Hermeneutical Principles

  • To understand Genesis 1-3
  • To evaluate major positions in secondary literature, especially with regard to what they do with the relation of Genesis 1-3 to modern science
  • To evaluate suggested harmonizations with modern science
  • To discern what major interpretive principles influence interpretation
  • To discern the theological implications of interpretive stances
  • To evaluate interpretations on the basis of biblical and theological foundations

Topics covered include exegesis of Genesis 1-3; special attention to correlations with providence; the role of hermeneutics; the key position of the doctrine of God; the possible pertinence of ancient Near Eastern myths; the genre of Genesis and of Genesis 1-4; critical principles for sifting scientific claims; days of creation; Adam; the fall; and the firmament.

Spring semester. Dr. Poythress.

OT 850 The Book of Ezekiel

  • To engage in a grammatical-historical reading of selected passages from the book of Ezekiel
  • To explore its structure, themes, and theology
  • To develop a distinctly Christian interpretation of this book, with a view toward teaching and preaching its message in a contemporary context

Topics covered include a study of the history of the critical approaches, 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 book’s role in redemptive history.

Summer term. Dr. Duguid.

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 more contemporary approaches (literary, canonical, reader-response, ideological, etc.).

Spring semester. Dr. Duguid.

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 sayings found in Proverbs 10:1-30:9. 

Spring semester. Dr. 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. Faculty.

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 the history of 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. Faculty.

OT 940 Biblical Theology of Worship

  • To discuss the sacred places, people, offerings and festivals of the Old Testament
  • To trace the redemptive-historical development of forms of worship, from the Garden of Eden to the exilic period and beyond into the New Testament

Topics covered are primarily exegetical, interacting with the Biblical materials rather than with historical-critical approaches. The goal of the course is to form a solid Biblical basis from which to address the issues of worship that face the contemporary church.

Summer term. Dr. Duguid.

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 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.” 

Fall semester. Dr. Putnam.

OT 963 Judges

  • To engage in a close reading of the Hebrew text of the book of Judges
  • To understand the book of Judges in the broader context of the Deuteronomistic history
  • To explore redemptive-historical interpretation of the book of Judges and the proper application of its message in the contemporary church through preaching and counseling

Topics covered include the history of interpretation of the book of Judges; matters of special introduction to the book; the use of literary methods in reading the book of Judges; the relationship between literature, history and theology in service of Christ-centered application. 

Fall semester. Dr. Duguid.

OT 981 Directed Readings in Old Testament Introduction and Theology

  • To introduce the broad spectrum of Old Testament exordium 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 PhD candidates in Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation

As a directed readings course, it has no class meetings. 

Fall and spring semesters. Faculty.

Restrictions: Students may take only one semester for credit.

Courses listed for other majors that may be counted as major courses for the ThM or PhD degree in Old Testament: NT 793, NT 941, NT 981, NT 993.

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