Introduction to Israel's Scriptures (Old Testament) (BIB102)
The aim of this subject is to familiarise students with Israel's Scriptures as a coherent narrative that is of crucial importance to Christians (pun intended!). While this subject includes a discussion of every book in Israel's Scriptures, it goes beyond this to look at how the character of God is communicated and traces significant themes throughout. We will also look at how to read Hebrew narrative and poetry, and at the influence of cultural background on interpretation.
- Describe the overall content, storyline, and significance of Israel’s Scriptures (Old Testament);
- Outline how Israel’s Scriptures came into existence and their canonical structure;
- Define the overall historical, cultural and social context of Israel’s Scriptures;
- Examine the contents of Israel’s Scriptures.
- Summarise the key themes, structure, and developments of a book of Israel’s Scriptures;
- Discuss principles and insights derived from the study of Israel’s Scriptures for contemporary life and ministry;
- Torah: Genesis and Exodus
- Torah: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
- Former Prophets: Joshua and Judges
- Former Prophets: Samuel and Kings
- Latter Prophets: Isaiah
- Latter Prophets: Jeremiah
- Latter Prophets: Ezekiel
- Latter Prophets: The Twelve
- The Writings
Introduction to the New Testament (BIB103)
This course seeks to introduce the content of the books of the NT with a view to providing a basis for further reading and study. The primary focus will be on the message of each book within its particular historical-cultural setting, with some attention being given to its contribution to the theology of the NT as a whole. Selected critical issues will be dealt with on occasion.
- Define key elements of the historical, cultural, and literary backgrounds of the NT, with particular emphasis on Israel’s prior narrative which tradition provides their primary and authoritative interpretative framework;
- Outline the content of the canonical documents, Mark, Matthew and Luke-Acts, with particular emphasis on their main arguments/theses, key theological emphases, and relevant historical and cultural background;
- Outline the content of the canonical documents, John, & Romans to Revelation, with particular emphasis on their main arguments/theses, key theological emphases, and relevant historical and cultural background;
- Identify and discuss the various critical issues covered in class, such as provenance, unity, authorship, date, arising from the study of a given NT book.
- Introductory issues, Greco-Roman
- Jewish backgrounds, Jewish Literature, text, canon
- Introduction to the Gospel
- Mission and Message of Jesus.
- Matthew, Luke-Acts
- Intro to Paul, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians (I)
- 1-2 Corinthians
- Galatians, Romans
- Colossians, Ephesians, Philippians
- Philemon, The Pastoral Epistles
- Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, Jude, John (I)
- John (II), Epistles of John, Revelation
The Pentateuch (BIB210)
At the beginning of the bible, we find the Pentateuch. From Genesis to Deuteronomy, these books are essential for understanding our faith today. For ancient Israel, it described their origins, creation stories, ancestors, the exodus from Egypt, covenant with Yahweh, the journey to the Promised Land and their worship of Yahweh. Similarly for us as Christians, our salvation-story is framed by the people, images, and stories found in the Pentateuch. Together in this unit, we will explore these foundational themes of creation, faith, salvation, covenant, worship, land and journeying present in the Pentateuch. We will particularly discover the wonder of the Pentateuch’s literary structure and techniques as well as the world it constructs. It will also survey how the Pentateuch sets the stage for what follows in the rest of the biblical canon.
This course unit examines the literary and ideological themes and structures evident in the Pentateuch, with particular focus on the world it constructs and the influences it exerts on the remainder of the OT and modern culture
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the world of the Pentateuch, including its composition, themes, content, message, characters, and ideology
- Examine both the primary biblical materials and secondary literature from a range of perspectives
- Explain the narrative and legal techniques used in the Pentateuch
- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Pentateuch within the context of the contemporary church
- Introduction to the formation, development, and themes of the Pentateuch
- Exegesis of selected passages
Mark’s Gospel (BIB257)
Recent scholarship has come to appreciate the power and rich subtlety of Mark’s deceptively straightforward and oft-neglected account of Jesus. The rehabilitation of Jesus’ long-ignored Jewishness has contributed to this renaissance, paving the way for a new understanding of Mark’s themes, structure, coherence, and remarkably high Christology. Deepen your understanding of Mark’s gospel and its relevance today through this careful exegetical study.
- Examine the exegetical issues related to Markan Scholarship;
- Demonstrate Mark’s purpose in writing his gospel account and its intended audience;
- Explain or Illustrate a theme featured in Mark;
- Analyse a theological component emerging from Mark;
- Apply principles and insights derived from the study of Mark’s gospel for contemporary life and culture.
- Introduction; History of Markan Scholarship; 1:1-15 The Prologue
- 1:16-45 Into Galilee: Mighty Words and Mighty Deeds
- 2:1-3:6 Emerging Local Opposition: Questions about Jesus’ Authority and Holiness
- 3:7-4:34 The Lord in Strength
- 4:35-5:43 Four “Parables” of Mighty Deeds; 6:1-56 Prophets without honour … and more than a Prophet
- 7:1-8:21 True Holiness and the Inclusion of the Nations
- 8:22-10:52 The New Exodus Way of the Crucified Son of Man
- 11:1-15:47 Jerusalem: A New Temple, a New Covenant, and a New Passover
- 16:1-8 Jesus has Risen
The Psalms are infused with the diverse richness of the human experience. No matter what you are feeling, whether joy or thankfulness, grief or despair, you can always find a psalm that resonates with these emotions. This is why the Psalter continues to remain a favorite book for many of us. Together in this unit, we will explore the wonder and technique of Hebrew poetry, plus the many expressions of prayer and worship within ancient Israel. We will be challenged to utilize these psalms in our own lives to bring expression to all our experiences, whether the heights of praise or cries of doubt. But wait, there’s more! In this unit, we will also explore the sexually infused lyrical poetry of the Song of Songs. So all in all, settle back as we explore the poetry of the Psalms and Song of Songs.
This will provide students with hermeneutical princicples that will allow them to interpret and apply Psalms. In addition, more broadly, students will gain a facility with Hebrew poetry throughout the canon. Exegesis of selected passages will illustrate the hermeneutical principles.
- Explain the background, content, composition and theological motifs of the Psalms / Psalter;
- Summarise and assess the key scholarship of the Psalms/Psalter;
- Demonstrate the ability to use a range of poetic techniques found in the Psalms;
- Exhibit exegetical skills to provide a sustained argument on the interpretation of the Psalms / Psalter;
- Demonstrate the ability to explain how the Psalms / Psalter may address contemporary issues and spiritual formation.
- Poetry in the Old Testament
- Interpretation of the Psalms; history and 21st century
- Structure and format of Psalms
- Literary context of the Psalms
- Ancient Near Eastern background
- Selection of Psalm types
- Principles of Psalm interpretation
- Poetry, liturgy, spirituality, and transformation
Esther is a female character in the Old Testament who outwits her enemies in a deadly game of palace politics. In a thoughtful examination of Esther, we discover that it is a book rich in wonder, mystery, and artistic literary expression. The excellent Hebrew narrative of Esther, with its twists and turns, continues to make it a favorite book for many of us today. This unit will take you into the Persian world of Esther, and its post-exilic context. We will particularly explore with Esther ‘where is God?’ - for this narrative is crafted in such a way that the name of the LORD is never mentioned, yet God is present in every situation.
This course unit is an examination of the book of Esther and its narrative world.
- Demonstrate a sound understanding of the theological, social and ethical concerns of Esther
- Display a deepening understanding of various methods in interpreting Hebrew narrative
- Demonstrate an advanced capacity for the critical exegesis of prescribed passages;
- Reflect on the relevance of the book of Esther and make personal application to Christian life today
- Introduction to Esther
- Reading Hebrew narrative
- Character analysis
- The book production and variations
- Plot analysis
- Cultural background to Esther
- Challenges in reading Esther
- Providence in Esther
- Application in Esther