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Notes on the Syllabus

The following syllabus was used for an Introduction to the Hebrew Bible taught at Lawrence University in Fall 2011. The class met twice a week, for a session of 110 mins. with a break in the middle. The rationale of the course was twofold: first, to ensure that the students who complete the course have read most of the Hebrew Bible, and that anything that was not read for class is similar to sections read, and thus the students have tools to deal with it; second, to familiarize students with basic analytical terms for studying the Hebrew Bible, by dividing it into its seven genres of writing: narrative, law, historiography, prophecy, poetry, wisdom, and apocalypse. For these purposes the students read the primary texts with the Jewish Study Bible edition, and consulted Collinss introduction. The final two classes introduced students to major questions of scholarship concerning material outside the Hebrew Bible: archaeology and postbiblical literature.

INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE


Aryeh Amihay Details: RLST 150; CRN 5961 Room: Main Hall 005 T Th 9:00-10:50 Office 410 (phone: 832-7202) Office Hours: T 11:00-12:00 Th 13:30-15:00 aryeh.amihay@lawrence.edu

Books Berlin, Adele and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds. Jewish Study Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Students who already own other editions of the JPS translation may use them. Use of other translations pending approval from instructor. Collins, John J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004 (Note: Do not confuse this with Collinss Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible [Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007]). Abbreviations: primary text cited henceforth as JSB, and textbook as Collins. Instructions The course will focus on reading primary texts. Preparation of text requires reading the biblical text, and coming to class with questions and observations on the text. Marginal notes and introductions in JSB will certainly be helpful in preparation, but are not required. Textbook readings are required before class unless marked with a star (*). Star (*): does not denote reading as optional, but rather that class will repeat things in the textbook. It is less urgent, but final exam will assume acquaintance with star-marked readings. Grading: 7% 25% 30% 10% each assignment (x5= 35%) midterm paper (3-5 pp.) final exam (take-home essay exam) participation

Amihay, Intro to HB-RLST 150

Class 1 (Sep. 13) Introduction *Collins, 1-20 * Marc Zvi Brettler, The Canonization of the Bible (JSB 2072-2077)

Class 2 (Sep. 15) Genesis Hand in proficiency quiz by 9am Book of Genesis (JSB 12-101) Collins 57-61 (start at Profiles of the Sources) *Collins, 47-104. Class 3 (Sep. 20) Exodus and Wilderness Narratives Hand in proficiency quiz by 9am Ex 1-20, 24, 32-33; Num 11-14, 16-17, 20-25, 31-32 (JSB 107-152, 161-163, 183-188, 306-312, 315-319, 323-335, 344-349) *Collins, 107-156

Class 4 (Sep. 22) Biblical Law 1 Hand in Assignment on Biblical Law by 9am Ex 21-23, 34; Lev 4-5, 10-12, 16-21, Num 5 (JSB 152-161, 188-191, 211-217,227-234, 243-260, 293-295) - Laws of Eshnuna and Code of Hammurabi (All extra readings that are not in Collins or JSB are available on the courses website on Moodle and on the librarys e-reserves) - Collins, 125-134, 143-151 - Jonathan Klawans, Concepts of Purity in the Bible (JSB 2041-2047) - Optional: Greenberg, Some Postulates of Biblical Criminal Law

Class 5 (Sep. 27) Biblical Law 2: Deuteronomy - Collins, 159-173 - Deut 1, 4-6, 10; 12-15, 17:14-20, 22; 27-28; 31:22-34:12 (JSB 370-382, 387-389, 391-400, 405-413, 415-418, 425-433) - Weinfeld, Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School, 1-9 (optional: 179-189) 2
Amihay, Intro to HB-RLST 150

Class 6 (Sep. 29) Historiography: Joshua and Judges - Josh 1-6, 10, 22-24; Ju 1-4, 11, 13-19 (JSB 464-474, 480-483, 501-507, 510-519, 535-552) - Collins, 183-191, 199-200, 203-214 Class 7 (Oct. 4) Intertextuality: Samuel, Saul and David Hand in intertextuality assignment by 9am - 1 Sam 1-3, 8-9, 12, 14-22, 25, 28, 31; 2 Sam 1, 3, 7, 9, 11-21; 1 Ki 1-2 (JSB 561-568, 574-578, 581-583, 585-604, 608-610, 613-615, 618-621, 623-626, 631-632, 634-660, 671-677) - Collins, 225-239 *Collins, 217-247 Class 8 (Oct. 6) Historiography: Kings, The Chronicler, Ezra & Nehemiah - 1 Ki 3-16; 2 Ki 11-25; Ezra 1-5; Neh 1-3; 1 Chr 1; 2 Chr 36 (JSB 677-711; 747-779; 1671-1678; 1689-1693; 1717-1718; 1823-1825) - Collins, 445-460 *Collins 247-279 Class 9 (Oct. 11) Prophecy 1: Pre-Classical Prophets and Northern prophets Hand in assignment by 9am - 1 Ki 17-20, 22; 2 Ki 2, 4-9; Amos + Hosea (all) (JSB 711-720, 722-725, 727-730, 732-744, 1177-1192, 1144-1165) - Collins, 283-304 - Optional: David Petersen, The Prophetic Literature. An Introduction, 1-33.

Amihay, Intro to HB-RLST 150

Class 10 (Oct. 13) - Prophecy 2: Judean Prophets - Isa 1-12, 28-31; Micah (all); Jer 1-7, 9, 14-15, 20, 26 (JSB 784-809, 836-846; 1206-1218; 921-941, 943-945, 954-958, 966-968, 979-980) - Collins, 307-324, 334-339 Class 11 (Oct. 18) Prophecy 3: Prophecy and Exile: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Deutero-Isaiah - Isa 36-39; Jer 26-31, 36; Ezek 1-11, 16-20, 24, 37-48; Isa 40-48 (JSB 853-860; 979-991, 1000-1002; 1045-1062, 1067-1079, 1087-1089, 1113-1138; 860-882) - Collins, 342-346, 353-376, 379-389

Reading Period, no class (Oct. 20): prepare mid-term paper Class 12 (Oct. 25) Biblical Poetry 1: Psalms Hand in Midterm paper by beginning of class. - Ps 1-3, 6, 8, 13, 18, 22-24, 27, 29, 40, 42, 51, 66-68, 72, 82, 89, 90-92, 96, 99, 103-104, 113-115, 117118, 121-122, 126, 133, 136, 137, 149-150 (JSB starting at 1284 and ending at 1446, skip as appropriate) - Berlin, Reading Biblical Poetry (=JSB 2097-2104) - Collins, 461-480 Class 13 (Oct. 27) Biblical Poetry 2: Song of Songs and Lamentations - Song of Songs; Lamentations (all) (JSB 1566-1577; 1589-1602) - Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry, 185-203 (The Garden of Metaphor) *Collins, 480-484; 348-350 Class 14 (Nov. 1) Wisdom Literature: Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes - Pr 1-9, 14, 19, 24, 27, 30-31; Job 1-10, 28, 38-42; Ecc 1-3, 7, 11-12 (JSB 1449-1463, 1469-1471, 1477-1478, 1485-1487, 1490-1491, 1494-1498; 1505-1519, 1539-1541, 1551-1562; 1606-1610, 1614-1615, 1619-1622) - Collins, 487-502 *Collins, 505-526 4
Amihay, Intro to HB-RLST 150

Class 15 (Nov. 3) The Biblical Novella: Jonah, Ruth and Esther Read the books of Jonah, Ruth and Esther [after reading Ruth look at Ezra 9-10 for background] (JSB 1200-1204; 1579-1586; 1626-1639 [1684-1687]) - William Whedbee, The Bible and the Comic Vision, 191-220 - Marc Zvi Brettler, How to Read the Bible, 267-272 - Edward Greenstein, Reading Strategies and the Story of Ruth, in Women in the Hebrew Bible. A Reader (ed. Alice Bach; New York and London: Routledge, 1999), 211-231 *Collins, 529-543 Class 16 (Nov. 8) Apocalyptic and Eschatological Literature: Daniel, Deutero-Isaiah, Zechariah - Daniel 1-12; Isa 6, 24-27, 52-53; Ezek 1, 8; Zech 9 (JSB 1642-1665; 796-797, 829-836, 889-892; 1046-1048, 1056-1058; 1258-1260) - Collins, 553-571, 385-389, 394-399, 411-413 Class 17 (Nov. 10) Mixing the Genres: Narratives that include poetry, Narratives of Law Gn 49; Ex 14-15; Lev 24:10-23; Num 15:32-41, 22-24, 27, 36; Ju 4-5; 2 Sam 1:17-27 (JSB 96-99, 134-139, 267-268; 315, 328-334, 338-340, 354-355, 517-522, 620-621) - Steven Weitzman, Moving between Prose and Poetry (in his Song & Story in Biblical Narrative. The History of a Literary Convention in Ancient Israel [Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997], 1-14). Class 18 (Nov. 15) Archaeology and the Bible - Mognes Trolle Larsen, The 'Babel/Bible' Controversy and its Aftermath, in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (ed. Jack M. Sasson. New York: Scribner, 1995). 1: 95-106. - William Dever, Getting at the History behind the History: What Convergences between Texts and Artifacts Tell Us about Israelite Origins and the Rise of the State (in his What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know it? What Archaeology and the Bible Can Tell Us about Ancient Israel [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2001], 97-157). - Thomas Thompson, (2006). "Archaeology and the Bible Revisited: A Review Article." Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 20.2 (2006): 286 - 313. *Collins, 25-45

Amihay, Intro to HB-RLST 150

Class 19 (Nov. 17) The Afterlives of the Hebrew Bible 1QpHab 7; 1QpNah 2; Matthew 1, 19:3-9, 22:34-40; m. Avot 1.1; 3. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.8.1; b. Bava Metzia 59b; b. Men. 29b [selections on Moodle, explanations in class] James L. Kugel, Early Jewish Biblical Interpretation, in The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism (ed. John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow; Grand Rapids, Mich. and Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2010): 121-141. James A. Sanders, The Stabilization of Tanak, in A History of Biblical Interpretation (ed. Alan J. Hauser and Duane F. Watson; Grand Rapids, Mich. and Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2003): 1: 225-252. William Horbury, Old Testament Interpretation in the Writings of the Church Fathers, in Mikra. Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (ed. Martin J. Mulder; Assen and Maastricht: Van Gorcum and Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988): 727-787.

Amihay, Intro to HB-RLST 150