Introduction to the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) with Professor Christine Hayes

This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.

  1. The Parts of the Whole

  2. The Hebrew Bible in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting: Biblical Religion in Context

  3. The Hebrew Bible in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting: Genesis 1-4 in Context

  4. Doublets and Contradictions, Seams and Sources: Genesis 5-11 and the Historical-Critical Method

  5. Critical Approaches to the Bible: Introduction to Genesis 12-50

  6. Biblical Narrative: The Stories of the Patriarchs (Genesis 12-36)

  7. Israel in Egypt: Moses and the Beginning of Yahwism (Genesis 37- Exodus 4)

  8. Exodus: From Egypt to Sinai (Exodus 5-24, 32; Numbers)

  9. The Priestly Legacy: Cult and Sacrifice, Purity and Holiness in Leviticus and Numbers

  10. Biblical Law: The Three Legal Corpora of JE (Exodus), P (Leviticus and Numbers) and D (Deuteronomy)

  11. On the Steps of Moab: Deuteronomy

  12. The Deuteronomistic History: Life in the Land (Joshua and Judges)

  13. The Deuteronomistic History: Prophets and Kings (1 and 2 Samuel)

  14. The Deuteronomistic History: Response to Catastrophe (1 and 2 Kings)

  15. Hebrew Prophecy: The Non-Literary Prophets

  16. Literary Prophecy: Amos

  17. Literary Prophecy: Hosea and Isaiah

  18. Literary Prophecy: Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum and Habbakuk

  19. Literary Prophecy: Perspectives on the Exile (Jeremiah, Ezekiel and 2 Isaiah)

  20. Responses to Suffering and Evil: Lamentations and Wisdom Literature

  21. Biblical Poetry: Psalms and Song of Songs

  22. The Restoration: 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah

  23. Visions of the End: Daniel and Apocalyptic Literature

  24. Alternative Visions: Esther, Ruth, and Jonah