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COURSE NUMBER: THEO 250
COURSE TITLE: Entering the Story: Introduction to the Bible
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Doug Harink
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: An exploration of the genres, storylines, themes and theological patterns within the Bible. We shall engage the biblical text both as ancient literature and as Christian scripture which reveals the truth of God, the world and humanity.
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • The Bible.  A recent scholarly translation of the Bible (NRSV or NIV/TNIV). Students are strongly urged to purchase The New Interpreter’s Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. Edited by Walter Harrelson. Nashville: Abingdon, 2003. It is full of many valuable aids for understanding the biblical text. 
  • Kaminsky, Joel S., Joel N. Lohr, and Mark Reasoner. The Abingdon Introduction to the Bible: Understanding Jewish and Christian Scriptures. Nashville: Abingdon, 2014.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Term assignments30%
Mid-Term exam25%
Participation10%
Final exam 35%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: By completing this course students may expect to gain:
  1. familiarity with significant and representative portions of Old and New Testament literature in their historical context;
  2. ability to distinguish various genres of biblical literature and to employ reading strategies appropriate to the genres;
  3. understanding of significant theological themes and patterns in the Bible and in Christian thought;
  4. awareness of how the Bible, read as Christian scripture, creates, informs and guides major themes of Christian faith, thought and practice in the contemporary world;
  5. insight into how a biblical-theological vision critically engages significant intellectual issues in the university context.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • The First Day (Jan 5)
    • The Strange Book and the Final Exam
  • Week 1 (Jan 8-12)
    • The World of the Bible
    • Read: AIB, pp 1-29
  • Week 2 (Jan 15-19)
    • The Time of the Bible
    • Read: AIB, pp 30-49
  • Week 3 (Jan 22-26)
    • The archē, telos and logos of the Bible
    •  Read:  Bible: Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:1-18; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-4
  • Week 4 (Jan 29—Feb 2)
    • God Creates a Cosmos and the Nations
    • Read: Bible: Genesis 1-11
    •   AIB, pp 52-59
  • Week 5 (Feb 5-9)
    • God Chooses Israel: Ancestors
    • Read: Bible: Genesis, 11:26—36:8
    •   AIB, pp 59-63
  • Week 6 (Feb 12-16)
    • God Creates Israel: Liberation and Law
    • Read: Bible: Exodus 1-24; Leviticus 19; Deuteronomy 5-6
    •  AIB, pp 64-79, 87-93
  • Week 7 (Feb 19-23) Reading Week: No Classes
  • Week 8 (Feb 28—Mar 2)
    • God Establishes Israel: Land and Monarchy
    • Read: Bible: Joshua 1-6; 10:16-43; 1 Samuel 8-17; 2 Samuel 5-12; I Kings 1-12
    •  AIB, pp 94-130
  • Week 9 (Mar 5-9)
    • God Speaks to Israel: The Prophets
    • Read: Bible: Isaiah 1-11, 40-43, 55; Jeremiah 29; Amos; Jonah
    •  AIB, pp 131-145, 157-160 
  • Week 10 (Mar 12-16)
    • Israel Responds to God: Poetry, Philosophy, Passion
    • Read: Psalms 1-2, 8, 23, 51, 72, 88, 104, 117, 126, 148; Proverbs 1, 8; Ecclesiastes 1-3; Song of Solomon 1-2, 4
    •  AIB, pp 169-191, 200-203
  • Week 11 (Mar 19-23)
    • God Comes to Israel: Jesus, the Messiah
    • Read: Bible: Daniel 7-12; Matthew 1-16
    •   AIB, pp 225-230; 244-251; 254-270
  • Week 12 (Mar 26-28)
    • God Comes to Israel: Jesus, the Son of God 
    • Read: Bible: Matthew 17-28; Mark 1; Luke 1-2; John 1:1-18
    •  AIB, pp 271-291
  • Week 13 (Apr 4-9)
    • God Comes to the Nations: Holy Spirit, Mission, Church, and Israel
    • Read: Bible: Acts 1-11, 13-15, 17, 21, 28; 1 Thessalonians; Galatians 1-4; Romans 1-3, 9-12, 15.
    •  AIB, pp 292-305, 313-318, 329-331
  • Week 14 (Apr 11-13)
    • God Dwells in the New Creation
    • Read: Bible: 1 Corinthians 15; Romans 8; Revelation 4-5, 21-22.
    •  AIB, pp 359-364
  • The Last Day (Apr 16)
    • The Strange Book and the Final Exam


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