Course Exam – RELS 380 – Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Another new AU course is ready to ship–and this time, it all about the history of religion. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (RELS 380) is a three credit humanities course that leads students down the path of knowledge of Biblical translations intertwined with Jewish history. The course is designed to be taken via individualized study, with one prerequisite in any area of humanities.

RELS 380 consists of 10 units. The first two introduce the Old Testament, with a focus on ancient Jewish history that will enable students to approach the study of the Hebrew Bible with competent background knowledge of the relevant historical perspective. With such knowledge, students will be able to more fully appreciate the messages of the ancient Biblical texts and how they correspond to the Jewish political situation of the time.

Unit three introduces students to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament), including Genesis and the details of creation. Great Biblical men like Abraham, and Isaac are studied, and students will also have the opportunity to recount the details of the freedom struggle between Moses and the Israelites and their Egyptian captors.

Throughout units four and five, you will explore the messages of the ancient Prophets, beginning with Joshua (Moses’s successor), continuing through the book of Judges and exploring Israeli history from the birth of Samuel to Jerusalem’s downfall in 587 B.C., as recounted in Samuel and the books of Kings. Over units six to nine, further Old Testament books are studied in detail, including the book of Wisdom (and the life of King David), as well as the famous story of Job, who persevered under trial. Students also examine the 150 Psalms in the Psalter, and read through the book of Lamentations, which was written shortly after Jerusalem’s destruction and vividly portrays Israel’s grief over past sins and desire for repentance while counting on the mercy of their God.

Additionally, the books of great Biblical women, like Queen Esther and Ruth, are studied in context; students are also able to explore the books of Chronicles and Deuteronomy. Lastly, the meaning of the Jewish Apocalyptical vision, recounted through the writings of visionaries like Daniel, is examined.

Students’ course evaluation in RELS 380 is through two projects and one final examination. The first assignment is worth 20%; the second assignment is a research essay focusing on a particular course-related topic, and is worth 40%. The final exam is worth 40% as well.

Polish up your knowledge of Old Testament history and register today! For more information, visit: http://www.athabascau.ca/html/syllabi/rels/rels380.htm

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