Biblical Studies

*-indicates a required course

+-indicates that there are prerequisites for admission to the course

Area I: Biblical Studies

*BS101 INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES (3) This course introduces students to the history, religion, and literature of ancient Israel as found in the Hebrew Bible.  It draws attention to the diverse political, social, and economic situations out of which they arose, and to which they were addressed, within the context of Ancient Near Eastern culture and history.  Attention  is given to the critical perspectives needed to understand Israel’s history and Old Testament literature.  Exegetical methods are introduced.

*BS103 INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT (3) This course is an introduction to the New Testament set within the context of the early church.  It aims to provide students with basic knowledge about the New Testament, and the essential tools and techniques of exegesis and interpretation.

BS150A,B ELEMENTARY HEBREW (3,3) An early exposure to the reading of biblical texts is coupled with a systematic study of the grammar of classical Hebrew.

BS16OA,B ELEMENTARY GREEK (3,3) An early exposure to the reading of biblical texts is coupled with a systematic study of the grammar of Koine Greek.

+BS 192  THE POLITICS OF JESUS (3) This course has four primary objectives: (1) to explore specific strategic models of Jesus’ mode of engagement of sociopolitical contradictions in his sociohistorical setting; (2) the identity, analogous contemporary sociopolitical contradictions that might be addressed by the actions demonstrated in these models; (3) to enhance overall sensitivity to the sociopolitical issues and narrative subtexts in the writings of the New Testament; (4) to enhance overall sensitivity to sociopolitical issues. Prerequisites: BS100, BS103

+BS220  JOHANNINE LITERATURE (3) A study of the Fourth Gospel and the First Letter of John.  The purpose of the course is to lift key themes in  Johannine literature, and with the help of traditional historical critical and other new methods, engage the history and development of the Johannine community, as well as Johannine portrait of Jesus as the divine wisdom/word made flesh.  The goal is to help students understand the Johannine Jesus and community, and their implications for addressing the experiences and needs of their own communities.  Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS230  THE EIGHTH CENTURY PROPHETS (3) This course begins with early manifestations of prophecy in Israel as found primarily in the Deuteronomistic History (Samuel-Kings). It  then focuses on the literature attributed to the eighth century prophets, Amos, Hosea, Micah, and First Isaiah. These writings are examined in their social context, and analyzed for their potential relevance for the Church and the modern world. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

*+BS270  CULTURAL HERMENEUTICS: IDEOLOGY, POWER, AND TEXT INTERPRETATION (3) This course explores the cultural backgrounds and perspectives of an interpreters and their conclusions regarding New Testament materials.  The ideology of traditional “Eurocentric” New Testament interpretations are considered alongside that of Latin American, African American, African, Asian, Feminist, and Womanist interpreters.  The goal of this study is to help students to develop their own interpretive and theological voices.  Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS310  LUKE-ACTS (3) This course surveys the history of Lukan interpretation, and focuses on reading Luke-Acts as a narrative whole.  Particular attention is paid to Luke’s presentations of Jesus’ ministry, its theological and sociological implications, and how Acts functions as Luke’s expansion of the Gospel tradition into the life of the early church. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS320  THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW (3) This course  examines the variety of modern methods of biblical study that have been employed in the evaluation of the meaning and significance of this gospel.  Particular attention is paid to methods of social history.  Exegesis of selected texts is required. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS321  READING THE GOSPEL OF MARK (3) An exegetical analysis of Mark’s gospel.  Specific attention is given to the interpretation of miracle stories.  Particular emphasis is placed upon the various contemporary methods of reading the Gospel in the church. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS324  THE BOOK OF JOB (3) An exegetical study of the Book of Job in its cultural, historical, and literary setting, with attention to critical and hermeneutical problems. The course explores some of the book's main ideas (e.g., human suffering, recovery, the mystery of divine justice) as they relate to today's world. The course  also develops a critical evaluation of the religious and moral lessons from the book of Job. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS326   WISDOM LITERATURE (3) A study of the wisdom traditions of ancient Israel in the context of the Ancient Near East. Literature to be studied  includes Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. Emphasis is placed on developing exegetical skills, and reflecting on theological and other implications of this literature. Students are also  encouraged to explore similarities and dissimilarities between this literature and analogous literary/oral types in African and African American traditions. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS355  THE CORINTHIAN CORRESPONDENCE (3) This course  reviews a variety of exegetical approaches and apply them, as appropriate, to the study of Corinthians.  The student  gains knowledge in the exegesis of New Testament epistolary literature and its implication for addressing the issues of the church today. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS360 - THE BOOK OF REVELATION (3) This course intends to provide a close, exegetical reading of the Book of Revelation—its general framework within the social, literary, historical, political, and theological contexts.  To make sense of this type of literature, we need to employ a critical analysis of the various historical, political, literary, religious or theological, and sociological contexts in which first century Christians were subjected. This course also equips students with a theoretical and methodological framework for the relevant symbolic field of Apocalypticism, which is the religious belief in modes of eschatological happenings. Prerequisites: BS101, BS103

+BS370  DIRECTED STUDY (3) An opportunity for middler and senior students to explore a question, challenge, issue or concern more fully. The student approaches a faculty member in the preferred area of study to request guidance and oversight as well as approval and direction in the pursuit of research to prepare an appropriate project or paper that fulfills the agreed-upon requirements for the conclusion of the study.  Prerequisites: BS101, BS103, Faculty approval