Goals of the Course:
• The first goal is to read 1 & 2 Samuel carefully, reflectively, and critically to get a good picture of David and his relationship with God and his supporting cast and then compare this picture with David as understood and used by the faith communities of the students.
• The second goal is to see David through the eyes of the supporting cast. This requires an examination of supporting characters on their own and in relation to David.
• The third goal is to examine the concept hesed (dsexe loyalty, steadfast love, loving kindness, faithfulness, kindness) and using it to understand the David story.
Requirements & Grades:
• Students are expected to attend all class sessions and to participate actively in class (20% toward the final grade).
• Students are required to write a book report on one of the books listed under “Books for Report” (see below). The length of the report should be approximately 4 pages long (1000 words). This assignment will be worth 20% toward the final grade. Due on the fifth week of the course (Feb 28).
• Option 1: Write a sermon or a reflection paper based on critical engagement with biblical text, biblical scholarship, and student’s own socio-cultural context. It should be between 6 to 8 pages in length (40%). This assignment is due on the last class session of the course (May 2). Students choosing this option must do a book report on (see above) another book on the story of David that is not on the “Books for Report” (20%). The book report is due on the eleventh week of the course (April 11).
• Option 2: Write a research paper (60%). It should be 10-12 pages in length. It is due on the last class session of the course (May 2). Students must consult with the professor by the fifth week of the course in order to do a research paper.
Required Texts [available in the Bookstore]
• Alter, Robert. The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 & 2 Samuel. New York: Norton, 1999.
• Brueggemann, Walter. First and Second Samuel. Interpretation. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1990.
• Kim, Uriah Y. Decolonizing Josiah: Toward a Postcolonial Reading of the Deuteronomistic History. Bible in the Modern World, 5. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2005.
• McKenzie, Steven L. King David: A Biography. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Reference Texts [available in the Library]
• McCarter, P. Kyle. I Samuel: A New Translation with Introduction, Notes, and Commentary. Anchor Bible, 8. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980. [in the Seminary Library’s reference section]
• McCarter, P. Kyle. II Samuel: A New Translation with Introduction, Notes, and Commentary. Anchor Bible, 9. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1984. [in the Seminary Library’s reference section]
• Newsom, Carol A. and Sharon H. Ringe, eds. The Women’s Bible Commentary.
Expanded ed. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1998.
• Patte, Daniel et al., eds. Global Bible Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2004.
Books for Review Report
• Bodner, Keith. David Observed: A King in the Eyes of His Court. Hebrew Bible
Monographs, 5. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2005.
• Exum, J. Cheryl. Plotted, Shot, and Painted: Cultural Representation of Women. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996.
• Fewell, Dana Nolan and Gunn, David M. Gender, Power, and Promise: The Subject of the Bible’s First Story. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993.
• Fleminger, John. Behind the Eyes of David. Lewes: Book Guild, 2002.
• Gunn, David M. The Story of King David. JSOTSup, 6. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1978.
• Halpern, Baruch. David’s Secret Demons: Messiah, Murderer, Traitor, King. Grand Rapids. Eerdmans, 2001.
• Polzin, R. David and the Deuteronomist: A literary Study of the Deuteronomic History. III. 2 Samuel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.
• Sternberg, Meir. The Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
• Steussy Marti J. David: Biblical Portraits of Power. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1999.
1. January 31 Introduction to Course, David, and Hesed
Uriah Y. Kim, “Hesed and the David Story” (handout)
2. February 7 Samuel and the House of Eli
Alter, pp. ix-40 (1 Samuel 1-7)
Brueggemann, pp. 9-55
McKenzie, Introduction & chapter 1
3. February 14 Saul
Alter, pp. 41-94 (1 Samuel 8-15)
Brueggemann, pp. 57-118
McKenzie, chapter 2
4. February 21 David and His Brothers
Alter, pp. 95-111 (1 Samuel 16-17)
Brueggemann, pp. 119-134
McKenzie, chapters 3-4
5. February 28 David and Saul’s Children
*Book Report due (for all students)
Alter, pp. 112-130 (1 Samuel 18-20)
Brueggemann, pp. 135-153
6. March 7 David and His Band
Alter, pp. 131-192 (1 Samuel 21-31)
Brueggemann, pp. 154-210
McKenzie, chapter 5
7. March 14 Officers and Violent Men
Alter, pp. 195-239 (2 Samuel 1-8)
Brueggemann, pp. 210-264
McKenzie, chapters 6-7
8. March 21 Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba, Joab, and Nathan
Alter, pp. 240-264 (2 Samuel 9-12)
Brueggemann, pp. 265-286
Uriah Y. Kim, “Uriah the Hittite: A (Con)/Text of Struggle for Identity” (Semeia 90/91 (2002): 69-85).
9. March 28 David’s Children
Alter, pp. 265-328 (2 Samuel 13-20)
Brueggemann, pp. 286-333
McKenzie, chapter 8
10. April 4 No Class; Reading Week
11. April 11 Memories of David
*Second Book Report due (Option 1)
Alter, pp. 329-359 (2 Samuel 21-24)
Brueggemann, pp. 335-357
12. April 18 David’s End
Alter, pp. 363-384 (1 Kings 1-2)
McKenzie, chapter 9-10
13. April 25 Politics of Loyalty and Identity in the David Story
Kim, Decolonizing Josiah, chapters 1-3
14. May 2 Politics of Identity and Loyalty in the Deuteronomistic History
*Sermon/Reflection Paper (Option 1) or Research Paper (Option 2) due
Kim, Decolonizing Josiah, chapters 4-5