Academic Programs 

Hebrew Bible Survey II     SC-520-1 Fall 2002

An introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, this course will apply historical-critical methods of study to develop a framework for understanding the origins of the texts and the relationship of the texts to one another. Attention will be given to contemporary theories of biblical interpretation. Survey II will examine the prophetic corpus, poetry wisdom and the rest of “the writings” in the Hebrew Bible. 

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:

Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.
Location: Room 205 

Cleotha Robertson
Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Scriptures and Adjunct Faculty, New York Theological Seminary

Contact Information:
(860) 509-9500

Course Syllabus
Class web site

Hebrew Bible Survey II will cover the "Latter Prophets" and all of the material contained in "The Writings," the third division of the Hebrew Bible. This course is designed to provide the following:

1. To provide a basic knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures.

2. To encourage an understanding of the various types of literature which comprise the Hebrew Bible

3. To enhance the reading of the Bible and with the utilization of secondary materials.

4. To foster the development of competent exegetical and hermeneutical skills.


Requirements: Students are expected to read the biblical texts assigned for each session and the secondary works. Priority should always be given to the biblical passages. Students will also be required to generate two questions or comments each per book for the assigned Bible readings. These questions should be kept in a separate journal.

There will be a midterm on Week 7 (October 22). The first part of the exam will test knowledge of the assigned biblical passages and geography. The second part of the examination will be an essay question focusing on the Prophets.

There will be a final exam on December 10 and a 10 - 12 page exegesis paper will be due on December 17, 2002 (one week after the conclusion of the course).


Texts (available for purchase):

1.  A Survey of the Old Testament, Andrew Hill and John Walton. Zondervan, 1991

2. How to Read and Study the Bible for All Its Worth, Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. Zondervan, 1993

3. Out of the Depths: The Psalms Speak for Us Today, Bernhard W. Anderson with Steven Bishop, Westminster John Knox Press, 2000. 

4. The Hebrew Bible Today: An Introduction to Critical Issues. Steven L. Mckenzize and M. Patrick Graham, Eds. Westminister John Know Press, 1998 

5. Atlas of the Bible Lands. Harry Thomas Frank, Ed. Maplewood, NJ. Hammond Inc., 1997  


Unit One: Poetry

September 10   Course overview and introduction to the Psalms

Required reading: 
Psalms 1 - 41
Hill & Walton, Chapter 21
Anderson, Chapters 1 and 2

September 17   Psalms and Lamentations

Required reading:
Psalms: Read one of the four remaining sections of the Psalter: Book 2 (42 - 72), Book 3 (73 - 89), Book 4 (90 - 106) or
Book 5 (107 - 150) and the book of Lamentations.
Hill & Walton, Chapter 23 and 30
Fee & Stuart, Chapter 1,2 and 11
Anderson, Chapters 3,4 and 5

Unit Two: Prophecy

September 24   Introduction to Prophecy and Isaiah

Required reading:
Isaiah 1 - 40, 42:1 - 4, 49:1 - 6, 50:4 - 9, 52:13 - 53:12
Hill & Walton, Chapters 27 and 28
Fee & Stuart, Chapters 9 and10

October 1   Jeremiah

Required reading:
Hill & Walton, Chapter 29

October 8   Ezekiel

Required reading:
Ezekiel 1 - 24, 33 - 39
Hill & Walton, Chapter 31

October 15   The Book of the Twelve

Required reading:
Hosea 1, 1 land 14, Joel, Amos 1 - 4 and 8, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah 1 - 6 and 9 -14, Malachi
Hill & Walton, Chapters 33,34,35,36 and 37

October 22     Midterm Examination and summary of Unit Two

Unit Three: Wisdom Literature

October 29   Proverbs and Ecclesiastes 

Required reading:
Proverbs and Ecclesiates

Fee & Stuart, Chapter 12
Hill & Walton, Chapters 24 and 25

November 5   Job

Required reading:
Hill & Walton, Chapter 22

Unit Four: Daniel, Esther and the Restoration

November 12   Daniel and Esther

Required reading:
Daniel and Esther
Fee & Stuart, Chapter 5
Hill & Walton, Chapters 20 and 32

November 19 Ruth and Song of Songs 

Required reading:
Ruth and Song of Songs
Hill & Walton, Chapters 15 and 26

No Class the Week of November 26 Thanksgiving Break

December 3 Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles

Required reading:
Ezra, Nehemiah, and II Chronicles 10 - 36
Hill & Walton, Chapters 18 and 19

December 10 Final Exam


Ackroyde, Peter R. I & II Chronicles, Ezra & Nehemiah (London: SCM Press, 1973).

Aharoni, Yohanan and Michael Avi-Yonah. The Macmillan Bible Atlas (New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1968).

Allen, Leslie C. Psalms 101 - 150. Word Biblical Commentary 21. Waco: Word Books, 1983.

Allis, Oswald. The Unity of Isaiah. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1980.

Anderson, A. A. Psalms 1 -72. New Century Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981.

Anderson, A. A. Psalms 73 - 150. New Century Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981.

Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Narrative (New York: Basic Books, 1981).

_____ The Art of Biblical Poetry (New York: Basic Books, 1981).

Alter, Robert and Frank Kermode, eds. The Literary Guide to the Bible (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987)·

Bright, John. A History of lsrael, 3rd Edition (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1981)·

Bruggemann, Walter. Texts That Linger Words That Explode (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000)·

Childs, Brevard. Introduction to the OM Testament as Scripture (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979)·  

Craigie, Peter C. Psalms 1-50. Word Biblical Commentary. Texas: Word Books, 1983.

_____ Ugarit and the OM Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983.

_____ The Problem of War in the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978.

Damrosch, David. The Narrative Covenant: Transformations of Genre in the Growth of Biblical Literature. (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987).

De Vaux, Roland. Ancient Israel.' Social Institutions, Volumes land 2. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965).

Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966).

Eilberg, Schwartz, Howard. The Savage in Judaism: An Anthropology of lsraelite Religion and Ancient Judaism (Bloomington: Indiana Univery Press, 1990).

Fisch, Harold· Poetry With A Purpose (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988).

Fishbane, Michael. The Exegetical Imagination: On Jewish Thought and Theology (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988).

Gordis, Robert. Kohelet, The Man and His World: A Studyy of Ecclesiastes (New York: Schoken, 1968).

_____· The Song of Songs andLamentations. (New York: KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 1974).

Gunkel, Hermann. The Psalms (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1967).

Habel, Norman. Literary Criticism of the OM Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971).

Harrison, R.K. Introduction to the OM Testament. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1969).

Hayes, John H. Introduction to the Bible (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971).

Hayes, John H. and Carl R. Holladay. Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1987).

Heschel, Abraham J. The Prophets, Volumes I and II (New York: Harper & Row, 1962).

Holtz, Barry W. Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts (New York: Summit, 1984).

House, Paul R. Old Testament Theology (Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1998).

Kugel, James. In Potiphar's House: The Interpretive Life of Biblical Texts (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1990).

_____ The Idea of Biblical Poetry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981).

Lang, Bernhard. Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs: A Hebrew Goddess Redefined (New York: The Pilgrim Press, 1986).

Levenson, Jon D. The Hebrew Bible: The Old Testament and Historical Criticism (Louisville: Westminster/John Know Press, 1993).

Miller, J. Maxwell. The Old Testament ant the Historian (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976).

Newsome, Carol and Sharon Ringe. The Women's Bible Commentary (Philadelphia: Westminster).

Niditch, Susan. Folklore and the Hebrew Bible (PhiladepNa: Fortress Press, 1993).

Noth, Martin. The Deuteronomistic History (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981).

Polzin, Robert and Eugene Rothman. The Biblical Mosaic: Changing Perspective (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982).

Preminger, Alex and Edward L. Greenstein. The Hebrew Bible in Literary Criticism (New York: Ungar, 1986).

Pritchard, James B. Ed. The Ancient Near East: Volume I (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1958).

_____· The Ancient Near East: Volume II. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975).

Rad, Gerhard von. Wisdom in Israel (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1972).

Roseenberg, David, Ed. Congregation: Contemporary Writers Read the Jewish Bible (San Diego: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1987).

Rowley, H.H., ed. The Old Testament and Modern Study. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961).

Sandmel, Samuel. The Hebrew Scriptures: An Introduction to Their Literature and Religious Ideas (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978)·

Stuart, Douglas. OM Testament Exegesis: A Primer for Students and Pastors (Philadelphia: The Westminister Press, 1984).

_____ Hosea - Jonah· Word Biblical Commentary 31. (Waco: Word Books, 1987).

_____· Old Testament Exegesis: A Primer for Students andPastors. Second Edition. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1984).

Trible, Phylis. Texts of Terror: Literary/Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984).

Tucker, Gene. Form Criticism of the Old Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971). Unger, Merrill F. Introductory Guide to the Old Testament· (Michigan: Zondervan, 1961).

Vangemeren, Willem A. Interpreting the Prophetic Word (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990).

Vos, Geerhardus. Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948).

Westermann, Claus. Praise and Lament in the Psalms (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981)

_____· The Psalms: Structure, Content and Message (Minneaapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1980).

_____ The Living Psalms. Translated by J.R. Porter. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989).

Williamson, H.G.M. Ezra, Nehemiah· Word Biblical Commentary 16. (Waco: Word Books, 1985).

Wiesel, Elie. Five Biblical Portraits (Notre Daame: University of Notre Dame Press, !981).

Wilson, Robert R. Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1980).



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