A JOURNEY THROUGH THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES shows readers that Biblical Studies is a living, growing, and intrinsically interesting discipline that is pertinent to other fields of study and various aspects of life. The text encompasses literary, sociological, and gender-related materials, as well as traditional historical methods of criticism. By concentrating on pivotal texts from the Hebrew canon and the apocryphal/deuterocanonical books, this text focuses classroom thought and discussion, leaving plenty of room to engage in explorations of Middle Eastern culture and archaeology.
Table of Contents
Part I: THE LAND, LITERATURE, AND PEOPLE OF THE HEBREW BIBLE. 1. The Literature of the Hebrew Bible and Tools for Understanding It. The Literature of the Hebrew Bible. Reading the Bible: Communication and Critical Methods. Historical Criticism. Other Methods. 2. The Land and People of the Hebrew Bible. The Geography and Ecology of the Land. Lands and Peoples of the Ancient Near East. The People of the Hebrew Bible. Family and Kinship in Ancient Israel. The Hebrew Bible and You. 3. An Illuminating Side Trip: Archaeology and the Hebrew Bible. What Archaeology Can and Cannot Do for Biblical Studies. How Archaeologists Work. Part II: THE TORAH OR PENTATEUCH IN THE HEBREW BIBLE. 4. The Structure and Composition of the Pentateuch. Sources of the Pentateuch: the History of an Idea. Current Literary Approaches. 5. Stories of Beginnings?Natural and Human: Genesis 1?11. Myth and History in Genesis 1?11. Two Kinds of History: Historie and Geschichte . The Creation Myths in Genesis 1?3 and in Enuma Elish. A Tale of Two Brothers: Genesis 4. The Atrahasis Myth, the Gilgamesh Epic, and the Great Flood in Genesis 5?9. Genesis 11:1?9: A City and a Tower. The Unity and Message of Genesis 1?11. 6. The Fathers and Mothers of Israel: Genesis 12-50. Ancestral Traditions. The Era of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. A Literary Analysis of the Patriarchal Stories. The Abraham and Sarah Cycle: Gen 11:27?25:18. The Jacob Cycle: Gen 25:19?37:1. The Joseph Novella: Gen 37:2-50:26.The How and Why of Genesis. 7. The Exodus and the Sinai Covenant: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Historical Background of Exodus. Themes in the Book of Exodus. Israel at Mount Sinai (Ex 16?40). Laws in Deuteronomy (Deut 12?26). Deuteronomy beyond the Law. Part III: THE FORMER AND LATTER PROPHETS IN THE HEBREW BIBLE. 8. Israel?A People and a Land: Joshua and Judges. Literary Genres in Joshua and Judges. Models For Reconstructing the Settlement of Israel in Canaan. Religion and Politics in Israel Before the Rise of the Monarch. 9. The Formation of the State in Ancient Israel: 1 and 2 Samuel; 1 Kings 1?11. From Tribal Leagues to Chiefdom to Monarchy?Internal Change and External Pressure. The Philistines?Land and Population Pressure. Samuel and Saul?a Transitional Figure and a Tragic Hero. David?From Shepherd to Outlaw to King. Solomon?the Abuse of Power and the Seeds of Partition. Political Power and Religious Change Under the Early Monarchy. 10. Two Kingdoms and the Rise of Prophecy. From One Kingdom to Two. Early Prophets in Israel and Judah Prophets and King. 11. Literature, Culture, and Prophetic Critique: Amos, Hosea, Micah, and Isaiah, Eighth Century Prophets. Two Prophets in Israel: Amos and Hosea. Two Prophets in Judah: Micah and Isaiah. The Eighth Century Prophets: A Summary. 12. Prophets, the Fall of Judah, and Shifting Powers on the International Horizon. The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Devastation of Judah?Prophetic Explanations of Disaster and Visions of Reconstruction. Jeremiah. "Second Isaiah." Ezekiel. Jonah. Part IV: "THE WRITINGS" IN THE HEBREW BIBLE AND BEYOND. 13. Songs?Sacred and Secular. Hebrew Poetry. Sacred and Social Aspects of the Psalms: Form Criticism. Psalm Types. The Song of Songs as Secular Song and Scripture. 14. Three Short Stories?Women as Deliverers: Ruth, Esther and Judith. Gender Constructs in Ancient Israel and in Contemporary Society?Women as Leaders. Biblical Short Stories?The Nature of the Genre. Ruth the Foreigner?Women and the Patriarchy. Esther?Women and the Structures of Political Power. Judith?A General's Nemesis and a People's Savior. 15. Sages?The Wisdom Movement in Ancient Israel. What Is "Wisdom" and Who Were the "Sages"??The Socio-historic Horizons of the Wisdom Movement. The Worldview of the Sages. Types of Wisdom Literature. The Book of Proverbs and Common Sense. The Book of Job and the Problem of Theodicy. The Book of Ecclesiastes/Qoheleth?How Did a Book Like This Get into a Bible LikeThis? Wisdom Literature in the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. Wisdom in the Bible: A Conclusion. 16. Apocalyptic Literature, Visions of the End, and Paths to the Future. The Meaning and Scope of Apocalyptic. The Subject Matter and Social Context of Apocalyptic Writings. Daniel 7?12 and Apocalyptic Literature. Beyond the Hebrew Bible: Movements Within Judaism and the Emergence of Christianity.