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RST-201-20, Intro to Biblical Studies (FA14)

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Brian Berry

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: T1/Saturday/12:00-2:45PM, 09/06/2014-10/18/2014

CONTENT:

This course is an introduction to the Christian tradition through historical, literary, and religious study of the Bible. While providing an overview of the Bible as a   whole, this course will focus on the Old Testament Books of Genesis, Exodus, and Isaiah and the New Testament Gospel of Luke and Letter of Paul to the Romans. Attention will be given throughout to the historical background of these books, their literary forms, and some of their central themes (e.g., creation and sin, liberation and covenant, justice and messianic hope, Jesus and the kingdom of God, and justification by faith), as well as to Roman Catholic and Protestant biblical scholarship.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

This course is designed to enable students to:

1. Appreciate the Bible as both a human and religious book.

2. Analyze the Bible from historical-critical and literary-critical perspectives.

3. Understand of some of the central religious beliefs of the Christian tradition.

4. Demonstrate higher level critical thinking skills through the process of gathering, selecting, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, and applying information and knowledge.

METHODS:

1. Introductory lectures and occasional videos

2. Guided readings and writing assignments

3. Class discussions

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSIGNMENTS:

1. Attendance at all classes and active participation (10%).

2. Two essays of three-four pages each (30%).

3. One exegesis paper of four-six pages (20%).

4. Two exams (40%).

REQUIRED TEXT(S) OR MATERIALS:

1. New Revised Standard Version Bible with the Apocryphal Books. New York: Hendrickson, 1989. ISBN 9781565637368.

2. Ralph, Margaret Nutting. “And God Said What?”: An Introduction to Biblical Literary Forms for Bible Lovers, rev. ed. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2003. ISBN 0809141299.

3. Borg, Marcus J. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. ISBN 0060609192.

READINGS AND/OR ASSIGNMENTS TO BE DONE PRIOR TO THE FIRST CLASS:

-Ralph, “And God Said What?” 1-28.

-Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, ix-xii.