The Bible: Old Testament: An introduction to the three divisions of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, Prophets, Writings. Particular attention will be given to literary techniques, the historical periods that produced and are reflected in the various books, issues resulting from translation, and the difference between “Old Testament” and “Hebrew Bible.”

Fall 2021

21L.456 The Bible: Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible Ina Lipkowitz TR 9:30-11:00a 4-146

Prereq: none
3-0-9 H
Topics: Improves Close Reading, Studies Adaptations or Translations, Thinks about Gender or Sexuality, Thinks about Race or Class

Whether you call it the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, or the First Testament, there’s no denying that it’s a complex and fascinating text, written by many people over a vast period of time, yet still displaying an overarching unity. Our purpose in this course is to consider it as both a collection of disparate books and as a unified whole. We will study its three major divisions—the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings—drawing upon a range of methodologies and the interpretive practices of different traditions. We will pay attention to the Bible’s historical and cultural settings and consider issues resulting from translation. In the final weeks of the course, we will consider the differences between the “Hebrew Bible” and the “Old Testament.” Students will come away from this class with a greater appreciation of the many ways these ancient writings have been both understood and misunderstood.