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Course Catalog > Courses: Summer

ZOOM: Biblical Text and Modern Research: How Each Serves (and Contradicts) the Other   

**This class will be taught on Zoom**

**Note that this class will skip July 4 and end on July 18.**

In this richly illustrated course, we’ll delve into several Biblical narratives to see how modern research has clarified, enhanced, or contradicted the ancient texts. Topic areas will include: Creation and the Garden of Eden; the Exodus; The Jerusalem Temple and Its Altar; Did God Have a Wife; Famous and Infamous Israelite Royal Couples; When Jerusalem Fell: The Narratives of Jeremiah and Josephus. For each topic, we’ll integrate historical introductions, archaeological discoveries, and compare related ancient Near Eastern texts as we find new insights for some of the most important stories from our Biblical heritage.

 

Week by Week Outline

Session 1: Creation and the Garden of Eden: Genesis 1-2 and How It Came to Be

  1. Group reading of the text: your impressions and memories

  2. Ideas from ancient neighbors: Egypt

  3. Ideas from ancient neighbors: Mesopotamia and Anatolia

  4. Genesis 1: 1—2:4: an elegant universe from only one God

  5. Genesis 2:5—25: an ancient folk tale of God, Man, Woman and Garden

  6. The Logos principle: woven through the fabric of the text

Session 2: The Exodus: Searching for Facts and Fictions

  1. Background: Egypt in the New Kingdom

  2. Background: Canaan before Israel

  3. The question of when: one event or more?

  4. The Egyptian evidence for Exodus

  5. The Canaanite evidence for the earliest Israelites

  6. Exodus and misguided memories: Moses and Akhenaten

Session 3: The Jerusalem Temple and Its Altar

  1. A quick tour of Solomon’s Temple and its altar

  2. Ancient Near Eastern temples: how they compare with Jerusalem

  3. Whence the altar? Some surprising possibilities

  4. Priests: what they did

  5. Levites: an Egyptian connection?

  6. The next Temple? Some disturbing possibilities

Session 4: Royal Couples, Famous and Infamous

  1. Background: Israelite Kings and Queens

  2. Case study No. 1: David and Abigail

  3. Case study No. 2: David and Bathsheba

  4. Case study No. 3: Ahab and Jezebel

Session 5: Did God Have a Wife? The Mystery of Asherah

  1. Goddesses of the ancient Near East: what they tell us about the divine feminine

  2. The journey of Asherah: migrating from Mesopotamia to Canaan; changing along the way

  3. God’s consort: the very reluctant, but very plentiful evidence

  4. Evidence outside the Bible: “I bless you by YHWH of Samaria and His Asherah”

  5. How emerging Israelite monotheism crushed Asherah

  6. Hiding in plain sight: Asherah and Khokhmah: you can’t keep a great goddess down

Session 6: When Jerusalem Fell: The Narratives of Jeremiah and Josephus

  1. Jerusalem’s struggle to survive: From Rehoboam to Zedekiah

  2. Reviewing the Biblical narratives of Jerusalem’s fall in 586 BCE

  3. First-hand witness: what Jeremiah tells us about the fall and its aftermath

  4. What archaeology tells us about the fall in 586 BCE

  5. First-hand witness: what Josephus tells about Jerusalem’s fall In 70 CE

  6. What archaeology tells us about the fall in 70 CE

 
  • ZOOM: Biblical Text and Modern Research: How Each Serves (and Contradicts) the Other
  • Fee: $125.00
    Dates: 6/6/2024 - 7/18/2024
    Times: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Days: Th
    Sessions: 6
    Building:
    Room:
    Instructor: Jehon Grist
    Seats Available: 60

    **This class will be taught on Zoom**

    **Note that this class will skip July 4 and end on July 18.**

    In this richly illustrated course, we’ll delve into several Biblical narratives to see how modern research has clarified, enhanced, or contradicted the ancient texts. Topic areas will include: Creation and the Garden of Eden; the Exodus; The Jerusalem Temple and Its Altar; Did God Have a Wife; Famous and Infamous Israelite Royal Couples; When Jerusalem Fell: The Narratives of Jeremiah and Josephus. For each topic, we’ll integrate historical introductions, archaeological discoveries, and compare related ancient Near Eastern texts as we find new insights for some of the most important stories from our Biblical heritage.

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