Winston-Salem State University<br />REL 2302: Introduction to the Old Testament<br />Instructor: Eric James Gréaux, Sr., Ph.D.<br />Assistant Professor of Religion<br />Fall Semester 2009<br />3 Credit Hours<br />Monday, Wednesday, Friday<br />9:00 A.M. – 9:50 A.M.<br />Classroom: Coltrane 116<br />Course Description<br />This curse is a survey of the history, literature, and religion of early Judaism as it is presented in the collection of writings called the Old Testament.<br />Course Objectives<br />This course presents the students with the following specific goals and corresponding objectives:<br />ATTAIN a basic familiarity with the content and the literary genres of the Old Testament:<br />Students will read the entire Old Testament: The Pentateuch, the Former Prophets, the Latter Prophets, and the Writings<br />STUDY the Old Testament critically in light of its social, historical, cultural, and religious contexts:<br />Students will learn some highlights of Israelite history<br />Students will become familiar with important aspects of Ancient Near Eastern cultures, and learn how they are vastly different from our own culture today<br />IMPROVE academic skills, including critical reading, research, writing, and discussion skills:<br />Students will not only find answers to questions, examine presuppositions, and raise new questions<br />Students will share their insights with one another in a variety of written and oral ways, including participation in large and small group discussions<br />Required Textbooks<br />Primary. Students should use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) or the New International Version (NIV). The professor will use The Revised Standard Version (RSV) for class lectures and writing exams.<br />Secondary. Rhonda Burnette-Bletsch. Studying the Old Testament: A Companion. Nashville: Abingdon, 2007.<br />Student Responsibility<br />Students are expected to complete the assigned readings, preliminary exercises, and creative projects before each class meeting, bring the assigned texts to every class, attend class regularly unless previously excused by the professor, actively participate in class discussions, and take mid-term and final exams.<br />Student Behavior<br />In addition to the “Policies Governing Student Life” and the “General Guidelines for Student Behavior” outlined in the catalog (page 27), students are expected to abide by the following:<br />Students will turn off all pagers, cell phones and other electronic devices BEFORE entering the classroom.<br />Students will not read materials unrelated to the class (newspapers, magazines, text messages, or online social networks) during class.<br />All class participants will exhibit respectful behavior to other students and the instructor.<br />All students have the right and privilege to learn in the class, free from harassment and disruption.<br />Inappropriate language or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated (see “WSSU Class Disruption Policy” on page 36 of the catalog).<br />Attendance<br />Winston-Salem State University expects prompt and alert student presence at every class meeting. Hence, in keeping with university policy, students who absent themselves more than three (3) times during the semester will have their total grade docked five (5) points, and then an additional five (5) points for each subsequent absence. If you are ill, a medical excuse is necessary to receive an excused absence. If you have an unavoidable conflict that will prevent you from meeting class, please present your documentation of this conflict before the class absence.<br />Students are expected to arrive on time and remain in class during the entire session. Three (3) late arrivals or early departures will equal one (1) absence.<br />Class Format<br />A variety of methods are used to engage students in the content of this course, including lectures, discussions, careful reading of the assigned texts, DVDs, PowerPoint slides, virtual field trips, written and oral presentations, and examinations.<br />Course Requirements and Grading<br />Reading. The most important part of the course is careful, thorough reading of the assigned biblical materials. In addition, each student will be responsible for reading the secondary literature, Special Topics (ST), and extra-canonical Primary Texts (PT) assigned for that day.<br /><ul><li>Class Participation. There will be a lecture in this class, but there will always be discussion. So, I expect everyone to be prepared for class each day. Being prepared implies that a student has read the assigned reading and is willing and able to participate in classroom discussion by asking questions, responding to questions proffered by the professor, and making comments and/or observations on the reading, the remarks of the professor, and the remarks of other students. Class Participation is worth 5% of the total course grade.</li></ul>Preliminary Exercises. As indicated in the Course Schedule, prior to most classes, students will answer a series of questions, review charts and timelines, and make use of the various study aids provided on the CD-ROM and Blackboard. Each assignment is worth 2% of the total course grade (20 assignments @ 2% each = 40%).<br />Creative Prophecy Project. Each student will write an oracle directed to a modern audience. Appendix 1 provides guidelines for the exercise. This assignment is due November 6th and is worth 10% of the total course grade.<br />Creative Psalm Project. Each student will write an Individual or Community Lament or Thanksgiving Psalm. Appendix 2 provides guidelines for the exercise. This assignment is due November 13th and is worth 10% of the total course grade.<br /><ul><li>Writing Assignments. The following are guidelines for writing assignments throughout the semester. Please refer to these when you prepare a paper for this class.</li></ul>All papers are to be computer-generated, double-spaced, with 1” margins. You are to use a type face no larger than 12 point.<br />Use a cover page for every assignment. On the cover page, create a title for the assignment. Do not put your name on the pages following the cover page. Use a staple in the top left-hand corner to keep the pages of the assignment together. Do not use paper clips.<br />You are to maintain a writeable CD or mass storage device for this course. On it you will keep a copy of all your work, including any rough drafts.<br />On the date assigned, you will hand in a hard copy of your writing assignment. Extensions will be given only if a student speaks with the professor at least one class before the due date.<br />Papers should be free of grammatical and spelling errors.<br />All written assignments must be submitted at the scheduled time, except in case of personal emergency. In such cases, appropriate documentation will be required. There will be no make-ups, except by permission, in which case it must be completed within one (1) week. Late papers will be discounted by five (5) points per calendar day.<br />Exams. Each student will be responsible for taking a mid-term and final exam covering the primary biblical materials, secondary reading assignments and class lectures up to that point. Students are strongly encouraged to make use of the Study Aids, Self-Tests (Names, Terms and Concepts, Questions for Review, Questions for Discussion and Reflection, Test Your Knowledge [Multiple Choice Questions, Fill in the Blank, True/False]), and Glossary. The Mid-Term Exam is scheduled for Friday, October 9th, and the Final Exam is scheduled for Monday, December 14th (8:00 A.M. – 9:30 A.M.). These exams may not be made up or taken in advance. These exams are worth 15% and 20% respectively of the total course grade.<br />Course Evaluation<br />In-Class Participation 5%<br />Preliminary Exercises (20 @ 2 points each) 40%<br />Mid-Term Exam 15%<br />Creative Prophecy Project 10%<br />Creative Psalm Project 10%<br />Final Exam 20%<br />100%<br />Grading Scale<br />A: 90-100%, B: 80%-89%, C: 70%-79%, D: 60%-69%, F: (Hopefully not necessary!)<br />No Incompletes will be given for this course. An extension may be granted only in the case of significant disruption in your personal life. Late work will be subject to at least one letter grade deduction in mark.<br />Academic Honesty<br />Academic honesty is expected and required from every student. The quizzes, exams and assignments must represent the student’s own work. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarizing or representing another’s ideas as one’s own. Academic misconduct will result in failure of the assignment, and may result in failure of the course.<br />Disability Statement<br />Students with a documented disability must register with the WSSU Disability Services Office each semester in order to receive consideration for any accommodations in this course. Accommodations are not retroactive. You may reach the Disability Services Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.<br />Office Hours & Email<br />I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your academic and research interests during my office hours, or at other times by appointment. I also welcome your feedback at any time, especially any suggestions about how to make the class a more fruitful experience for you.<br />Monday, Wednesday, FridayTuesday, Thursday<br />10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.<br />2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.<br />Office Location: Modular East 136<br />Office Telephone: (336) 750-8824<br />Cellular Telephone: (919) 599-8202<br />My email address is GreauxEr@WSSU.edu<br />Course Schedule<br />Monday, August 24: Introduction to the Course<br />Wednesday, August 26: An Overview of the Old Testament<br />Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, ix-xiv.Charles B. Copher, “The Black Presence in the Old Testament,” in Stony the Road We Trod: African-American Biblical Interpretation, edited by Cain Hope Felder (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991).Study:Map I A.1: The Ancient Near EastMap I A.2: The Land of IsraelReview:Chart II A.1: Standard Abbreviations of Biblical BooksChart II A.2: Understanding Biblical Citations<br />Friday, August 28: How the Old Testament was Formed and Transmitted<br />Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 1-22.Review:ST II C.2: Modern English Bible<br />The Torah<br />Monday, August 31: An Introduction to the Pentateuch<br />Preliminary Exercise:II A.1: What Kind of Text is the Pentateuch?II B.1: Could Moses Have Written the Pentateuch?Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 23-25, 35-46.Familiarize Yourself:Chart II A.1: Doublets and Triplets in the PentateuchChart II C.1: The Four Sources of the Documentary Hypothesis<br />Wednesday, September 2: The Creation Narratives (Genesis 1-2)<br />Preliminary Exercise:I A.1: Comparing the Genesis Creation StoriesRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 25-28.PT I A.3: Enuma ElishST I A.2: Creationism and EvolutionStudy:Chart I A.2: The Structure of Genesis 1:1-2:4a<br />Friday, September 4: Genesis 2-3<br />Preliminary Exercise:I B.1: Exegesis and Eisegesis of Genesis 2-3I B.2: Artists’ Renderings of EdenRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 28-31.ST I B.1: The Life of Adam and EveST I B.2: Who or What is Satan?ST I B.4: The “Fall of Man” and “Original Sin”Familiarize Yourself:ST I B.5: Genesis 2:4b-3:24 and Modern Cinema<br />Monday, September 7: Labor Day. No Class.<br />Wednesday, September 9: Genesis 4-11<br />Preliminary Exercise:I C.1: Making Sense of the Biblical Flood StoryRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 31-35.PT I C.4: A Flood Story within the Gilgamesh EpicST I C.3: CovenantST I C.4: Racism and the “Curse of Ham”Familiarize Yourself:ST I C.1: Biblical Genealogies and Advanced Old AgeST I C.2: The Sons of God and the Daughters of HumansEdwin Yamauchi, “The Curse of Ham,” in Africa and the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2004).<br />Friday, September 11: The Abraham Cycle<br />Preliminary Exercise:III A.1: Point of View in the Abraham CycleIII A.2: Artists’ Renderings of Genesis 22Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 47-52.ST III A.4: Homosexuality in Genesis 19ST III A.7: CircumcisionST III A.8: Child Sacrifice in Ancient IsraelFamiliarize Yourself:Map III A.1: Significant Sites in the Ancestral HistoryST III A.6: Abraham in Judaism, Christianity, and IslamST IV A.1: What is a Jew?<br />Monday, September 14: Tools for Old Testament Research<br />O’Kelly Library<br />Wednesday, September 16: Researching Topics in Old Testament Studies<br />O’Kelly Library<br />Friday, September 18: The Jacob Cycle<br />Preliminary Exercise:III B.1: Literary Artistry in the Jacob CycleIII B.2: Jacob on TrialRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 52-57.ST III B.1: Literary Conventions and the Betrothal Type-SceneST III B.3: Jacob’s Bizarre Encounter at Penuel<br />Monday, September 21: The Joseph Cycle<br />Preliminary Exercise:III C.1: Prominent Themes in the Joseph CycleRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 58-63.ST III C.1: Levirate Marriage and Genesis 38Study:Chart III C.1: Eponymous Ancestors in Genesis 12-50<br />Wednesday, September 23: The Exodus from Egypt<br />Preliminary Exercise:IV A.1: A Closer Look at the Exodus StoryIV A.2: Go Down, MosesRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 63-71.ST IV A.6: The Prophetic Call Type-SceneST IV A.7: The Holy Name of Israel’s GodStudy:Chart IV A.1: The Structure of the Plague AccountFamiliarize Yourself:Map IV A.1: The Route of the ExodusST IV A.1: The Passover in Contemporary JudaismST IV A.4: Moses in the MoviesST IV A.5: A Bridegroom of Blood<br />Friday, September 25: North Park Symposium<br />Monday, September 28: The Wilderness Wanderings<br />Preliminary Exercise:IV B.1: Israel’s Legal CodesIV B.2: Murder and Capital PunishmentRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 71-78.<br />Wednesday, October 2: The Book of Deuteronomy<br />Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 78-81.PT IV B.1: The Code of HammurabiST IV B.1: Comparing the Covenant Code and Hamurrabi’s CodeStudy:Chart IV B.1: Parallels between Hittite Treaties and the Sinai Covenant<br />Friday, September 30: The Book of Leviticus<br />Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 81-86.ST IV B.4: What Makes Something Clean or Unclean?Study:Chart IV B.2: Sacrifices in Leviticus 1-7<br />Monday, October 5: The Book of Numbers<br />Preliminary Exercise:IV C.1: Crisis of Faith, Leadership, and IdentityRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 86-94.ST IV C.1: God as DestroyerST IV C.2: The Sin of Moses and AaronST IV C.3: Moses’ Bronze SerpentST IV C.5: Korah’s Rebellion<br />Wednesday, October 7: Preparing for the Mid-Term<br />Review the Study Aids and Self-Tests<br />Friday, October 9: Mid-Term Exam<br />Monday, October 12: Fall Break. No Class.<br />The Former Prophets<br />Wednesday, October 14: Joshua<br />Preliminary Exercise:I A.1: A Closer Look at the Conquest TraditionRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 95-108.ST I A.2: Religion and WarReview:Map I A.1: Significant Sites in the Conquest Tradition<br />Friday, October 16: Judges<br />Preliminary Exercise:I C.1: The Judges CycleRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 109-17.ST I C.1: What is a Judge?Study:Map I B.1: Tribal Territories in CanaanChart I C.1: The Twelve JudgesChart I C.2: The Disintegration of the Judges Cycle<br />Monday, October 19: 1 Samuel<br />Preliminary Exercise:III A.1: Does Israel Need a King?III A.2: God’s Magical ArkRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 131-141.ST III A.1: Hannah’s Song (1 Sam 2:1-10)ST III A.2: The Ark of the Covenant in FilmST III B.2: The Anointed One (or Messiah) in Ancient IsraelST III B.3: Does God Change? (1 Sam 15:29)ST III C.2: The Medium of Endor (1 Sam 28)<br />Wednesday, October 21: 2 Samuel<br />Preliminary Exercise:IV A.1: The Davidic MonarchyIV A.2: Artists’ Renderings of BathshebaRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 142-54.ST IV A.1: Sex and Politics in the Davidic MonarchyReview:Map IV A.1: Israel under David<br />Friday, October 23: 1-2 Kings<br />Preliminary Exercise:IV B.1: King Solomon in All His GloryIV B.2: Solomon – The MovieIV C.1: The Divided MonarchyRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 154-66.ST IV B.1: The Legendary Wisdom of SolomonStudy:Map IV C.1: The Kingdoms of Israel and JudahChart IV C.1: A Chronology of the Northern KingsChart IV C.2: A Chronology of the Southern KingsChart IV C.6: The Miracles of Elisha (2 Kgs 2-13)Chart IV C.7: Parallels between Deuteronomy and Josiah’s Law Book<br />The Latter Prophets<br />Monday, October 26: Introduction to Prophets and Prophecy<br />Preliminary Exercise:II A.1: Getting to Know the ProphetsRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 167-69, 188-96.ST I B.2: Basic Features of Hebrew PoetryST II B.1: Forms of Prophetic SpeechStudy:Chart I B.4: Prophetic Call Narratives<br />Wednesday, October 28: Isaiah<br />Preliminary Exercise:I B.1: Assyrian Period ProphecyRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 170-73, 182-85, 222-26.ST I B.3: The “Day of Yahweh” in Prophetic LiteratureST I B.6: Immanuel and the Prince of Peace (Isa 7:14; 9:2-7)Review:Map I A.1: The Assyrian EmpireChart I A1: Timeline of the Assyrian Period (745-612 B.C.E.)Chart I B.3: The Structure of First IsaiahChart IV B.1: The Structure of Second IsaiahChart IV B.2: The Servant Songs in Second IsaiahChart IV B.2: The Structure of Third Isaiah<br />Friday, October 30: Minor Prophets of the Assyrian Period<br />Preliminary Exercise:I B.2: Prophecy ContinuesRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 173-82, 186-88.ST I B.4: Marriage Customs in Ancient IsraelST I B.5: Is God Male?Review:Chart I B.1: The Structure of AmosChart I B.2: The Structure of HoseaChart I B.5: The Structure of Micah<br />Monday, November 2: Major Prophets of the Babylonian Period<br />Preliminary Exercise:III B.1: Babylonian Period ProphecyIII B.2: Being a ProphetRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 196-201, 206-18.ST III B.2: The Dilemma of “False Prophecy”Review:Map III A.1: The Babylonian EmpireChart III A.1: Timeline of the Babylonian Period (612-539 B.C.E.)Chart III B.6: The Structure of JeremiahChart III B.7: The Structure of Ezekiel<br />Wednesday, November 4: Minor Prophets of the Babylonian Period<br />Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 201-06.Review:Chart III B.1: The Structure of ZephaniahChart III B.2: The Structure of NahumChart III B.3: The Structure of HabakkukChart III B.4: Habakkuk 2:4 and the New TestamentChart III B.5: The Structure of Obadiah<br />Friday, November 6: Prophets of the Persian Period<br />Preliminary Exercise:IV B.1: Persian Period ProphecyIV B.2: Writing a Prophetic BookRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 218-22, 226-37.ST IV B.2: Who or What is Satan?Review:Map IV A.1: The Persian EmpireChart IV A.1: Timeline of the Persian Period (539-330 B.C.E.)Chart IV B.4: The Structure of HaggaiChart IV B. 5: The Structure of First Zechariah (Zech 1-8)Chart IV B.6: The Structure of MalachiST IV B.3: The Return of Elijah in Judaism and ChristianityChart IV B.7: The Structure of JoelChart IV B.8: The Structure of Jonah<br />Creative Prophecy Project due<br />See Appendix 1: Writing Your Own Prophetic Oracle<br />The Writings<br />Monday, November 9: An Introduction to Biblical Poetry<br />Preliminary Exercise:I B.1: Parallelism and Psalm GenresRequired Reading:ST I B.1: Basic Features of Hebrew PoetryST I B.2: What is Sheol?<br />Wednesday, November 11: The Book of Psalms<br />Preliminary Exercise:I B.2: Psalm 23 in Popular MusicRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 251-56.PT I B.1: Repetition and Duplication in the PsalterPT I.B.2: Psalm 151Study:Chart I B.1: Superscriptions of the PsalterChart I B.2: Subcollections within the PsalterChart I B.3: The Psalter’s Five Books<br />Friday, November 13: Creative Psalms Project due<br />See Appendix 2: Writing Your Own Thanksgiving or Lament Psalm<br />Monday, November 16: An Introduction to Biblical Wisdom Literature<br />Preliminary Exercise:II B.1: A Closer Look at JobII B.2: The Ambiguous Ending of JobRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 269-71; 275-80.ST II B.1: Job in an Ancient Near Eastern ContextST II B.2: Job Lives on in Literature and VerseST II B.3: The Origin of SatanST II B.4: I Know that My Redeemer Lives (Job 19:25-26)Review:Chart II A.1 Common Genres in Wisdom LiteratureChart II B.1: The Structure of JobChart II B.2: Translating Job 42:6<br />Wednesday, November 18: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes<br />Preliminary Exercise:II A.1: A Closer Look at ProverbsII C.1: A Closer Look at EcclesiastesRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 271-75; 280-84.ST II A.2: Proverbs in an Ancient Near Eastern ContextST II C.1: Ecclesiastes in an Ancient Near Eastern ContextST II C.2: Ecclesiastes Lives On in Music and LiteratureReview:Chart II A.2: Individual Collection in Proverbs<br />Friday, November 20: Song of Solomon<br />Preliminary Exercise:I C.2: Performing the Song and LamentationsRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 256-59.ST I C.1: Literary Conventions and the Betrothal Type-SceneST I C.3: Lamentations Lives On in Music, Art, and LiteratureStudy:Chart I C.2: How Translators Mask the Song’s EroticismReview:Chart I C.1: The Festal ScrollsChart I C.3: I Adjure You Not to “Awaken” or “Interrupt” Love?Chart I C.4: Is Yahweh Mentioned in Song 8:6?<br />Monday, November 23: Apocalyptic and the Book of Daniel<br />Preliminary Exercise:III A.1: A Closer Look at DanielRequired Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 284-94.ST III A.1: America’s Apocalyptic ObsessionST III A.2: Apocalyptic Themes at the MoviesST III A.3: The Origins of ApocalypticismST III A.4: One Like a Son of Man (Dan 7:13)Review:ST III A.5: Additions to DanielST III A.6: Hanukkah<br />Wednesday, November 25: Retrospect & Prospectus<br />Required Reading:Studying the Old Testament, 295-99.<br />Study Aids and Self-Tests<br />Disclaimer: The Course Schedule is subject to modifications that may be announced during the course of the semester.<br />Appendix 1: Creative Psalm Project<br />Writing Your Own Thanksgiving or Lament Psalm<br />Introduction<br />Psalms are religious song lyrics, wither in praise of the activities of Yahweh or in lamentation of various destructive events that plagued the Israelite people. Generally, psalms were sung or performed as part of religious ceremonies, and often were accompanied with instruments and/or actions. One hundred fifty of the psalms are collected in the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible. This collection is divided into five (5) parts and contains numerous types, or forms, of psalms.<br />Form Criticism of the Psalms<br />Form criticism examines several components of each psalm (such as speakers mentioned, verb tenses, systems of organization, grammatical construction, and content) and attempts to assign a particular “form” designation to each based upon what is being expressed and the social context of its original expression. Examples of these forms include Enthronement Hymns, Psalms of Ascent, Entry Liturgy, Zion Hymns, Individual Laments, Individual Thanksgivings, Communal or National Laments, Communal Thanksgivings, and Royal Psalms.<br />Lament Psalms. Laments constitute the largest group of psalms in the Psalter. Individual laments (e.g., 3, 22, 31, 39, 42, 57, 71, 120, 139, 142) help a person to express struggles, suffering, or disappointment to the Lord. Corporate laments (e.g., 12, 44, 80, 94, 137) do the same for a group of people.<br /><ul><li>Address. The psalmist identifies the one to whom the psalm is prayed. This, of course is the Lord.
Complaint. The psalmist pours out, honestly and forcefully, a complaint, identifying what the trouble is and why the Lord’s help is being sought.
Trust. The psalmist immediately expresses trust in God.
Deliverance. The psalmist pleads for God to deliver from the situation described in the complaint.
Assurance. The psalmist expresses the assurance that God will deliver. This assurance is parallel somewhat to the expression of trust.
Praise. The psalmist offers praise, thanking and honoring God for the blessing of the past, present, and/or future.</li></ul>The Analysis of Psalm 3 as a Lament Psalm<br /><ul><li>Address. This is the “O Lord” of verse 1.
Complaint. This comprises the remainder of verse 1 and all of verse 2. David describes the foes (which can stand in these psalms as personified symbols of virtually any misery or problem), and how bleak his situation seems. Any difficult can be expressed in this way.
Trust. Here, verses 3-6 are all part of the expression of trust in the Lord. Who God is, how he answers prayer, how he keeps his people secure even when their situation is apparently hopeless – all this represents evidence that God is trustworthy.
Deliverance. In verse 7a David expresses his plea for help.
Assurance. The remainder of verse 7 constitutes the statement of assurance.
Praise. Verse 8 lauds God for his faithfulness. He is declared to be one who is a deliverer, and in the request for his blessing, he is implicitly declared one who blesses.</li></ul>Thanksgiving Psalms. These psalms expressed joy to the Lord because something had gone well, because circumstances were good, and/or because people had reason to render thanks to God for his faithfulness, protection, and benefit. <br /><ul><li>Introduction. Here the psalmist’s testimony of how God has helped is summarized.
Distress. The situation from which God gave deliverance is portrayed.
Appeal. The psalmist reiterates the appeal that he or she made to God.
Deliverance. The deliverance God provided is described.
Testimony. A word of praise for God’s mercy is given.</li></ul>The Analysis of Psalm 138 as a Thanksgiving Psalm<br /><ul><li>Introduction. In verses 1-2 David expresses his intention to praise God for the love and faithfulness he has shown, as well as for the fact that God’s greatness in and of itself deserves acclamation.
Distress. In verse 3 the distress is unspecified – it may be any sort of difficulty in which David called to the Lord.
Appeal. The appeal is also contained in verse 3. God is praised for having graciously responded to David’s (unspecified) distress.
Deliverance. Here verses 6-7 are most pertinent. The fact that God paid attention to his undeserving supplicant , preserved his life in the midst of trouble, and rescued David from his foes serves to express for the reader their own appreciation for God’s faithful help in the past.
Testimony. Verses 4-5, and 8 all constitute David’s testimonial to God’s goodness. God is so beneficent that he deserves praise from even the great of the earth (vv. 4-5). He may be counted upon and appealed to in connection with carrying out his promises and intentions. His love never stops (v. 8).</li></ul>Original Thanksgiving or Lament Psalm<br />Now compose your own individual or communal Thanksgiving or Lament Psalm, following the form outlined above. Ensure that each of the 5-6 parts is included in your psalm.<br />Original Individual or Communal Lament Psalm: Grading Protocol<br />Part One: Subject of the Lament Psalm (Maximum 5 points)_______The psalmist chose an appropriate topic and asked God to act in a way consistent with the divine characterPart Two: Formal Features of the Lament Psalm (Maximum 10 points for each element)_______Invocation of God’s name (i.e., the psalm named God directly, preferably in the vocative mood, and called upon God to help him or her or the community)_______Description of present need (i.e., the psalmist stated what ailment he or she or the community is suffering, who has wronged him or her or the community, or what bad events he or she or the community is experiencing)_______Prayer for help and deliverance, preferably in the imperative mood (i.e., the psalmist told God what to do)_______Reasons why God should help the psalmist/community (i.e., the psalmist stated what he or she or the community has done for God, or that should be pleasing to God)_______Vow to offer praise or sacrifice when the petition is heard (i.e., the psalmist stated that he or she or the community will sacrifice the fatted calf or offer some other form of praise to God)_______ **This psalm included an oracle of salvation (5 points bonus)_______Grateful praise to God (i.e., the psalmist gave thanks to God for granting the request stated in Part C)Part Three: Composition Mechanics (Maximum 10 points)10Perfect work8-9One or two punctuation mistakes OR one spelling or grammatical or syntactical error5-7Three or more punctuation mistakes OR two spelling or grammatical or syntactical errors2-4Several punctuation mistakes OR three or four spelling or grammatical errors0Several punctuation mistakes OR more than four spelling or grammatical errors_______Total Points_______Less points for late submission_______Net Points<br />Original Thanksgiving Psalm<br />Grading Protocol<br />Part One: Subject of the Thanksgiving Psalm (Maximum 5 points)_______The psalmist chose an appropriate topic and asked God to act in a way consistent with the divine characterPart Two: Formal Features of the Thanksgiving Psalm (Maximum 10 points for each element)_______Introduction. The psalmist summarizes a testimony of how God has helped._______Distress. The situation from which God gave deliverance is portrayed (i.e., the psalmist stated what ailment he or she or the community was suffering, who wronged him or her or the community, or what bad events he or she or the community was experiencing)_______Appeal. The psalmist reiterates the appeal that he or she made to God._______Deliverance. The psalmist describes the deliverance that God provided._______Testimony. Grateful praise to God.Part Three: Quality of the Composition (Maximum 10 points)10Perfect work8-9One or two punctuation mistakes OR one spelling or grammatical or syntactical error5-7Three or more punctuation mistakes OR two spelling or grammatical or syntactical errors2-4Several punctuation mistakes OR three or four spelling or grammatical errors0Several punctuation mistakes OR more than four spelling or grammatical errors_______Total Points (of 65)_______Less points for late submission_______Net Points<br />Appendix 2: Creative Prophecy Project<br />Writing Your Own Oracle<br />The Assignment. Assume that you are a modern day Amos or Hosea. In one or two pages, write a modern prophecy in the style of an eighth-century prophet.<br />Guidelines. Before you write, think about the following topics and questions. You should try to include information from each topic and answer the questions in your prophecy. Do not worry about treating the topics in order, and do not label the topics. Use your imagination.<br />I. Historical Context: Who is your audience? What is the setting (time, date, and place)?<br />II. Biographical Sketch: Are there any events or experiences in your past that affect your message? What were you doing before you were called to prophesy? What are your credentials?<br />Prophets understood themselves as divinely commissioned messengers and often spoke as though voicing the words of God with the messenger formula. Some prophets also described their call in a narrative that usually exhibited the following features: call, protest, reassurance, and acceptance.<br />III. Forth-telling (the most important topic): What corruptions do you see? Are they religious, ethical, or political in nature?<br />Prophets drew from established forms of speech that were familiar to their audiences and often used these forms ironically. Incorporate into your oracle contemporary speech forms that your audience would recognize and try to use these forms in creative ways. Describe the corruptions using techniques such as metaphors, analogies, and dramatizations. Make sure your images are modern. Do not simply borrow them from the Old Testament.<br />IV. Foretelling: What will the judgment be? Can you offer any hope to your audience? Feel free to dramatize this part of your message as well.<br />Suggestion. You may want to begin your prophecy this way:<br />The word came to ___________________ in the year __________ concerning the people of ____________________ .<br />Skim over the messages and styles of the eighth-century prophets before you begin writing. Remember that prophetic speech is often poetic. Incorporate as many of these features as possible in your oracles.<br />Original Prophetic Oracle<br />Grading Protocol<br />Part One: Subject of the Prophetic Oracle (Maximum 10 points)_______The prophet chose an appropriate topic.Part Two: Formal Features of the Prophetic Oracle (Maximum 10 points for each element)_______Historical Context. The prophet identifies the audience, setting, date, and location of the prophecy._______Biographical Sketch. The prophet gives a call narrative and presents his qualifications for serving as a prophet._______Forth-telling. The prophet describes religious, ethical, or political corruptions. (15 points)_______Foretelling. The prophet describes the consequences of failing to respond to warnings of impending judgment and offers hope for those who respond positively._______Poetry. The prophecy has poetic features.Part Three: Quality of the Composition (Maximum 10 points)10Perfect work8-9One or two punctuation mistakes OR one spelling or grammatical or syntactical error5-7Three or more punctuation mistakes OR two spelling or grammatical or syntactical errors2-4Several punctuation mistakes OR three or four spelling or grammatical errors0Several punctuation mistakes OR more than four spelling or grammatical errors_______Total Points_______Less points for late submission_______Net Points<br />Class Participation: Assessment and Evaluation<br />POSITIVE ATTRIBUTESParticipates in class discussionsAlmost AlwaysOccasionallySeldomAlmost NeverOffers questions or comments during classAlmost AlwaysOccasionallySeldomAlmost NeverVisits at podium after classAlmost AlwaysOccasionallySeldomAlmost NeverNEGATIVE ATTRIBUTESSkips classAlmost AlwaysOccasionallySeldomAlmost NeverShows up lateAlmost AlwaysOccasionallySeldomAlmost NeverSleeps in classAlmost AlwaysOccasionallySeldomAlmost NeverExhibits disruptive behaviorAlmost AlwaysOccasionallySeldomAlmost Never<br />Additional Comments:<br />Suggested Readings<br />In addition to the resources listed in the textbook, students wishing to pursue Old Testament Studies are encouraged to consult the following works:<br />Anderson, Bernhard W. Understanding the Old Testament, 6th edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986.<br />Baker, David W. and Bill T. Arnold, editors. The Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.<br />Barton, John. Reading the Old Testament: Methods in Biblical Study. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984.<br />Bright, John. A History of Israel, 2nd edition. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976.<br />Childs, Brevard S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979.<br />Coogan, Michael D. A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible in Its Context. New York: Oxford University, 2009.<br />----------. The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. New York: Oxford University, 2006<br />Drane, John. Introducing the Old Testament. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001<br />Efird, James M. The Old Testament Writings: History, Literature, and Interpretation. Atlanta: John Knox, 1982.<br />Harris, Stephen L. and Robert L. Platzner. The Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, 2nd edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008.<br />Heschel, Abraham J. The Prophets. New York: Harper & Row, 1962.<br />Hill, Andrew E. and John H. Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament, 3rd edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.<br />LaSor, William Sanford, David Allan Hubbard, and Frederic William Bush. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996.<br />McKenzie, Steen L. and John Kaltner. The Old Testament: Its Background, Growth, & Content. Nashville: Abingdon, 2007.<br />Von Rad, Gerhard. Old Testament Theology. New York: Harper & Row, 1962.<br />