FALL TERM 2012 COURSE SYLLABUS Department: Biblical

Department: Biblical Studies
Course Title: Pentateuch
Course Number: OT 625
Credit Hours: 3
Dr. Erika Moore
Worthington, Pa. 16262
(724) 543-9145
This course is designed to provide the student with a broad introduction to the history of
salvation as expressed in the Pentateuch. It explores the content, major themes and
theology of the Pentateuch with special attention to the relationship of the Pentateuch to
Jesus Christ. Our interaction with the Pentateuch is intended not only to increase the
student's knowledge, but also encourage spiritual growth and skill in using the
Pentateuch in one's personal life and ministry.
After a brief survey of pentateuchal scholarship and a discussion of the interpretive issues
surrounding the Pentateuch, we will work our way systematically through the Pentateuch,
following the narrative from creation to the calling of Abraham to the establishment of
the nation of Israel to the Plains of Moab where the nation of Israel readies itself for the
conquest of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. Lectures, discussions, and media will
be used to discuss historical, literary, theological, syntactical and linguistic details of
selected passages to illustrate the chosen passage’s contribution to the message of the
Pentateuch and the broader canon.
GOALS: By the end of this class, students will:
Gain a working knowledge of the history, major themes, and content of the
Pentateuch. This includes a basic understanding of each book's historical
background, content, and message.
Gain a familiarity with the historical, geographical and cultural ancient Near
Eastern context of the Pentateuch.
Appreciate the unity of the Pentateuch and its place in redemptive history.
Gain facility at interpreting and applying the Pentateuch within a
redemptive-historical context
Appreciate the relevance of the Pentateuch for teaching, preaching, and
Christian living.
OBJECTIVES: In order to achieve these goals, students will:
Read, summarize, and evaluate a major OT theologian.
Develop the skill to identify major persons, places and events in the ANE
and Pentateuch.
Develop the ability to communicate the richness of the Pentateuch in a
ministry setting.
OUTCOMES: As a result of this class, students will:
Be able to identify major persons, places, and events in the ANE and
Preach and teach from the Pentateuch with biblical-theological sensitivity
and clarity.
The learning outcomes for Trinity School for Ministry are:
The student will recognise and identify the biblical theology evident in the
course work.
The student will be able to articulate an Anglican understanding of biblical,
historical, systematic, and pastoral theology.
The student will be able to effectively communicate the Christian message
to a diversity of people in order to advance the mission of God.
The student will be prepared to effectively lead in a variety of Christian
This course furthers all four of these goals, but it will make a particular contribution in
helping students to articulate a biblical theological understanding of the OT (1) and
effectively communicate an often ignored and/or misunderstood portion of Scripture (the
Pentateuch) to a diversity of people in diverse ministry settings (3,4).
Assessment of Learning Outcomes:
o Weekly Quizzes
o Participation in weekly Class Conversations
o Book Review
o Teaching Outline OR Exegesis Project
Our main textbook will be the Old Testament. Use a reliable English translation (not a
paraphrase) of the OT such as ESV, RSV, NASB, NIV, or NKJV. We have a significant
amount of reading to do. Familiarizing ourselves with the text of the Pentateuch is
necessary if we are to develop our appreciation for the big redemptive picture that
unfolds in the Bible. This in turn will help us appreciate how the Pentateuch gives
Christians the bearings to understand where we come from and where we are going.
Clines, D.J.A. The Theme of the Pentateuch. 2Nded. JSOTSup 10. Sheffield JSOT
Press, 1997. ISBN: 978-1-85075-792-4 $49.95
Wenham, Gordon. A Guide to the Pentateuch. Exploring the Old Testament 1.
Grove, IL.Intervarsity Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-083082551-6 $19.30
Alexander, Desmond and David W. Baker. Dictionary of the Old Testament:
Pentateuch. InterVarsity Press, 2003.
Longman, Tremper III. Making Sense of the Old Testament: Three Crucial Questions.
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998.
Walton, John H. Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament. Grand
Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.
Wright, Christopher J. H. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. Downers Grove,
Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 1992.
Assignment One:
Read through [or, listen to on tape/CD] the Pentateuch 3 times and submit a signed
statement indicating how many times you read through the Pentateuch. The three
readings/listenings are to be done between the posting of this syllabus [July 5, 2012] and
Friday October 26, 2012. [10%]
Assignment Two:
Read D.J. Clines’ The Theme of the Pentateuch and write a seven-page book review. In
the first three pages write a brief summary of Clines’ major points. For the last four pages
write a critical analysis of particular features of his discussion that you found interesting,
helpful, or troublesome. Due: Friday, September 21, 2012 (before the beginning of
class). [20%]
N.B. Please stick to the page limits. I will not read beyond page 8.
Assignment Three:
Teaching Outline. A detailed teaching outline for an adult education class/Youth Group
or other targeted group on one of the five books of the Pentateuch. Assume class
members are not new to Bible study. Produce a plan for twelve lessons that covers the
entire book. Write a synopsis for each of the twelve lessons that includes enough content
for me to grasp what you intend to teach the class. Remember: no synagogue synopsis.
How do you teach this portion of the Pentateuch in light of the redemption accomplished
by Jesus?
Exegesis Paper: A 20-25 page paper on a passage in the Pentateuch. If you choose this
option, make sure you inform me of the passage by October 12, 2012.
For both the teaching outline and exegesis paper, Research Expectations Include:
that you have used at least four commentaries in your paper. Demonstrate that you
have used at least three monographs or journal articles. Demonstrate that you have
used at least two biblical dictionary/encyclopedia articles.
The teaching outline paper should be between 25-35 pages/the exegesis paper
should be between 20-25 pages. Both are due by 12 noon on Friday December 14,
2012. Late papers will be assessed a penalty of one full letter grade. [50%]
Assignment Four: Weekly timeline and geography quizzes. The lowest quiz grade
will be dropped before averaging quiz grades. [20%]
N.B. Your final grade may be affected by class attendance and participation.
September 7
Introduction to the OT and the Pentateuch
September 14
The Theme of the Pentateuch
Read Wenham, xiii-xv, 1-7, 145-158, 187-195
Quiz: Timeline
September 21
Genesis 1-11
Read Wenham, 9-34; Walter C. Kaiser Jr. The Old Testament Documents: Are They
Reliable & Relevant? (Downers Grove: IVP, 2001, pp.53-83 [on Edv. 360].
Quiz: ANE Geography
September 28
Genesis 12-50: Patriarchal narratives
Read Wenham, 35-56
Quiz: Palestine
October 5
Exodus: Israel in Egypt
Read Wenham, 57-80; T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker. “Egypt,
Egyptians” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (Downers Grove, IVP,
2003), pp. 207-214 [on Edv. 360]
Quiz: Professor's Choice
October 12
Exodus: Israel at Sinai
Read: Tremper Longman. Making Sense of the Old Testament: Three Crucial
Questions (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), pp.103-136 [on Edv. 360]
Quiz: Professor's Choice
October 19: No Class Reading Week
October 26
Exodus: Israel at Sinai continued
Quiz: Professor's Choice
November 2
Leviticus 1-10: Sacrifices and priestly regulations
Read Wenham, 81-101
Quiz: Professor's Choice
November 9
Leviticus 11-26 : Laws of purity and holiness; Feasts and Special Days
Read: T.D. Alexander. From Paradise to the Promised Land (Carlisle,Pa.:
Paternoster, 2002), pp. 204-234 [on Edv. 360]
Quiz: Professor's Choice
November 16
Numbers 1-25: The first generation
Read Wenham, 103-122
Quiz: Professor's Choice
November 23
No class: Thanksgiving Break
November 30
Numbers 26-36: The second generation
Read: T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker. “Numbers, Book of” in
Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (Downers Grove, IVP, 2003), pp.611618 [on Edv. 360]
Quiz: Professor's Choice
December 7
Deuteronomy: Moses’ farewell address
Read Wenham, 123-143
Quiz: Professor's Choice
December 14
The eschatological outlook of Deuteronomy
Quiz: Professor's Choice
VII. Grading System:
The following is offered as a guide, rather than a set of rules.
B: Work will demonstrate broad (sufficient information is covered) and deep (supporting
material is offered) coverage of the material. Information will be accurate and there will
be a clear and coherent structure. Coverage of the material and comments will be
reasonably competent without being exceptional. .
C: Work will demonstrate reasonable coverage of the material but will lack breadth and
depth of analysis. There will not be serious inadequacies in the information presented, but
the overall structure will be characteristically unclear, narrow, and shallow and void of
imaginative and interesting analysis.
D: Work will be notably defective according to the criteria outlined above.
F: Work will demonstrate a complete failure on the part of its author to interact with the
material in accordance with criteria outlined above.
A: Work will demonstrate exceptional coverage of the material. What distinguishes work
in this category from a “B” is the author’s ability to develop the material in breadth and
depth beyond what is necessary for a good understanding of it. The author will engage
with the material in a way that is often though not always marked by creativity,
exceptional insight, and/or extensive research.