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Semester 1

Prophets and Their Oracles (DIVI08009)







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Course Summary

This course is the partner to Moses and the Torah (level 8) and is aimed at students beginning their academic study of biblical literature. It is an introduction to the prophets of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and their writings in historical, literary, and theological context.

Course Description

Academic Description: This course is one of a suite of four courses which introduce students to the academic study of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (HB/OT) and New Testament. In this course, we explore the phenomenon of prophecy in the HB/OT and its substantial body of prophetic texts. The 'writing prophets' are set within the context of their ancient Near Eastern environment and located within the historical moments of their own activity. Selected texts are examined more closely in historical, literary, and theological perspectives. Shared themes are considered, as well as the various developments which distinguish periods of prophetic activity, and individual prophetic books. Syllabus/Outline Content: The broad context for the study of the prophets is considered by covering the nature of the biblical canon, its historical structure, and the wider ancient Near Eastern cultural context. Prophetic elements of the 'historical books' of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (HB/OT) are investigated, before turning to the 'writing prophets', Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve ('Minor Prophets'). These are studied through the main phases of prophetic activity in the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian periods. The course concludes with the rise of apocalyptic prophecy in the book of Daniel, and its trajectory into later Jewish and Christian texts. Student Learning Experience Information: Each week, students will engage in a variety of activities that they can complete in their own time. These activities may include, for example, watching short videos, reading biblical texts / secondary literature, posting on discussion boards, and testing their knowledge through short quizzes. All of these will be available through the virtual learning environment (Learn). In addition, students will participate in one weekly tutorial (in-person or online), in which they will discuss a particular biblical text and a key issue arising from it. During the course, students will write three short blogs based on the tutorials, and one essay analysing a biblical text. Through these, as well as the examination at the conclusion of the course, students will demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 50%, Coursework 50%, Practical Exam 0%

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