HEBR 222: Readings in OT Prophetic Books and Wisdom Literature, Spring 2008. Syllabus. RJDKnauth
Class time:  T/Th 9:45-11:35 am, D-302.  Office hours MW 2:00-4:00 pm and T/Th 3:00-3:40 pm, D-320.
Telephone: (570) 321-4298 (xGAYT); home: (570) 326-3822 (h).  Email: knauth@lycoming.edu

 

A critical reading of the Hebrew text of selected prophetic and wisdom portions of the Old Testament, with special attention being given poetic structure and grammar as well as to exegetical questions.  This semester, in conjunction with the REL333I: Old Testament Women seminar, we will be focusing on literature of or pertaining to women in the Old Testament, particularly in poetic texts.  The purpose of this course will be to develop and practice your ability to read and understand biblical Hebrew poetic texts.  We will continue to develop a basic working vocabulary with a goal of mastering words occurring 50 times or more in the Hebrew Bible (section 4 in Mitchel), and working down from there to 30 occurrences (section 5K).  We will also discuss unusual points of grammar that come up in the readings, and continue to become familiar with the standard research tools and references for biblical Hebrew language and grammar.  Finally, as time permits, we will discuss larger issues of theology, historical background and scholarly criticism in relation to the texts we read using a standard exegetical approach.  Prerequisite HEBR 221 or equivalent.


Textbooks:      Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS
                       
Mitchel, Vocabulary for Biblical Hebrew (you may also find Vocabulary Cards helpful)

                        Arnold, A Guide to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (a concise reference grammar)

Indispensable References (available in library, but worth purchasing):
                    Kittel, Biblical Hebrew (available with audio cassette and answer key)
                    Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, Gesenius, Kautzsch and Cowley (GKC)
    (other Hebrew grammars you may consult in my office: Jouon, Waltke, Williamson, Lambdin)
                    Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon (BDB)
                    A Readerís Hebrew-English Lexicon..., Armstrong, Busby and Carr (ABC)
                    NIV Interlinear Old Testament or Hendricksonís Interlinear Bible
                    Englishmanís Hebrew Concordance
                    New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance (w/ "Strong" numbers)   
                     The Bible (any English version, complete)

Other useful references (available in the library):
            Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture, Brevard Childs
            Understanding the Old Testament, Bernhard Anderson
            Who Wrote the Bible?, Richard Friedman (on reserve)
            Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Emanuel Tov (in my office)
            The Anchor Bible Dictionary
            Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible
            Encyclopedia Judaica

  These will point the reader to further useful bibliography.


HEBR 222 Course Requirements:

 

1)       Attendance and Participation, readings having been prepared: 10% of final grade.
Each set of 2 absences and/or lack of preparedness lowers your final grade by 1%. 

2)   Reading logs should be prepared for the readings for each session.  Logs will be spot-checked and discussed in class: 10% of final grade, evaluated on a "good faith effort" basis.

3)       Weekly Vocabulary Quizzes (usually at the beginning of class on Thursdays).  In addition to sections of Mitchel, students will be responsible for words in ABC for prepared texts down to 30 occurrences.  A total of 15 quizzes worth 20% of the final grade.

4)      Two Short Translation Tests: worth 10% each.

5)   Two Short Research Projects incorporating substantive linguistic issues, not to exceed 5 pages typed: worth 10% each. 

6)       Final Exam (Translation): Take-home portion = 10%; In-class portion=10% (Total 20%).


Schedule of Classes:

 

Week 1:  The Creation Poem 
  Prepare Genesis 1.  
  Review Vocabulary in Mitchel Section 1(A-D), Learn 5A.  Review major points of grammar for verbs.
T  (Jan. 8)- Begin to read Genesis 2 with grammars (GKC, Williamson). Review "Reading Log." 
Th (Jan. 10)- Prepare Genesis 1 (w/ log).  Discuss ANE parallels.  Quiz 1 on Vocab 1A-D, 5A.

 

Week 2:  Poetic fragments, blessings and curses in Genesis
  Prepare Genesis 2:1-4, 23-25; 3:14-20. 
  Review Vocabulary 2A-E, Learn 5B.  Review Imperatives, Infinitives and Participles. 
T  (Jan. 15)- Finish Gen. 1, continue with Gen. 2:1-4, 23-25.
Th (Jan. 17)- Gen 3:14-20.
 Quiz 2 on Vocab 2A-E, 5B

 

Week 3: Blessings and Curses in Genesis continued: the Flood, Jacob & Esau
  Prepare Gen 8:15-9:17, 25-27; 25:21-28.  
  Review Vocabulary 3A-D, Learn 5C.  Review Nouns, Adjectives and Adverbs.
T  (Jan. 22)- Gen 8:15-9:17.  
Th (Jan. 24)- Gen 25:21-28.  Quiz 3 on Vocab 3A-D, 5C.

 

Week 4: Songs about the Exodus   
  Prepare Exod 15:1-21, Ps. 105-106.  
  Review Vocabulary 3E-G (>100), Learn 5D.  Review Pronouns and Pronominal Suffixes.
T  (Jan. 29)- Exod 15.
Th (Jan. 31)- Ps 105-106.  Quiz 4 on Vocab 3E-G, 5D.


Week 5: The Song of Deborah 
  Review readings from Genesis and Exodus.  Prepare Judges 4-5.
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 3G, 4A-B; Learn 5E.
T  (Feb. 5)-  Translation Test 1. 
Th (Feb. 7)- Judges 4-5.  Quiz 5 on Vocab 3G, 4A-B, 5E.
     Begin work on Research Project 1: find topic (this will be the hardest part!).

 

Week 6: Ruth    
  Prepare Ruth 1-4.
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 4A, C-D; Learn 5F. 
T  (Feb. 12)-  Ruth 1-2.  Review Text Criticism and BHS apparatus.
Th (Feb. 14)-  Ruth 3-4. Quiz 6 on Vocab 4A, C-D, 5F
   Research Project 1 Proposal due

 

Week 7: Proverbial Women  
  Prepare Proverbs 7-9, 31.
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 4B, E-F; Learn 5G.
T  (Feb. 19)-  Proverbs 7-8. 
Th (Feb. 21)-  Proverbs 9, 31. Quiz 7 on Vocab 4B, E-F, 5G.  

 

Spring Break!  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 5A-G.  Work on Research Project!

 

Week 8:  The Song of Songs (Song of Solomon, Canticles)  
  Prepare Song of Songs ch. 1-4.
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 4C, G-H; Learn 5H.
T  (Mar. 4)-  Song of Songs 1-2.  Quiz 8 on Vocab 5A-G. 
Th (Mar. 6)- Song of Songs 3-4.  Quiz 9 on Vocab 4C, G-H, 5H.  

 

Week 9:  Song of Songs continued 
  Prepare Song of Songs ch. 5-8.  
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 4D, I-J; Learn 5I.
T  (Mar. 11)-  Song of Songs 5-6.   Research Project 1 due Tuesday at midnight.
Th (Mar. 13)-  Song of Songs 7-8.  Quiz 10 on Vocab 4D, I-J, 5I.

 

Week 10:  Women as Object Lessons in the Prophets   
  Prepare Amos 4:1, 5:2, Hosea 1-4.  
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 4E, J-K; Learn 5J. 
T  (Mar. 18)-  Translation Test 2.  
Th (Mar. 20)-  Amos 4:1, 5:2; Hosea 1-4. Quiz 11 on Vocab 4E, J-K, 5J.
    Begin work on Research Project 2.  Find a Topic (this will be the hardest part)!

 

Week 11:  Women as Object Lessons in the Prophets continued   
  Prepare Ezekiel 16 and 23. 
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 4F-I; Learn 5K.
T  (Mar. 25)- Ezekiel 16. 
Th (Mar. 27)- Ezekiel 23. Quiz 12 on Vocab 4F-I, 5K.
    Research Project 2 Proposal Due!

 

Week 12: Brave Queen Esther   
  Prepare Esther 1-4.  
  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 4A-K.
T  (Apr. 1)- Esther 1-2. 
Th (Apr. 3)- Esther 3-4. Quiz 13 on Vocab 4A-K.  

 

Week 13: Brave Queen Esther continued  
   Prepare Esther 5-8.  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 5A-E.  
T  (Apr. 8)- Esther 5-6. 
Th (Apr. 10)- Esther 7-8. Quiz 14 on Vocab 5A-E.

 

Week 14: Brave Queen Esther continued  
    Prepare Esther 9-10.  Review Mitchel Vocabulary 5F-K.
T  (Apr. 15) -  Esther 9-10.
Th (Apr. 17) -  Discuss research, review for final. Quiz 15 on Vocab 5F-K.
    Research Project 2 due Friday!

 

Final Exam to follow during Exam Week: Thurs Apr. 24, 8:30 am. 
Review Mitchel Vocabulary Sections 4A-K and 5A-K.

 

**"Reading Logs" should be prepared for each class session according to instructions in the syllabus saying "Prepare Exod __:__" (generally 1-2 pgs in BHS per session).  In preparing the text, you may use any tools you like, including Grammars, Lexicons/Dictionaries, commentaries, English versions, etc.  When reading in class, plan to use only the plain Hebrew text from BHS, plus ABC, plus your reading log.  Your reading log should include any points of grammar (e.g. verb analysis/parsing, suffixes, etc.) that were not immediately obvious to you, and a basic English definition for any Hebrew word that you looked up in the lexicon.  Be prepared to discuss these in class.  You need not include words already in ABC unless you felt it necessary to look them up in BDB as well in order to get a better sense of their meaning.  You may also note any grammatical constructions which you find to be unusual or especially interesting.  The majority of most class sessions will be spent reading the biblical text with the aid of these reading logs, and discussing the points of grammar that you found to be difficult and have therefore noted in your logs.  Please note that the ideal reading log would (eventually) be largely empty because your familiarity with the vocabulary (not including that in ABC) and grammar would allow you to read the text competently with minimal outside aids.  In this case your log would consist only of those forms which are especially unusual or interesting, as you will find noted in GKC and other reference Grammars.  Please do not write reams and reams.  Less is better.  Do NOT write out your English translation of the verse.  The Logs will be spot-checked and discussed throughout the semester and will be counted for 10% of your final grade on a "good faith effort" basis.