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Yale University

Introduction to the Old Testament

Yale University via YouTube


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This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East.


Lecture 1. The Parts of the Whole.
Lecture 2. The Hebrew Bible in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting: Biblical Religion in Context.
Lecture 3. The Hebrew Bible in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting: Genesis 1-4 in Context.
Lecture 4. Doublets and Contradictions, Seams and Sources.
Lecture 5. Critical Approaches to the Bible: Introduction to Genesis 12-50.
Lecture 6. Biblical Narrative: The Stories of the Patriarchs (Genesis 12-36).
Lecture 7. Israel in Egypt: Moses and the Beginning of Yahwism (Genesis 37- Exodus 4).
Lecture 8. Exodus: From Egypt to Sinai (Exodus 5-24, 32; Numbers).
Lecture 9. The Priestly Legacy: Cult and Sacrifice, Purity and Holiness in Leviticus and Numbers.
Lecture 10. Biblical Law: The Three Legal Corpora of JE (Exodus), P (Leviticus and Numbers) and D.
Lecture 11. On the Steps of Moab: Deuteronomy.
Lecture 12. The Deuteronomistic History: Life in the Land (Joshua and Judges).
Lecture 13. The Deuteronomistic History: Prophets and Kings (1 and 2 Samuel).
Lecture 14. The Deuteronomistic History: Response to Catastrophe (1 and 2 Kings).
Lecture 15. Hebrew Prophecy: The Non-Literary Prophets.
Lecture 16. Literary Prophecy: Amos.
Lecture 17. Literary Prophecy: Hosea and Isaiah.
Lecture 18. Literary Prophecy: Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum and Habbakuk.
Lecture 19. Literary Prophecy: Perspectives on the Exile (Jeremiah, Ezekiel and 2nd Isaiah).
Lecture 20. Responses to Suffering and Evil: Lamentations and Wisdom Literature.
Lecture 21. Biblical Poetry: Psalms and Song of Songs.
Lecture 22. The Restoration: 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah.
Lecture 23. Visions of the End: Daniel and Apocalyptic Literature.
Lecture 24. Alternative Visions: Esther, Ruth, and Jonah.

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4.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

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  • Navaruna Borah
    Introduction to the Old Testament is a series of lectures organized by Yale University and available on YouTube. As someone who has always been fascinated by the history and stories of the Old Testament, I found these lectures to be informative and…
  • Larry G Crabtree Jr
    Very good information and very detailed courses are where you can understand them and I like the way the courses were easy to follow
  • Fr.Ioannis Koutsaftakis
    Very good information and very detailed courses are where you can understand them and I like the way the courses were easy to follow.

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