Illuminating Faith – PART 2 of Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures

This Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures series provides a survey of the Old Testament, utilising some excellent online lectures and materials from Christine Hayes at Yale University. These lectures are a solid and engaging introduction to the OT as a whole as well as an introduction to critical historical work done on the OT over the last two centuries.

The material for each week of PART 2 of this series is given below, in a form modified slightly from the original resources.

(The original lecture series and its associated resources can be found here. The ‘Sessions’ tab brings up the full list of lectures, and clicking on each brings up the video, text and any other resources (occasional handouts, etc.) relating to that session.)

A book companion to the series as a whole, which at least group leaders and perhaps group members might consider buying, is The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition. It is not exactly cheap – being around $AU65 new. As well as providing a non-Christian reading of the Hebrew Bible, it has a great deal of comment in the margins of each page as well as introductory essays to each of the Old Testament books and scholarly articles on history, interpretation, and so forth. It is a book which will likely serve purchasers well for a long time. A look at the ‘Look Inside’ feature for the book on Amazon might be worthwhile, if you’re considering getting a copy. See here for a range of online sources for this book.

Preparing for the discussions

Prior to each session, watch the lecture via the links below, or read the transcript. There is also an audio-only version of the lectures available on the course homepage under the ‘sessions’ tab — click on the session you want and the audio can be downloaded at the bottom of the session page.

There is often a section of biblical text which it would be helpful to read in conjunction with Hayes’ lectures, and usually a reference to the Jewish Study Bible (JSB) which will assist those who have a copy. The collection of lecture transcripts can be downloaded individually from the session details below, or as a zipped file here:

The Sessions

  • Part 2 Session 3 – Video 10; lecture transcript
    • Bible
      • Legal texts: Leviticus 18-20, 24:10-23, 25, Numbers 35, Deuteronomy 15, 17, 19, 22, 25
        Narrative texts: Deuteronomy 1-14, 27-34
      • Bible Project on Deuteronomy
    • JSB
      • Introduction to Deuteronomy (JSB pp. 356-363; 2nd ed: 339-345)
      • ‘The Modern Study of the Bible’ (JSB pp. 2084-96; 2nd ed: 2166-2176)
  • Part 2 Session 4 – Video 11; lecture transcript
    • [Note, the Yale course specifies the following related materials, which are the same as for the 10th lecture]
    • Bible
      • Legal texts: Leviticus 18-20, 24:10-23, 25, Numbers 35, Deuteronomy 15, 17, 19, 22, 25
      • Narrative texts: Deuteronomy 1-14, 27-34
    • JSB
      • Introduction to Deuteronomy (JSB pp. 356-363; 2nd ed: 339-345))
      • ‘The Modern Study of the Bible’ (JSB pp. 2084-96; 2nd ed: 2166-2176)
  • Part 2 Session 5 – Video 12 ; lecture transcript
    • Bible
    • JSB
      • Introduction to Joshua (JSB pp. 462-464; 2nd ed: pp.439-441)
      • Introduction to Judges (JSB pp. 508-510) Introduction to the Prophets (JSB pp. 451-461; 2nd ed: 495-497)
      • ‘Early Nonrabbinic Interpretation’ (JSB pp. 1835-1844; 2nd ed: 1841-1849)
      • ‘Midrash and Midrashic Interpretation’ (JSB pp. 1863-1876; 2nd ed: 1879-1890 [‘Midrash and Jewish Interpretation]’)
  • Part 2 Session 7 – Video 14; lecture transcript
    • Bible
      • 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel
      • 1 Kings 3, 11-12, 16:29-19:21, 21-22; 2 Kings 8:25-10:36, 17-25
    • JSB
      • Introduction to Samuel (JSB pp. 558-61),
      • Introduction to Kings (JSB pp. 668-71),
      • ‘Historical and Geographical Background to the Bible’ (JSB pp. 2052-2055; 2nd ed, as for video/lecture 13)