S501-Tanakh: The Beginnings of Judaism and the Jewish People

Instructor: Carl Kinbar
Location: Orbund (server11.orbund.com)
Dates:  October 27, December 29, 2019

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course examines the Tanakh as the story of the Jewish people and as the foundation of Jewish thought, life and traditions. The course covers early Jewish history focusing on the role of the Jewish people in the canonical narrative. The function of key writings and events in the formation of religion and culture in ancient Israel, as well as in the ongoing life of the Jewish people, will be addressed. Special emphasis is given to the historical, social and cultural setting of the Tanakh in the Ancient Near East.

RELATIONSHIP TO THE CURRICULUM
This is a first-year foundational class, as such it introduces key theological points and ethos of MJTI. It is a core course required for all graduate programs, the MJTI certificate tracks.

RELEVANCE
This course responds to the need for individual and communal understanding of the Tanakh, especially as the foundational witness to the relationship between God and Israel. In order to address this need, we study core Tanakh texts from the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings concerning this tumultuous relationship in dialog with Jewish interpretative tradition and reflect on them in light of the Apostolic Writings in order to know and respond to God more deeply in the present moment.

PREREQUISITES
There are no prerequisites for this course, however, one year of college-level Hebrew may be helpful.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Part of this course is delivered by online video conference software; therefore, the student must have a computer and reliable internet access.

COURSE FORMAT
Weekly video conference calls and asynchronous online follow-up discussion.

REQUIREMENTS
Study the assigned readings for and participate actively in each unit and write a mid-term and a final exam.

REQUIRED TEXTS
• The JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, either the Imitation Leather Student Edition (Jewish Publication Society, 2001) or the Pocket Edition (Jewish Publication Society, 2003).
• Levenson, Jon D. The Love of God: Divine Gift, Human Gratitude, and Mutual Faithfulness in Judaism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016
• Soulen, R. Kendall, The God of Israel and Christian Theology (Fortress Press, 2009).
• Course Pack (free download).

RECOMMENDED READING
• Heschel, Abraham Joshua. God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976. Especially Parts 2 and 3.
• Rudolph, David and Joel Willitts, eds. Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Ecclesial Context and BiblicalFoundation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.
•  Zetterholm, Magnus. The Messiah: In Early Judaism and Christianity. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.
•  Wyschogrod, Michael. The Body of Faith: God and the People of Israel. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996.

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