NT/OT 795: Biblical Theology Seminar Syllabus

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1 NT/OT 795: Biblical Seminar Syllabus Spring 2017 Professor: Rollin G. Grams Meeting Times: Module 4: 8:30 am 4:30 pm, only Saturdays: Feb. 11, Mar. 11, Apr. 8 Prerequisites: 600 level OT exegesis course and NT 502 Work for Course Begins: 17 January, 2017 Work for Course Ends: 17 April, 2017 (check Registrar s date for graduating seniors) Course Description This seminar focuses on the primary themes and fundamental issues shared by both Testaments. Students present papers for formal critique and discussion on relevant topics within the discipline of Biblical. Prerequisites: At least one 600-level NT exegesis course and, for students taking Hebrew, a 600-level OT exegesis course. Expanded Description This course examines the unity and diversity of Scripture through a series of mini-seminars. To do so, questions of method, proposals for unifying Scripture, and a variety of theological topics in the Bible are explored. The course also has the practical aims of helping students to develop a Biblically grounded theology for life and ministry and to prepare for ongoing reading and research in Biblical theology. Methodologically, the course will examine the appropriate use of Scripture for theological enquiry. Missional, covenantal, and narrative (over against systematic) approaches to Biblical theology will especially be examined. Thematically, the course focuses on the following themes in particular: the mission of God, covenant theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Kingdom, Gospel, Soteriology, and Ecclesiology. Logistically, the flipped classroom approach makes use of online (Sakai) lectures and student interaction so that class time on Saturdays can be conducted as seminars, focusing on discussion of the lectures and reading. (Because students are expected to listen to lectures before coming to class, the course does not meet on Friday nights.) Students will find guided questions for the seminar, the reading, forum posts, and papers on Sakai. Course Prerequisites and Relation to the Curriculum Pre-requisites: Since this is an advanced, capstone course in the curriculum, students will have already taken the two Bible Survey courses, Greek, Hebrew, both OT and NT interpretation courses, and at least one 600 level OT exegesis course. This course is a required part of the Master of Divinity and the Master of Arts degrees in Biblical Studies (Biblical Studies, Old Testament Studies, and New Testament Studies). Be aware that there is an English-based Biblical 1

2 course, OT/NT517, that is an alternative to this course for students in other degree programs (ones lacking the Biblical languages; both courses should not be taken as they overlap). The course relates to the mission of Gordon-Conwell to train people in a knowledge of the Bible and the correct use of Scripture. Graduates of the seminary are trained to think Biblically, and, since theological study and ministry practice should always proceed from a Biblical theology, this course carries the charge to prepare students accordingly. Course Outcomes The student completing this course of study will: *have acquired a greater knowledge of the Bible, including specific texts and, especially, its unity and diversity *be able to analyze, evaluate, and critique proposals for Biblical theology from an understanding of hermeneutical and methodological issues *be able to investigate Scripture theologically in the areas specified in the course description *be able to apply methods of Biblical theology applied to certain topics in the course to other Biblical topics *be able to explain several theological themes in Scripture and state how they are different or related at different times and in different authors *be able to identify and explain ways in which Biblical theology relates to the Christian life and to ministry Course Textbooks/Reading Students will read approximately 2,300 pages for this course from the following resources. Details regarding the reading will appear on the Sakai website. Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the God of Israel. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN-10: Pages: 336 [Not all of the book will be read for the course.] Block, Daniel. For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical of Worship. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, ISBN ISBN-10: ISBN-13: Pages: 360 Grams, Rollin. According to My Gospel : The Gospel in Paul s Writings. Unpublished, n.d. Pages: 200 [approximately; this is a work in progress towards publication]. Read 160 pages (through Appendix One). Available for this course only on Sakai. Grams, Rollin. Essays on the Church in Scripture and Today. Unpublished, n.d. Pp Available for this course only on Sakai and/or on Students will read chs. 1, 6, 7, and 8 (18 pages). 2

3 Grams, Rollin. Leadership: Challenging a Paradigm for Christian Ministry. Unpublished. Mostly blogs and articles available for this course on Sakai and/or on Students will read the Introduction and chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4. Grams, Rollin. Theologising Without Abstractions: Forays in Biblical. Unpublished, n.d. Pages: 236. Collection of published essays and chapters available on Sakai for this course. Students will read only chs. 1 and 3 (33 pages). Goldingay, John. Biblical : The God of the Christian Scriptures. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, ISBN-10: ISBN-13: Pp Hafemann, Scott and Paul R. House, eds. Central Themes in Biblical : Mapping Unity in Diversity. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, Pp ISBN-13: Read the following: Scott J. Hafemann on the covenant relationship Thomas R. Schreiner on the commands of God Frank S. Thielman on the atonement Stephen G. Dempster on the servant of the Lord Paul R. House on the day of the Lord Elmer A. Martens on the people of God Roy E. Ciampa on the history of redemption Thiselton, Anthony. The Holy Spirit in Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, Pp ISBN-13: In particular, read ch. 1-9 and 24 (202 pages). Wright, Christopher. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, ISBN-10: Pages: 582in all [not all to be read for this course.] In particular, read chs. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, and 15 (=311 pages). Course Requirements 1. Reading and note taking of all assigned materials. 2. Listening carefully to and taking notes on all lectures. 3. Two forum posts of words each on different topics and ones different from your paper topics. 4. Reading forum posts by two others. 5. Interaction in 7 seminars on 3 Saturdays (required attendance). 5. Two papers of 2,000 words each. See topics in table in Course Outline. Classroom Seminars Students will be placed in seminar groups of about 3 or 4 persons. Students may change groups for different seminars. Each Saturday meeting will involve a morning and an afternoon seminar. Each student will present the gist of his/her interaction with the course material for the topic in 3

4 about 15 minutes, followed by discussion. Guiding questions on Sakai will provide possible structure to the seminars, with the opportunity to pursue additional issues as well. Course Outline and Schedule Details are provided on Sakai, including lesson overviews, learning objectives, and guiding questions. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the details before the course begins on 16 January. The guiding questions may help when listening to lectures and reading, and they are also to be used in the seminars in class when discussing the topics covered in this course. Lessons/ Dates L1: 16 Jan. 23 Jan. Topics Online Lectures Requirements 1. Discuss the three rival versions of theological enquiry as a lens for understanding different scholars approaches to theological studies that you have encountered at seminary. What difference will this make in approaches to Biblical theology? 2. Discuss the tasks of theological enquiry, with a focus on the relationship between the first two tasks and the third and fourth tasks (see Rival Versions, ch. 1). 3. What do we learn from Scripture about the bases for Biblical and the nature of Scripture s unity and diversity? 4. What is your initial understanding of the academic field of Biblical? Discuss the relationship between history and theology. Discuss approaches to synthesis (including the narrative approach). What are the strengths and weaknesses in methodological approaches to the unity and diversity of Biblical theology (historical, redemptive historical, thematic, canonical, theological)? How does Scripture hold together as a unity? 5. Where is there significant diversity in Scripture? Methodology 1. Bases for Biblical (49 minutes) 2. What is Biblical? (1 hour, 17 minutes) Part1 Part 2 3. Introduction to Narrative Biblical (52 minutes narrated) 4. Metanarrative in Scripture (1 hour, 40 minutes narrated) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Grams, Leadership, chs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (38 pages); Grams, Theoogising without Abstractions ( = 21 pages); Grams, Rival Versions of Theological Enquiry (5-29 = 25 pages); Goldingay (13-18 = 6 pages) TOTAL: 102 pages. ASSIGNMENT: Forum Post 1: 2 Feb. (due 11:59 pm on Sakai forum) words: What is involved in claiming A Biblical of Something? L2: 23 Jan. 1 Feb. 1. In light of the previous seminar s challenges about whether there is such a thing as a Biblical of. projects (e.g., leadership, counseling, finances, and so on), and in light of Wright s discussion of whether the Bible has a theology of mission or whether Biblical theology is, in fact, itself missional, discuss the pros and cons of reading the Bible as a missional corpus. 4

5 2. Does Wright define mission well as God s revealing His identity? What practical implications does this have for your ministry? 3. What are the key passages in Scripture that emerge through the lens of mission? Do they together offer a missional reading of Scripture? Does this reading de-emphasize other Biblical texts and theological emphases or is it the heuristic key that we need for exploring the unity all of Scripture? Can the Wisdom literature of the OT fit into this missional Biblical theology? At what point in salvation history would the people of God be able to understand this missional reading Scripture and, if only later, does this pose problems for a missional approach to Biblical theology? (Would any other approach fare any better?) 4. What stood out to you from the lectures and reading? How would these points have helped you in your earlier studies at the seminary and in ministry? 5. Where do you think Wright s arguments could be improved? Missional Biblical 5. OT Mission Part 1 (44 minutes narrated) Part 2 (30 minutes narrated) 6. God and Mission in the OT: The Nations in God s Plan (29 ½ minutes) 7. Paul s Mission Goals & Methods and the Gospel (1 hour and 5 minutes narrated) Wright (311). TOTAL: 311 pages L3: 1 Feb. 10 Feb. 1. Both Wright in the previous section and the reading from Goldingay in this section focus on God and His self-revelation in Biblical. Discuss their insights and the significance of this focus for Biblical (and all) theology. 2. Discuss different approaches to the unity of the Old Testament: e.g., missional, covenantal, narrative, or thematic emphases. How are these different approaches similar and different? How do these approaches help to relate the OT to the NT in Biblical theology? 3. What about the Wisdom literature in covenantal, missional, and narrative approaches to the OT? 4. Which Biblical passages are key to a discussion of God s self-revelation? 5. How do approaches discussed in this course so far challenge Dispensational theology, and what do you make of the differences? 6. What stood out to you as helpful from the readings and lectures? What would you challenge or want to state differently or explore further? What are you learning about how to read the Bible theologically and how to do theology (theologize) Biblically? Biblical 8. Themes in Genesis (35 ½ minutes) 9. OT Biblical Part I (44 minutes) Part II (30 minutes) 10. NT Biblical Goldingay ( = 196 pages); Hafemann & House (Hafemann, 45, Schreiner, 41; Ciampa, 54 = 141 pages). TOTAL: 337 pages. CLASS: 11 February Morning: Methodology and Biblical Seminar Afternoon: Mission & OT Seminar L4: 12 Feb. 26 Feb. 1. What is the OT basis for the NT Gospel? Which texts are important? What is the Gospel? How does the Gospel in the early Church teaching offer something new from OT? 2. What is the relationship between the notion of the Kingdom of God and the Gospel, between Jesus (and John the Baptist s) preaching and Paul s preaching? 3. How does a study of diverse terms for salvation in Paul help us to understand his theology rather than, say, a focus on a single term such as justification? 4. What did you learn from the lectures and reading in this seminar? 5

6 Evangelical Biblical (anthropology, soteriology, eschatology) 11. Peace Among the Nations (36 minutes) 12. The Human Condition in Rom Jesus and the Plight of Israel 14. Jesus and Paul: Kingdom and Gospel 15. Christological Titles in OT and Jewish Backgrounds Grams, 160 pages; Hafemann & House (Thielman, 25, House, 45 = 70 pages); Goldingay ( and = 129 pages). TOTAL: 349 pages ASSIGNMENT: Paper 1 Due on 27 February (due by 11:59 pm in Sakai course drop box) 2,500 word essay on God and His Mission L5: 26 Feb. 10 March 1. What is Bauckham s suggestion for discussing divine identity and how does it relate/contrast to other approaches? How is early Christian Christology still monotheistic from a Jewish perspective? 2. Which Biblical texts rise to significance for Bauckham s discussion of Christology? Does the NT engage the OT appropriately shedding light on the true meaning of the OT? 3. What stands out to you from the lectures and reading (particularly Bauckham, but also the other reading)? Where do you think the arguments could be improved? 4. Regarding the OT and Jesus Passion in the Gospels, discuss the following questions: Old Testament and Jesus Passion: Class Discussion a. Note the number of OT references (quotes or allusions) in Jesus passion narrative. What difference does it make to read Jesus passion in light of the OT references? What medium (poetry, live video, artistic film, narrative) best captures allusions and what is gained or lost by using other mediums? b. Which psalms are commonly referenced in relation to Jesus Passion? Look these over and discuss what you see. What is the message of these psalms, not only of the verses quoted or alluded to in the Passion narratives? c. Are the psalms prophetic, predicting Jesus passion (predicting what happened)? Or are they fulfilled by Jesus in the sense that they apply to others lives, including and especially his? Do they explain why Jesus suffered and died? d. Thinking generally, what does it mean to fulfill the lament psalms of Israel? What does it mean for Jesus to fulfill the lament psalms written by David? Also discuss the final parallel noted about David, Jesus, and the Mt. of Olives. e. Examine Jesus fulfillment of other OT passages than the Psalms. How do they explain the Jesus suffering and death? Do they explain how and/or why Jesus suffered and died? f. What do you note about any similarities and differences in the use of the Old Testament in the Passion narratives between the Synoptic Gospels and between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John? 5. How would you explain to a Jew that Jesus fulfills the OT hopes and promises? 6. How would you explain to a Muslim that the Christian faith is monotheistic? How would you explain to a Muslim that Christian teaching on the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus is entirely consistent with divine identity and offers us a greater hope? (This topic takes us beyond Biblical theology per se, but discussing it helps us to understand Scripture better keep the focus on Scripture and its interpretation.) 6

7 Christological Biblical 16. New Testament Christology 17. Jesus Narrative and Intertextual Self-Understanding Bauckham, 336; Hafemann & House (Dempster, 50); Goldingay ( = 166 pages) TOTAL: 552 pages CLASS: 11 March Morning: Evangelical Biblical Seminar Afternoon: Christology Seminar L6: 12 Mar. 22 Mar. 1. Can we speak of the divine, Holy Spirit within the pages of the Old Testament? Which OT passages come into focus when we look at the OT through the lens of the Spirit? 2. How does the Spirit relate to other OT theological topics, such as creation, the people of God, ethics, eschatology? How do these relate to the NT? 3. What stands out to you in your reading of Thiselton? Where would you want to improve on his arguments? 4. What have you learned from this seminar about the Spirit and interpretation of Scripture? Also discuss the power of God at this point, particularly in relation to the Spirit s role in Scripture and in the Church today. Pneumatologic al Biblical 18. The Spirit in the OT 19. The Spirit in the NT 20. Scripture and Authority 21. The Use of the Bible for Biblical Thiselton, 202 pages TOTAL: 202 pages L7: 22 Mar. 7 Apr. 1. What is the relationship between the Jews and the Church as the people of God? What are the relationships and differences between the early Church (NT) and Israel (OT) in worship? 2. Is there a future for Israel in God s plan? 3. What is a Biblical understanding of the Church and how does this challenge our understanding of the local church and universal Church? 4. How does Block s book help you to understand worship Biblically? 5. In what sense are large worship centers and denominations churches, and in what senses are they not? Ecclesiological Biblical OPTIONAL: Ecclesiastical Biblical Conversation (Dr. Steve Klipowicz and Dr. Rollin Grams): m31cpqu0 Hafemann & House (Martens, 29; Schreiner, 35 = 65 pages); Grams (18 pages); Goldingay ( = 142); Block (1-360 pages = 361 pages) 7 TOTAL: 444 pages ASSIGNMENT: Forum Post 2 23 March (due by 11:59 pm on Sakai forum) 400 words on What is new about the Spirit in the Christian Era? CLASS: 8 April Morning: Pneumatology Seminar Afternoon: Ecclesiology Seminar ASSIGNMENT: Bullet points on Top 10 Things I Learned in this Course (reference sources)

8 7 April, Pass/Fail Submit on Forum ASSIGNMENT: Paper 2 17 April (due 11:59 pm on Sakai course drop box) 2,500 word essay on focused topic in Christology, Pneumatology, or Ecclesiology Course Marking: Grading rubrics will be provided on the Sakai course website to guide students in the assignments. Summary of Course Requirements and Percentages for Final Grade: use this box when sending an stating completion of listening to all lectures (plus note taking), completion of the reading (plus note taking), submission of 2 forum posts and reading of 2 other students forum posts for each of the two forum interactions, and submission of 2 essays for the course (replace the words in column 2 with complete in an to me). Weight of Assignments (and Table to Show Completion of Requirements) Assignments Percentage of Final Grade Listening to Lectures, Note-Taking Pass/Fail (submit stating completion) Reading, Note-Taking Pass/Fail (submit stating completion) 3 Saturdays of 7 Seminars Required attendance and engagement Pass/Fail 2 Essays 35% each = 70% total 2 Forum Posts (and reading 2 others posts) 15% each = 30% total Meaning of Letter Grades for the Course A A % 90-92% Excellent, Well Above Average Very Good and Above Average B+ B B % 83-87% 80-82% Fine Work, Just Above Average Good, Average Slightly below average C+ C 78-79% 73-77% Satisfactory for passing, although below average for graduate level work C % D+ D 68-69% 63-67% Pass, although inadequate work at the graduate level D % F 0-59% Fail Rubric for Essays Topics: Evidence of learning on the course: engagement with lectures and books Biblical engagement: use of Scripture, awareness of exegetical issues Detail, Description, Engagement with Reading, Clarity in Presenting Arguments Analysis: clarity on the overall issues (forest vs. trees), distinguishing what is key and what is less important, understanding alternative views, identifying on what Grade: 8

9 point/s arguments turn, awareness of how different versions of enquiry affect scholarship, ability to compare and contrast scholars read. Unity and Diversity: awareness of dating of material, different texts and authors in Scripture, their language, genre, and notions, any progression of theology in the canon. Tasks of theology: awareness of how different tasks of theology engage topics in theology, with a focus on exegetical and synthetic tasks in Biblical theology. Writing: clarity, conciseness, balance, logic, referencing/footnotes 9

10 Syllabus Addendum Academic Standards Cheating and plagiarism are considered serious breaches of personal and academic integrity. Cheating involves, but is not necessarily limited to, the use of unauthorized sources of information during an examination or the submission of the same (or substantially same) work for credit in two or more courses without the knowledge and consent of the instructors. Plagiarism involves the use of another person s distinctive ideas or words, whether published or unpublished, and representing them as one s own instead of giving proper credit to the source. Plagiarism can also involve over dependence on other source material for the scope and substance of one s writing. Such breaches in academic standards often result in a failing grade as well as other corrective measures [they will for this course]. For more information, please consult the Student Handbook. ADA Policy The seminary complies with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A student with a qualifying and authenticated disability who is in need of accommodations, should petition the seminary in accordance with the stated guidelines in the Student Handbook. Cancellation of Class In the event the seminary has to cancel a class meeting (impending storm, professor illness, etc.), the Registration Office will send out an (via the GCTS account) notification to all students registered in the respective course. If the cancelation occurs the day of the scheduled meeting, the Registration Office will also attempt to contact students via their primary phone contact on record. The professor will contact the students (via GCTS account) regarding make-up. If a weekend class is cancelled, the class will be made up during the scheduled Make- Up weekend (see the academic calendar for the designated dates). For more info, consult your Student Handbook. Extension Policy Arrangements for submission of late work at a date on or before the last day to submit written work, as noted on the seminary s Academic Calendar, are made between the student and professor. Formal petition to the Registration Office is not required at this time. This includes arrangements for the rescheduling of final exams. However, course work (reading and written) to be submitted after the publicized calendar due date, must be approved by the Registration Office. An extension form, available online, must be submitted to the Registration Office prior to the last day to submit written work. Requests received after this date will either be denied or incur additional penalty. For a full discussion of this policy, please consult the Student Handbook. Grades Grades are posted on-line within twenty-four hours of receipt from the professor. Students are expected to check their CAMS student portal in order to access posted grades. Those individuals who need an official grade report issued to a third party should put their request in writing to the Registration Office. Faculty have six weeks from the course work due date to submit a final grade. Returned Work Submitted course work will be returned to the student provided s/he provides a self-addressed and postage paid envelope with his/her final work. Work submitted without the appropriate envelope will be destroyed once the grade has been assessed and issued. Since the exegesis paper is submitted electronically, only comments and not the paper will be sent to the student once everything is graded. 10

11 Virtual Writing Center Free assistance in writing papers is available to students through the Virtual Writing Center at Gordon Conwell. The Virtual Writing Center is staffed by Gordon Conwell graduates, or writing tutors with specialized knowledge in writing and/or ESL. Generally, this service is available to students who have completed or are currently enrolled in one of the following three classes: CT500 (Introduction to Theological Research) CO501 (Introduction to Counseling Research) IS502 (Theological Research and Writing) If you enrolled in GCTS before Fall 2008, you were not required to take one of the three pre-requisites above, and you may request access to the Virtual Writing Center. Also, ESL writing tutors are available to ESL students even if they are not currently enrolled in a degree program. If you do not meet one of these qualifications, but feel you would benefit from using the Virtual Writing Center, contact us and we will evaluate your status. for more information. 11

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