ICS Calendar Title: Biblical Foundations

ICS Course Code: ICS 1108AC/2108AC W19

Instructor: Jeffrey Hocking

Term and Year: Distance, Winter 2019

Last Updated: September 21, 2016


1. Course Description

2. Course Learning Goals

3. Course Requirements

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings and Schedule

(arranged by session and in suggested order)

6. Some Recommended Readings

1. Course Description

This course will explore the Bible as the ongoing story of and for God and creation, paying special attention to the way in which God's story is intertwined with that of humanity and the world. In asking whether and in what way the biblical narrative finds its future in our ongoing narratives, we will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods might help us discern its significance for present day life, including the academic enterprise.

2. Course Learning Goals

a.) To become (more) familiar with the Bible read and interpreted as an ongoing story of/for God and creation, creation and God

b.) To increase our ability to think creatively and constructively about the relationship between the biblical text, academic reflection, and contemporary discernment

c.) To deepen knowledge and awareness of key hermeneutical issues relevant to biblical interpretation

3. Course Requirements

a.) Total reading: 1250 pages total, including research for paper, of which approximately 40-70 pages per week is required to prepare for session.

b.) On-line discussion: Ten postings of 200 words, or 2000 words overall, may serve as a guide-line for contributions to on-line discussion, plus participation in one conference call.

c.) Description of course paper: A 3,000-5,000 word review of and response to: Stanley Gundry, ed., Show Them No Mercy: Four Views on God and Canaanite Genocide (Grand Rapids, Ml: Zondervan, 2003) which includes your own proposal. This should include some exegetical argumentation that draws on a reading of the Book of Joshua in particular. Your treatment should also demonstrate your understanding of relevant hermeneutical issues raised throughout the course.

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

On-line discussion: 40%

Review/Response Paper: 60%

5. Required Readings and Schedule

(arranged by session and in suggested order)

Titles in bold and underlined refer to books of the Bible.

Please use a good contemporary translation (NRSV, NIV, tNIV, NJB, etc.) rather than a paraphrase such as the New Living or The Message, though these are good for comparison.

If you wish to compare translations at any point, there are good online resources such as:



Titles in BOLD refer to the texts that you will need to obtain.

Session 1:

Session 2:


            (February 2002): 24


Session 3:

Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen, The Drama Of Scripture: Finding Our

Place in the Biblical Story (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), Prologue, Chapters 1 and 2

Session 4:


Session 5:

Introduction To Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach (Grand Rapids, Ml: Zondervan, 1995), 272-289

Bartholomew and Goheen, Chapter 3

Session 6:


Session 7:


Session 8:

Bartholomew and Goheen, Interlude & Chapter 4


Sessions 9-11

Bartholomew and Goheen, Chapter 5


Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire (Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity Press, 2004)

Session 12

Bartholomew and Goheen, Chapter 6


Session 13:

Final Assignment:

A review of and response to: Stanley Gundry, ed., Show Them No Mercy: Four Views on God and Canaanite Genocide (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003), presupposing a prior reading of Joshua. See also: Sylvia Keesmaat and Grant Lemarquand, “Genocide or Healing?” in The Banner 142/3 (March 2007) [http://www.thebanner.org/features/2011/01/genocide-or-healing] and Nik Ansell, “Jesus on the Offensive” in The Banner 143/10 (October 2008) [http://www.thebanner.org/features/2011/01/jesus-on-the-offensive]

6. Some Recommended Readings

(a small selection from numerous possibilities!)

If recommending substantial yet not over-technical commentaries, I would begin with:

The Berit Olam series [OT/Hebrew Bible] (The Liturgical Press)

The Interpretation series (John Knox Press)

The New International Biblical Commentary series (Hendrickson)

The New Interpreter's Bible [12 volumes] (Abingdon Press)

The Smyth & Helwys series (Smyth and Helwys)

The Tyndale series (Eerdmans)

The Westminster Bible Companion series (Westminster/John Knox Press)

In addition to the three contrastable “Study Bibles” (edited by Barker, Harrelson and Meeks, respectively) in the following list, single volume Bible commentaries include: The New Bible Commentary (IVP), The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (Prentice-Hall) and Harper's Bible Commentary (Harper and Row)

Bernard W. Anderson, The Unfolding Drama of the Bible. Third Edition (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988).

Kenneth L. Barker, Gen. ed., The NIV Study Bible. Revised edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002)

Craig Bartholomew, Colin Greene and Karl Moller, eds., Renewing Biblical Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000).

Walter Brueggemann, The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith. Second edition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002).

John W. Drane, Introducing the New Testament. Third edition ((Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010); Revised [=Second] edition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001).

_____, Introducing the Old Testament. Third edition ((Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011); Revised [=second] edition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001)

David N. Freedman, ed., Anchor Bible Dictionary, vols. 1-6 (New York: Doubleday, 1992).

Terence E. Fretheim, God and World in the Old Testament: a Relational Theology of Creation (Nashville, TH: Abingdon, 2005)

_____, The Suffering of God: an Old Testament Perspective (Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1984)

Walter J. Harrelson, ed., The New Interpreter's Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Revised version (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2003)

Hendrik Hart, Setting Our Sights by the Morning Star: Reflections on the Role of the Bible in Postmodern Times (Toronto: Patmos Press, 1989)

Wayne A. Meeks, Gen. ed., The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 1993)

J. Richard Middleton, The Liberating Image: the Imago Dei in Genesis 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2005)

James H. Olthuis, et al., A Hermeneutics of Ultimacy: Peril or Promise? (Lanham: University Press of America, 1987).

Mike Riddell, God's Home-Page: a Journey Through the Bible for Postmodern Pilgrims (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1998)

Calvin G. Seerveld, How to Read the Bible to Hear God Speak: a Study in Numbers 22-24 (Sioux Center, IA: Dordt College Press, 2003), xi-xiii.

Calvin G. Seerveld, The Greatest Song: in Critique of Solomon (Toronto: Tuppence Press, 1963)

Willard M. Swartley, Slavery, Sabbath, War & Women: Case Issues in Biblical Interpretation (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983).

Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978)

N.T. Wright, Paul: in Fresh Perspective (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005).

______, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture (New York: HarperCollins, 2005)

John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus: Vicit Agnus Noster. Second edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994)

Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or Student Services as soon as possible.

Copyright, Institute for Christian Studies. All Rights Reserved.