ICS Calendar Title: Biblical Foundations

ICS Course Code: ICSD-1108AC/2108AC-W14

Instructors: Jeffrey Hocking         

Term and Year: Distance, Winter 2014

Last Updated: January 9, 2014


1. Course Description

2. Reading Schedule

3. Course Requirements

4. Description and Weighting of Elements to be Evaluated

5. Required Readings

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 Bible is also our story,

we will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods might help us discern its

significance for present day life, including the academic enterprise.

2. Reading Schedule

See “Required Readings”

3. Course Requirements


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


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.


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

Course Learning Goals:


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


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


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


Description and weighting of elements to be evaluated:

On-line discussion: 40%

Review/Response Paper: 60%

5. Required Readings

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: http://crosswalk.com and http://www.biblegateway.com/passage

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

Session 1:

Biblical Story of Redemption” in Journal for Christian Theological Research 11(2006): 73-

97. Available online at: http://www.luthersem.edu/ctrf/JCTR/Vol11/Middleton_vol11.pdf

Session 2:


1999): 21

2000): 21

(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

to the Tree of Knowledge” in Christian Scholar’s Review 31/1 (Fall, 2001): 3 1-58

Session 4:

2001), 112

paper, 2005)

(August2002): 16


Session 5:

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

Bartholemew and Goheen, Chapter 3

Session 6:


Session 7:


Session 8:

Bartholemew and Goheen, Interlude & Chapter 4


Session 9-11:

Bartholemew and Goheen, Chapter 5


Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire (Downders 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 New International Biblical Commentary series (Hendrickson)

The New International Commentary series (Eerdmans)

The Interpretation series (Atlanta: John Knox Press)

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

The Smyth & Helwys series (Smyth and Helwys)

The Tyndale series (Eerdmans)

In addition to the three contrastable “Study Bibles” (edited by Barker, Harrelson and Meeks, respectively) in the following list, there are a number of single volume Bible commentaries available, such as: 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,


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

Craig Bartholemew, Colin Greene and Karl Möller, eds. Renewing Biblical Interpretation. (Grand

Rapids: Zondervan, 2000)

Walter Brueggermann, The Land: Place as Gift, Promise, and Challenge in Biblical Faith. Second

edition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002)

John W. Drane, Introducing the New Testament. Revised edition (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001)

__________, Introducing the Old Testament. Revised edition (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001)

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. (Grand

Rapids: Zondervan, 2002)

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: Abingdon, 2005)

__________, The Suffering of God: an Old Testament Perspective. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press,


Walter J. Harrelson, ed., The New Interpreter’s Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Revised

version (Nashville: Abingdon, 2003)

Hendrik Hart, Setting Our Sights By the Morning Star: Reflections on the Role of the Bible in

Post-modern 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: HarperCollins, 1993)

J. Richard Middleton, The Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis I. (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos,


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)

__________, The Greatest Song: In Critique of Solomon. Revised edition (Toronto: Tuppence Press,


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:

Eerdmans, 1994)

Copyright, Institute for Christian Studies. All Rights Reserved.