Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Current Graduate Students

Joshua Jones


ANE / Hebrew Bible


CTI 304 • The Bible/Its Interpreters

28775 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM MEZ B0.302
GCWr (also listed as R S 315C)

What, according to the Bible, is required of us? What is our response to the deity? What is our
place in the cosmos? With these questions in mind, this course seeks to cultivate both an
understanding of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) and the New Testament and
how biblical writers and subsequent interpreters grappled with notions of divine command and
human obligation. We pursue this aim through close readings of the biblical texts themselves and
the reception of biblical figures, themes, and ideas among its many interpreters. We begin by
examining the historical sense of the Hebrew Bible as a product of the ancient Near East. We will
then examine the practice of biblical interpretation among the competing Jewish ideologies at the
turn of the Common Era, out of which emerged the early Christians and their writings. The later
part of the course will highlight some of the major Jewish and Christian interpreters of the Bible
in the pre-modern and modern periods and how, through their own view of “scripturalism”, these
interpreters understood and formulated responses to questions of human nature, humanity’s
relationship to the supernatural, and the meaning of life.

CTI 304 • The Bible & Its Interpreters

29380 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM RLP 1.108
GCWr (also listed as R S 315)

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    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712