1. The students have insight into a number of themes that have an important role not only in the Bible but also in non-biblical texts from the ancient Near East. |
2. The students have knowledge of the main correspondences and differences between the Hebrew Bible and relevant non-biblical texts from the ancient Near East.
3. The students are able to compare biblical and non-biblical texts from the ancient Near East in a methodically sound way and can describe the implications for the exegesis of biblical texts.
The Bible forms part of the broad literature of the ancient Near East, as is shown by many biblical references to customs, laws, religious concepts, etc., that were common in the context of the Bible. Of course, our growing knowledge of ancient Near Eastern thinking has its consequences for biblical exegesis and the way in which the Bible can be used in systematic theology, preaching, etc. In this course, students will get insight into important theological themes in the Bible (e.g., Creation, Providence, Evil and the Devil, Morals, Covenant, Prayer, Sickness and Healing) that also play an important role in non-biblical texts from the ancient Near East. Especially the correspondences and differences will be analysed, as well as the theological consequences for biblical and systematic theology. Students will write a final paper in which they compare a passage or a theme from the Hebrew Bible with relevant non-biblical texts from the ancient Near East. Knowledge of biblical Hebrew is recommendable. A basic introduction to Ugaritic is optional. The analysis of non-biblical texts is done on the basis of English translations.