Course descriptions and scheduling are subject to change by administrative decision. See course offerings booklet for current offerings. Some courses will be offered on a two- or three-year rotation.
BVG 541 Biblical Foundations for Justice and Peacemaking (3 SH)
More than a study of a few select texts that deal with peacemaking, this course will explore and examine the various dimensions of peace in the Bible, with special attention to how the Bible as a whole functions as a foundation for peacemaking. The course will explore texts which reflect the everyday dimensions of wholeness, wellbeing, and security, as well as those which describe God’s attempts to make peace with rebellious humanity. A central figure in the biblical story of peace is Jesus, both as foundation of peace and as model for peacemaking. Texts and issues which present peacemakers with serious difficulties, such as the wars of Israel or the image of God as judge and warrior, will also be examined.
BVG 621 Interpreting the Biblical Text (3 SH)
This course asks students to think theologically about biblical interpretation with the goal of forming faithful readers of scripture in and for the church and society. Two questions focus our attention: What is Scripture? and how can we read Scripture well? This is a seminar-style course in which students will read required texts closely and analyze them. Prerequistites (not applicable for online) BVOT 511, BVNT 512.
BVG 640 Topics (1-3 SH)
This course allows an in-depth engagement with a particular topic in Scripture.
BVG 641 Bridge Between Hebrew and Greek Scripture
This course introduces students to the textual evidence and cultural context of the ancient Near East during the years from 550 BCE through 150 CE (commonly labeled the Second Temple Period). It relates the broader texts and contexts of the ancient Near East during this period to contemporaneous developments of Jewish and Christian scriptures and the communities that both created and held them sacred.
BVG 712 Biblical Theology (3 SH)
The twentieth-century Biblical Theology Movement sought to articulate “God’s acts in history.” Downwind of that movement and in light of critiques of it, students will develop their ability to interpret scripture theologically through exploration of convergences and divergences between the Christian doctrine of God and the diverse texts of the Christian Bible, with particular attention to relationships between the Old and New Testaments. This is a seminar-style course that prioritizes reading and discussion.
Sermon on the Mount: Peace, Justice and the Reign of God (3 SH) See CTE 713.
Women and Men in Scripture and Church (3 SH) See CM 651.
New Testament (BVNT)
BVNT 512 New Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
This course is an introduction to the New Testament. It focuses on the both the theological and the historical and social-economic worlds of the Scriptures. The first written texts of the New Testament, the letters of the Apostle Paul, are the initial point of engagement with first-century Mediterranean politics, religion, and socio-economic realities into which the message of Jesus Christ came. Moving next through the gospels and then the rest of the New Testament writings, several methods of interpretation, research, writing, and presentation are exercised. A completed portfolio and a major oral presentation summarize how 21st century contexts are informed by the New Testament.
BVNT 531 Elementary Greek (3 sh)
This course is an introduction to koine Greek, the language of the New Testament. The course focuses on the basic grammar, vocabulary and reading skills necessary for translating the Greek New Testament as well as for doing more advanced Greek studies. Through classroom study, written exercises, quizzes and actual translation of parts of the Gospel of Mark, students learn the form and function of world/phrases, build a basic vocabulary and discover how actual translation assists biblical interpretation.
BVNT 541 Greek Readings (3 SH)
This course builds on the foundation laid in Elementary Greek in order to strengthen essential skills for exegesis of the Greek New Testament. Course objectives are: (1) to increase students’ recognition of the vocabulary of the Greek New Testament; (2) to give students practice in analyzing Greek syntax and using such analysis for NT exegesis; (3) to introduce the principles and methods of textual criticism; and (4) to familiarize students with the basic tools for NT exegesis. The course works at these objectives through the reading, syntactical analysis and translation of a range of NT texts. Prerequisite: BVNT 531.
Offered in a Rotation:
BVNT 631 Gospel of Matthew (3 SH)
This course is an inductive study of the English text of the Gospel of Matthew. Working “from the inside out,” the course starts with the study of the Matthean text and ends with the consideration of “critical questions” (authorship, purpose, original readership, historical/social/cultural context). Special attention is given to the question of synoptic relationships and the “history vs. theology” question. The course places primary emphasis on the final literary form of the Gospel and on the specifically Matthean “story of Jesus” recounted there. Methods of study include both sequential and thematic approaches to the text.
BVNT 641 Gospel of Luke and/or Book of Acts (3 SH)
This course focuses on the Gospel of Luke and/or the Book of Acts (English text). Beginning with inductive study of the Lukan text(s), the course concludes with consideration of “critical questions” (authorship, purpose, original readership, historical/social/cultural context). Special attention is given to the question of synoptic relationships (Luke) and the “history vs. theology” question (Luke/Acts). Primary emphasis lies on the final literary form of Luke/Acts and the characteristically Lukan “story of Jesus and the early church” recounted in these writings. The course approaches the text in both sequential and thematic fashion.
BVNT 651 Gospel of John (3 SH)
The focus of this course is the English text of the Gospel of John. From an inductive study of the Johannine text the course progresses to the consideration of “critical questions” (authorship, purpose, original readership, the “history vs. theology” question). Special attention is given to the relationship between the Gospel of John and the Synoptic Gospels. The course works with the final literary form of the Gospel and highlights the uniquely Johannine “story of Jesus.” The course offers both sequential and thematic approaches to the text.
Offered in a Rotation:
BVNT 662 Epistle to the Romans (3 SH)
This course focuses on the inductive study of the Epistle to the Romans (English text). The course highlights the theological message of the epistle and the relevance of this message for the present-day church. Significant attention is likewise given to the historical/social/cultural/theological world of the Roman church and to the specific circumstances which occasion the epistle. The course works with the epistle in both sequential and thematic fashion.
BVNT 671 Corinthian Epistles (3 SH)
This course offers an inductive study of the Corinthian Epistles (English text). The course places emphasis on the interconnections between the theological message of the epistles, the historical/social/cultural/ theological world of the Corinthian church and the specific circumstances which gave rise to these epistles. Consideration is given throughout to the relevance of these writings for the present day church. Methods of study include both sequential and thematic approaches to the epistles.
BVNT 682 Revelation: Apocalyptic in Biblical Context (3 SH)
This course focuses on the inductive study of the book of Revelation (English text), and its roots in several writings in the Old Testament (Ezekiel, Daniel). The course explores (1) the historical context in which biblical apocalyptic takes root, (2) the literary forms associated with apocalyptic writing, (3) the theological message of biblical apocalyptic and (4) the relevance of this message for the present-day church.
Old Testament (BVOT)
BVOT 511 Old Testament: Text in Context (3 SH)
This Old Testament survey considers Old Testament texts in light of the various contexts that influence their interpretation: ancient Near East culture and religion; the canonical context of Christian scripture; the historic and present Christian church; contemporary communities in which students find themselves.
BVOT 532 Elementary Hebrew (3 SH)
This course introduces biblical Hebrew grammar and vocabulary. Students will memorize the most frequently occurring vocabulary and grammatical forms for ease of reading biblical texts, and will read basic narrative prose passages from the Hebrew Bible. Lecture videos based on a text book are provided online; class time focuses on reading and practice exercises using a workbook and other resources.
BVOT 541 Hebrew Readings (3 SH)
This course builds on the work of Elementary Hebrew, developing students' recognition of fundamental Biblical Hebrew vocabulary and grammatical forms and familiarizing students with issues of Hebrew syntax, in the context of reading basic and intermediate passages of the Old Testament. Students learn how to draw on their reading of the Hebrew text for exegesis, using various exegetical resources and approaches. Prerequisite: BVOT 532.
Old Testament Book Study Courses
Students explore one or more books of the Old Testament, focusing on the theology of the Book, the Theological Resources it offers and the questions it raises in Christian contexts. Historical, literary, canonical and socio-cultural approaches inform theological reflection. Classroom time involves lectures and seminary-style discussion on required readings, and student coursework culminates in a final paper and a project that applies learning to the student's ministry context.
BVOT 642 Pentateuch (3 SH)
Students study the Pentateuch, with particular emphasis on the Book of Exodus, focusing on understanding the value of Torah for Christian faith and practice.
BVOT 655 Genesis (3 SH)
Students explore the book of Genesis, focusing on creation, election and related motifs.
BVOT 661 Wisdom Literature (3 SH)
Students explore wisdom as literary genre, ancient practice and theological virtue. The course will address the biblical books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, and students will study the book of Job in depth.
BVOT 701 Isaiah (3 SH)
Students explore the Book of Isaiah, which has been referred to as the "fifth gospel," for many passages' important role in Christian theology. They develop understanding necessary to engage influential Christian interpretations of key passages faithfully and critically. Attention is also paid to the literary complexity of the book and its historical development.
BVOT 710 Jeremiah (3 SH)
Students explore the Book of Jeremiah, focusing on the nature of divine judgement/justice, the role of a prophet and the literary complexity of the book.