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Make the Old Testament Live: From Curriculum to Classroom [Paperback]

By Richard S. Hess (Editor) & Gordon J. Wenham (Editor)
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Item description for Make the Old Testament Live: From Curriculum to Classroom by Richard S. Hess & Gordon J. Wenham...

A vital resource for anyone who studies the Old Testament with the goal of teaching it, this collection of essays, written by experienced Old Testament scholars from five continents, offers fresh perspectives on teaching this difficult text in modern times.

Publishers Description
The Old Testament makes up three-quarters of the Bible and has had an incalculable influence on Western civilization and culture. Yet it often is largely unread in the church, neglected by preachers, and avoided by students. This volume, written by experienced scholars and educators from five continents, offers fresh perspectives on teaching the Old Testament today. Addressing the problems of curriculum, context, and communication, these essays discuss such topics as which parts of the Old Testament should be taught, what approaches work best with each level of students, and what modern educational methods can be applied to teaching the Bible. Practical, insightful, and based on years of classroom experience in institutions ranging from seminaries to secular universities, this book will enable all teachers of the Bible or theology to make the Old Testament more vital for their students.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Pages   228
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.03" Height: 0.65"
Weight:   0.71 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 23, 1998
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802844278  
ISBN13  9780802844279  

Availability  149 units.
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More About Richard S. Hess & Gordon J. Wenham

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Richard S. Hess (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is distinguished professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado, and editor of the Denver Journal. He is the author or editor of more than forty books, including Ancient Israel's History, Israelite Religions, and Song of Songs in the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms.

Richard S. Hess currently resides in the state of Colorado.

Richard S. Hess has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > Old Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Education > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Education
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament

Christian Product Categories
Books > General Interest > Literature & The Arts > Essays & Memoirs

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Reviews - What do customers think about Make the Old Testament Live: From Curriculum to Classroom?

Pedagogy Applied to Teaching of the Old Testament  Jun 15, 2004
While there are thirteen different essays authored by thirteen different scholars in this book, there are some unifying factors that hold this work together. Two of these unifiers are the discussion of the purpose for teaching the OT and the focus on OT (if not Biblical) theology.
The purpose of teaching the OT--In a book about how to teach the OT it might be wise to discuss why to teach it, and the writers of this book do just that. Richard Hess asserts that the impetus for teaching the OT in ministry-related programs is to help students learn how to interpret it and apply it "to contemporary concerns." For Hess these concerns include the spiritual, practical, and academic sides of life. Never will the OT be truly learned if students cannot connect its message to their lives in a holistic way. Craig Bartholomew claims that "Christians ought to allow the Word to frame and interpret our world rather than our understanding of the world framing and interpreting the Word." He seems to be avowing the same thing that Hess said; the study of the OT should impact the students' lives. To put it another way, as Gordon Wenham states, "One of the first tasks of the teacher should be to make students actually read and enjoy the OT." The classroom should stimulate the students' curiosity, causing them to read the OT like they read Rowling or Crichton. These ideas all fit under what Clive Lawless calls a constructivist view of learning which describes humans "as constantly seeking to develop meaning and to make sense of the information they receive from the environment and construct meaning by relating it to existing knowledge." While it is quite apparent that rote memorization is needed at times when teaching the OT, e.g. the dates of important events, the names and order of the kings of the United and Divided Kingdoms, etc, the hope of the professor should still be that the students will take what they are reading and learning and relate it to their own lives and their own Sitz im Leben.
OT theology--James McKeown argues that the best way to teach the OT is theologically, which can be accomplished by the professor noticing "the repetition of key words and the recurrence of motifs and ideas." While there are obvious issues with approaching the OT this way, there are benefits. Chief among these benefits would be helping the students, especially in a survey class, see the overarching themes of the text as a whole. When they see the big picture it should logically be easier for them to progress to seeing the more tightly-framed picture. One has to realize there is a forest before he can see a tree. One must learn to crawl before she can walk, etc. This point is taken further by several of the authors. They claim that the study of the OT should discuss the Old's relationship to the New. Paul Barker alleges that a teacher of the OT should help the students recognize that the OT realizes "its own need for something more." This something more, of course, is the NT. Wenham boldly argues that Gen 1-3 portrays God as loving and providing for humanity and that "these beliefs in one God who cares for [humanity], despite [its] sinfulness, are foundational to the rest of the Bible, and even more splendidly demonstrated in the incarnation." While it might be "academically sound" to view the OT as completely separate from the NT, it seems quite clear that as Christians we cannot teach it this way. I am not saying that the historical-critical and the form-critical methods should be thrown out. What I am hoping for is that more work will be done that seeks to find the unity of the Testaments instead of their incongruities. Some of this work has been done and is being done. Brevard Childs and Walter Brueggemann are two examples but there are many, many more. Whether scholars attempting this great task search for repeated words and themes or seek to find intertextual hyperlinks from one text to another, the results are important. If teachers teach the broad picture then it is more possible for their students to become engaged with the details later.
While this is a book of differing opinions about pedagogical methods and academic pursuits, the opinions seem to coalesce around two main ideas: the need for the OT to make a difference in students' lives and the spotlight on Biblical theology. There are no quick fixes in teaching but this book can serve as a diving board into the deep end of pedagogy that makes a difference.

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