Introduction to Biblical Studies

The purpose of the unit is to provide students with a foundation for careful and informed analysis of both the Old and New Testaments as Scripture. Students will gain an overview of the biblical books and be able to describe their content, culture as well as their theological, historical and literary contexts. Attention will also be given to Ethical issues arising in some texts and the geography of parts of Bible lands.
A high school in your district has just appointed you as their Acting Chaplain. The Christian Fellowship in the school has set up a Bible Study Club, which discusses the Old Testament and the New Testament on Sunday afternoons. The Head of the High School has called for a document from the Office of the Chaplain detailing areas to be covered in the Bible studies. As part of your responsibilities, you are required to ensure that the relevant content is taught to the students.

Task 1
The Head of the School has sent you a memo requesting that you brief him before you meet the students. He would like to know what you plan to cover in the Bible Study Club related to the formation and composition of the Bible. Prepare a document to present to him where you:
1 . Analyse the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible (TANAK)
2. Examine the structure of the New Testament
3. Identify the overall themes of the Books of the Bible
4. Examine the authority and the inspiration of the Bible and the original languages used to write it

Extension activities
To gain a Merit grade
Examine the rules governing the work of early copyists of the Hebrew Bible.
To gain a Distinction grade
1 . Evaluate the distinctive socio-political and religious issues which distinguish the five periods of Ancient Israelite history.
2. Justify the argument that the book of Genesis is history and not fiction
LO1 AC 1 .1 , 1 .2. 1 .3, 1 .4, 1 M1 , 1 D1 and 1 D2


Task 2
The Head of the School invites you to his office and suggests you produce a document on the various books that do not belong to the canon of the Old Testament. He would like you to present a paper on these deuteronomical books. You agree to provide a paper to:
1 . Examine the character of one prominent figure of the post-exilic period worthy of emulation.
2. Establish and analyse the major themes of Ezra-Nehemiah or a book of the inter-testamental period.

Extension activities
To gain a Merit grade
Investigate how the Catholic Old Testament differs from the Protestant Canon
LO2 AC 2.1 , 2.2 and 2M1

Task 3
After discussing the canonical books with the Head of the School, he suggests that you include in your later presentation to the Bible Study Club, the theological and historical context of the books of the Bible. In doing this:
1 . Analyse the theological and historical context of the Old Testament Books.
2. Analyse the theological and historical context of the New Testament Book
3. Differentiate between Form Criticism and Redaction Criticism

Extension activities
To gain a Merit grade
Analyse how the theological and historical context of the books of the Bible guides interpretation.

To gain a Distinction grade
Analyse how the literary context of the various books of the Bible guides
LO3 AC 3.1 , 3.2, 3.3, 3M1 and 3D1

Task 4

You have delivered a lecture on the Bible and during the Question and Answer session a group of students visiting the fellowship for the first time raise questions relating to ethical problems in the Bible. You tell them that you will give them the appropriate response in the next meeting. Prepare some notes for the next meeting:

1 . Examine whether Phinehas in Num. 25 was an exemplary hero or a deluded fanatic
2. Examine the moral problem that arises from the command for the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites.

Extension activities
To gain a Distinction grade
Analyze the ethical problems presented by the role of deception in the stories of Abraham (Gen. 1 2:1 0-1 2) or Jacob (Gen. 29:1 -30; 30: 25-43).
LO4 AC 4.1 , 4.2, and 4D1

Task 5
A student shows you maps of Bible lands in class. You explain the locations on the maps and this generates interest in the students to know more about the geography of Bible lands. Therefore, you decide to give them a lecture on a few significant journeys in the Bible. On maps you have prepared:
1 . Trace the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan
2. Trace two of Paul’s missionary journeys

Extension activities
To gain a Merit grade
Trace the journey of Abraham from Ur to Canaan.
LO5 AC 5.1 , 5.2 and 5M1

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