Introduction to the Bible : Old Testament

lreli1110  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Introduction to the Bible : Old Testament
5.00 credits
30.0 h
Richelle Matthieu;
No prerequisites are required, but adequate preparation may consist in (re) reading the Pentateuch or/and Josh-2Kings in the order of its presentation.
Main themes
This course is divided into two parts, or rather, solicits alternately two complementary approaches: 1) exposure of prolegomena and provision of some "keys" to enter into the Old Testament; 2) reading of texts (of bigger collections/sets rather than precise pericopes) of the Old Testament.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 - to situate the essential benchmarks of the Old Testament within its geographical and historical framework;
2 - to describe the background of the narrative books of the Old Testament;
3 - to describe the major characteristics of the prophetic and wisdom literature of the Old Testament.
This course does not aim to present each of the (numerous) books that compose the Old Testament ; it would be fastidious and could not be done well in the time given. Rather, this course deals with the main sections of this corpus, while taking a few representative biblical books as illustrations, and it explains how the Old Testament emerged. In addition, this course trains students to be able to find for themselves information on a given book of the Old Testament, to filter and assimilate knowledge to the point that they are able to make a presentation of this book to the general public.
Evaluation methods
Continuous assessment based on written assignments: 
  1. Summaries of biblical texts and other documents (articles, book chapters), with critical assessment of the reading in some cases. [30% of final grade]
  2. Writing an article ("encyclopedia article") about a book of the Old Testament. [70% of final grade]
Except for students who follow this course exclusively online, attendance at classes is mandatory.. In case of three or more unjustified absences, the course will not be validated. (Obviously, the sanitary restrictions related to covid 19 may entail justified absences.)
The evaluation process will be the same in Q3 (that is, in August) as in Q1. If a student fails in Q1, he will need to submit the assignments that he did not submit in Q1, or for which he did not get at least 10/20.
Other information
It is highly recommanded to acquire a French translation of the Bible, and obligatory to read such a translation for some texts. Here are three good translations: TOB (Traduction Œcuménique de la Bible), BJ (Bible de Jérusalem) and NBS (Nouvelle Bible Segond). The ideal would be to acquire a « study version » of one of these Bibles, although this is not compulsory. In English, the JPS Study Bible is excellent.
Th. Römer, L’Ancien Testament, Que sais-je ?, Paris, PUF, 2019.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Minor in Medieval Studies

Minor in Christian Theology

Minor in Antiquity: Egypt, Eastern World, Greece, Rome

Certificat universitaire en études bibliques

Bachelor in religious studies

Certificat universitaire en théologie (fondements)

Minor in Sciences of Religions (openness)