Introduction to Hebrew Bible Course: Missouri State University

Dr. John T. Strong (Missouri State University) presents a series of 37 lectures introducing the Hebrew Bible, as part of his course, REL 101: Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible.


 Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 1 – Introduction and Overview 1

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 2 – Introduction and Overview 2

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 3 – The Geography of Palestine

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 4 – A Brief History of Ancient Israel 1

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 5 – A Brief History of Ancient Israel 2

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 6 – Authorship and Writing in Ancient Israel

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 7 – Intro to Deuteronomistic Literature & Book

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 8 – Discussion of Selected Laws of Deuteronomy

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 9 – Overview of the Deuteronomistic History

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 10 – Archaeology 1

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 11 – Archaeology 2

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 12 – Joshua

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 13 – The Book of Judges

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 14 – Warfare in the Ancient Near East

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 15 – Life Under the Israelite Monarchy

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 16 – Overview of the Priestly Literature

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 17 – Ancient Near Eastern Parallel Literature

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 18 – The Primeval History and the Pentateuch

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 19 – Stories of Israel’s Ancestors

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 20 – The Exodus from the Land

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 21 – Leviticus and Numbers

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 22 – Sampling: Ezra, Nehemiah & Chronicles

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 23 – Warrior Imagery: Ancient Near East

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 24 – The Tradition of D and P

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 25 – Overview of Prophecy in Israel

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 26 – Amos and Hosea

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 27 – Isaiah

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 28 – Jeremiah

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 29 – Ezekiel

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 30 – Haggai and Zechariah

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 31 – The Religions of Israel

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 32 – Job

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 33 – Apocalypticism

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 34 – The Book of Daniel

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 35 – The Dead Sea Scrolls 1

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 36 – The Dead Sea Scrolls 2

Literature and World of the Hebrew Bible: Lecture 37 – Summary of the Course


University of Chester Guides for PhD Students


The University of Chester provides a series of seminars on video aimed mainly at PhD students, but also useful for other researchers in biblical studies, theology, and religion. The seminars currently available are as follows:

Vivas Video Archive

Research Methods Video Archive

Study Skills Video Archive

Conferences Video Archive

Student Experience Video Archive

Research Ethics

The King James Bible Lecture Series, University of Oxford


In March 2011, the University of Oxford hosted a lecture series in Corpus Christi College, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible 1611-2011. The lectures are available in audio and video format at the links below. In addition, there is audio and video of a conversation between broadcaster Melvyn Bragg and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch on the King James Bible, chaired by civil servant Christopher Patten, which took place on July 7, 2011, at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin.

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 The King James Bible: The End of the Road? A conversation between Melvyn Bragg and Diarmaid MacCulloch, chaired by the Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Christopher Patten. Recorded at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street, Oxford, Thursday 7 July, 6.00 pm. Diarmaid MacCulloch,Melvyn Bragg, Chris Patten 25 Jul 2011
2 The Authorised Version in Modern Literature: David and Job get makeovers Prof Terence Wright (Newcastle University) gives the fourth lecture in the Manifold Greatness; The King James Bible 1611-2011 lecture series held at Corpus Christi College. Terrence Wright 14 Mar 2011


3 This book of starres’: biblical constellations in the poetry of Herbert and Vaughan Prof Helen Wilcox (Bangor University) gives the third lecture in the Manifold Greatness” Oxford Celebrations of the King James Bible 1611-2011 lecture series held at Corpus Christi College. Helen Wilcox 14 Mar 2011


4 Scissored and Pasted: readers and writers redoing and undoing King James Prof Valentine Cunningham, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, gives the second lecture in the King James Bible series. Valentine Cunningham 08 Mar 2011


5 The Making of the King James (Authorised) Version of the Bible 1604-1611 Professor Pauline Croft, Royal Holloway, University of London, first in the King James Bible Anniversary lecture at Corpus Christi College. Pauline Croft 08 Mar 2011

Larry Hurtado on Early High Christology and the New Testament God

Larry-HurtadoProfessor Larry Hurtado (University of Edinburgh) discusses his views on the development of Christology and the concept of God in the New Testament, in two podcasts on

1. (Podcast 99) “Dr. Larry Hurtado on early high christology” (begins at 10:50)

mp3 Stitcher iTunes

Dr. Hurtado explains the term “early high christology” and what it means when applied to his own work. He discusses various angels and men who in various ancient Jewish writings are in some way exalted and honored in God-like ways, and how these cases differ from that of Jesus. Dr. Hurtado has argued that in the early years of Christianity we suddenly see a distinctive pattern of Jesus-worship, as evidenced by the earliest books in the New Testament. Such practices don’t derive from a second or third century, Gentile Christian context, but rather from the earliest, largely Jewish Christian context.

Hurtado discusses this in light of various passages in the gospel according to John, and also the statements of 1 Timothy that God is immortal. (1:17,6:16) The New Testament, he observes, emphasizes that Jesus was a genuine human being, a man, although in his view it also presents Jesus as existing even when the world was made, in a pre-human phase of his existence. God and Jesus, in his view, are closely linked, but also distinguished in the New Testament. God exalts Jesus to divine glory, which is why we must worship Jesus, according to early Christians. Worship of Jesus, he argues, has a theocentric (God-centered) justification or basis.

He also comments briefly on James Dunn’s Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?, the idea that “worship” by definition can be given only to God, and whether we should start our christological thinking with fourth century or with first century sources.

2. (Podcast 100) “Dr. Larry Hurtado on God in New Testament Theology

mp3 Stitcher iTunes

I talk with Dr. Hurtado about his book God in New Testament Theology. He talks about

  • the theocentric basis of New Testament christology
  • what the New Testament adds to the theology of the Old Testament
  • God as “Father”
  • the way Christians view God in relation to Jesus
  • whether we need to interact with God through a mediator
  • the New Testament picture of God as love and yet as dangerous, and of Jesus as both savior and judge – and both as sources of agape love
  • how the NT picture of God differs from the theologies of pagan deities
  • how recently, and even in ancient times, in popular thinking Jesus can eclipse God in Christians’ minds, becoming a friendlier, less threatening god than the Father
  • ho theos vs. theos in early Christianity, and how the NT and early texts distinguish between Jesus and the one God (aka the Father)
  • whether or not the NT authors rethink how Judaic monotheism should be understood
  • the “dyadic devotional pattern” we see in NT-era worship practice, and whether this violated the first commandment
  • the sense in which Yahweh is unique, according to the Bible
  • whether Dr. Hurtado would agree with the suggestion that Jesus is “a part of” God
  • how the NT as it were “redefines” God with reference to Jesus
  • whether or not in his view Dr. Hurtado’s work supports “social” (three-self) Trinity theories
  • that contemporary theology has tended to neglect the literature of the first three Christian centuries in favor of the “classics” of the 4th and 5th centuries
  • Dr. Richard Bauckham’s “christology of divine identity” as an attempt to make sense of the NT apart from later “ontological” ways of approaching the matter

Justin Meggitt’s website and online publications

The website of Justin Meggitt (Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge) includes details of his projects such as the Origins of Christianity, Religion, Magic and Medicine in Antiquity, and Open Access and the Humanities. It also includes PDFs of publications, such as ‘Popular Mythology in the Early Empire and the Multiplicity of Jesus Traditions’ and ‘Taking the Emperor’s Clothes Seriously: The New Testament and The Roman Emperor’.

BSO Podcast: Chris Keith on Social Memory and Historical Jesus Studies

The latest BSO online interview is now available for download from iTunes or streaming from here. In BSO5 James Crossley interviews Chris Keith. Chris Keith is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity and Director of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.

BSO interviews Chris Keith, discussing some of the most contentious areas in historical Jesus studies today. This include: social memory, the so-called criteria of authenticity, form criticism, and various issues in historical Jesus studies.

Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception (Journal)


Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception is an online, open-access journal “dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of innovative research in reception history, broadly conceived, within and across religious traditions”.

Many of the articles relate to the reception of the Bible and other Jewish and Christian texts, in the arts (including literature, film, and painting), culture, history, philosophy, politics, etc.

The journal also boasts an extensive collection of reviews in biblical studies and reception.

The journal is edited by Sean Durbin, Deane Galbraith, James Harding, Eric Repphun, and Will Sweetman.

Alan Segal on Life after Death

Professor Alan Segal (then emeritus at Barnard College) delivered a lecture on “Life After Death in Judaism” on November 13, 2008, at Stanford University. Alan Segal discusses near death experiences (NDEs), The Sopranos, Sheol, apocalyptic, martyrdom,  resurrection, and transformation into angels.

Alan Segal was the author of Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in Western Religion (2010).





Paula Fredriksen on Paul in the Pagan, Polytheistic Ancient World

Professor Paula Fredriksen (Boston University; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) discusses the pagan background of Paul’s audience in three lectures available on YouTube.

The lecture “Paul, Pagans, and the God of Israel” was given at the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University, on October 28, 2010 (the lecture begins at 5:30), and discusses polytheism and monotheism:

The lecture “Gods Run in the Blood, or, Why Paul’s Pagans were not ‘Converts’?” was given at the Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben Gurion University, on March 18, 2014, and discusses the ethnic basis for ancient “religion” and the concept of conversion.

The lecture “Paul, Practical Pluralism, and the Invention of Religious Persecution in Roman Antiquity” was given to the Critical Thinkers in Religion, Law and Social Theory at the University of Ottawa, on October 24, 2013 (the lecture begins at 3:40), and discusses gods and religious persecution.

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Q&A, part 1:

Q&A, part 2:

Lee Levine: The Revolutionary Effects Of Archaeology On The Study Of Jewish History

Professor Lee Levine (Hebrew University) delivered a talk on “The Revolutionary Effects Of Archaeology On The Study Of Jewish History“. The lecture was part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted July 6, 2004.

Levine discusses Herod in Judea and the Dura-Europos synagogue in Syria.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:


Lee Levine: The Passover Seder – Jewish, Christian Or Pagan

Professor Lee Levine (Hebrew University) delivered a talk on “The Passover Seder – Jewish, Christian Or Pagan“. The lecture was part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted July 5, 2004.

The talk is available in m4a audio format:


Baruch Schwartz: Did Moses Really write the Torah?

Baruch SchwartzCan “a sincere, religious commitment to traditional Judaism can be reconciled with the non-Mosaic origin of the Torah?”

Professor Baruch Schwartz (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) addresses this topic as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP).

Personally, I have arrived at the conclusion that there is no contradiction whatsoever between fidelity to the critical method of studying the Bible and commitment to Jewish belief and practice.
Q & A with Dr. Baruch J. Schwartz

The talk “Moses Wrote This Torah’ [Deuteronomy 31:9]: Did He Really?” is available in m4a audio format:


Jon D. Levenson on the Akedah / Sacrifice of Isaac

Professor Jon D. Levenson (Harvard Divinity School) delivered three talks on the Akedah, or sacrifice of Isaac, in Genesis 22, as part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP).

The talks are available in m4a audio format:

Midrash: What Bothered the Rabbis In Genesis 22 (July 8, 2008)


The Afterlife of the Story In Judaism (With A Glance At Christianity & Islam, Too) (July 9, 2008)


The Artistry of Genesis 22 (July 11, 2008)


Jonathan Norton on Paul, Faith, the Law, and Palestinian Judaism

Dr Jonathan Norton presented the following papers at the Heythrop Centre for Textual Studies, Heythrop College, University of London, on the topic of Paul, Faith, and the Law – issues which have been at the centre of the so-called “New Perspective on Paul” since the publication of E.P. Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977).

“Paul and Palestinian Judaism Forty Years On”, on May 27, 2015.

Part One:

Part Two:

“Reading Romans for Rhetorical Coherence”, on June 3, 2015.

Part One:

Part Two:

The Signs of the Times – Heythrop College Colloquium on Translation 2013

Videos are available on YouTube from a colloquium held at Heythrop College, Septermber 9-10, 2013: “The Signs of the Times: Translation of the Bible and Beyond”.

Can a translation really be faithful to the original? The question seems simple. But the answers given by experts are remarkably divergent. Some consider fidelity in translation ultimately to lie outside the realms of possibility. Others reject such pessimism, pronouncing translation to be necessarily possible. Yet others prefer to make the best of it, and get on with a messy job. But why do views diverge so radically? Why does the ordinary idea of ‘translation’ turn out to be so knotty?

The question is particularly acute with respect to bible translation, where perception of the text’s authority is often inseparable from notions of its divine origin and where expectations of a text’s transcendent truth must be reconciled with its historical particularity. Bible translators and theologians often view bible translation as essentially distinct from any other kind of translation. Is it?

At the Heythrop Colloquium on Translation, September 2013, we took bible translation as a point of departure, moving beyond into the breadth of translation studies. Translators, philosophers, theologians, linguists, historians and anthropologists gathered to look again at translation and how we might most usefully conceive it. The theorists deliberated with translators, those who daily dirty their fingers with the gritty business of translation. The result is a conversation that should illuminate anyone who has paused to think about the problems of translation.
The Heythrop Centre for Textual Studies

Language and the translatability of texts, a pragmatist perspective
Marthe Kerkwijk (Heythrop College, University of London)
In this paper I will make a pragmatist case in favour of the view that translation is, in principle, possible. I will critically evaluate Davidson’s On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme, in which he argues that untranslatable language doesn’t exist. I will argue that the fact that translation is often very difficult – for various reasons – does not imply that it is bound to fail or that we can’t make judgements about how a good translation differs from a bad translation.

“Rhubarb, Rhubarb…”
Dr Tony Carroll (Heythrop College, University of London)
The case of speaking a foreign language highlights interesting aspects relevant for understanding textual translation. The point at which one becomes fluent in a spoken foreign language is the moment that one stops translating. Translation occurs when one lacks fluency and requires interpretation in order to understand. Reading a text is somewhat like speaking a language that one is not fluent in. It involves the process of interpretation, which is the means by which one comes to understand the non-self-evidential meaning of the text. This paper will explore the issues involved in translation understood as a process of the interpretation of non-self-evidential meaning.

Translator as creator of a text
Dr Charlotte Naylor Davis (Heythrop College, University of London)
My paper will explore the idea of the translator as creator of a new text, and the problems involved with changing the nature / form of a text in translation.

Why translations fail: reflections on English translations of the Missale Romanum
Dr Nick King, SJ (Oxford University)
All translations fail, often because of the tension between the target language and the source language, and the inevitability of falling between those two stools. The paper, by one who has recently completed a translation of the Bible, will explore this point with regard to recent attempts at translation, notably biblical versions and the new English translation of the Missale Romanum. The paper will endeavour to avoid the eye-glazing impenetrabilities of translation theory, which never seems to advance the case very much.

Bible translation: style, historical context, and the ubiquitous presence of the King James Version
John Barton (Oxford University)
I will discuss some issues in translating the Bible, especially (a) whether the style should be uniform throughout, and (b) what is to be done about the cultural presence of the King James Version in the background of any fresh attempt to translate the Bible.

Edward Schillebeeckx and the meaning of scripture
Martin Poulsom, SDB (Heythrop College, University of London)
One of the tasks of the systematic theologian is to translate the meaning of the Scriptures, and of other texts, such that their message can be heard in the actual situation of men and women living in the theologian’s own time and place. This paper will consider the hermeneutics that Edward Schillebeeckx develops to assist this process, noting the way that he draws the reader’s context into dialogue with the context of the text in order to understand its meaning. It will also ask whether a theological account of this process written in Dutch in 1967 can still speak meaningfully in English in 2013.

Computer based tools for Bible translators: Progress, pitfalls and implications for the future
Jon Riding (Oxford Brookes University & 7000++)
The last twenty years have seen increasing use of computer based systems to translate or to assist with translation. Within the Bible translation community the development of Machine Assisted Translation tools tailored to the Bible translator’s task has transformed the work. I shall give a brief history of computer assistance for Bible translators and discuss the systems currently in use and the implications of their use when translating Scripture. The benefits and pitfalls of such systems will be discussed as will the scope for continuing development.

The role of formal languages in computing and the relationship between humans and computer hardware
Joe Norton (Independent)
I will discuss translation between different computer languages, particularly between languages at different levels of abstraction from the physical computer hardware. I will present the differences between low-level and high-level computer programming languages, highlighting the role of formal languages in computing and their relationship between humans and computer hardware.

Lessons for modern translation theory from Aquila and other odd ancient predecessors
James K. Aitken (Cambridge University)
Aquila and the so-called “literalist” method of translation is one of the oddest in antiquity, having been called one of “pedantic literalness” or “a slave to the Hebrew letter.” This translation method has been attributed either to a simple teaching method of learning the source language, or to an extreme recognition of the failure of translation in its attempt to render every feature of the source text. This paper is a reassessment of this method, recognizing sensitivity to the target language as much as the source language, but one that goes beyond negotiation between source text and target text. It instead offers lessons in translation method, providing examples of multiple causation phenomena in translation and a different approach to the effectiveness of a translation.

Confessions of the perplexed. An historian’s conerns about translation
Jonathan Norton (Heythrop College, University of London)
Translating historical texts involves the special difficulties faced by the historian. Ultimately the limits of our sources and our of methods for interrogating them constrain our efforts to translate ancient texts and even determine our ability to evaluate success. Translating traditional texts adds yet more difficulties. After all, since many historical texts have been transmitted over centuries, the canons to which each text belongs have already informed the working of our minds before we sit down to translate. But we hardly realise it. How do we translate, then, when we do not understand what an ancient Greek or Hebrew text means, on the one hand, while the tradition within which we receive the text passively interprets the text for us with ambient inevitability? Case studies from the New Testament and other Greco-Roman sources will pave the way to discussion.

When YHWH comes down: Translating Divine Descent in Exodus
Mark Scarlata (Cambridge University & St Mellitus College, London)
This paper will examine the translations of divine descent language in the book of Exodus. By looking at specific terms used in the Hebrew Bible for God’s coming down to earth from heaven and making himself manifest, we shall discover how the ancient translators dealt with the difficult task of rendering anthropomorphic language attributed to the divine. We shall then determine whether the translations succeed in accurately rendering the original Hebrew and how this might speak to the theological intentions of the translators.

Part One

Part Two