Thursday, March 15, 2018


Please read these study guide questions on Amos and Isaiah and then all nine chapters of Amos. Choose one or two of the  first 13 study guide questions and suggest an answer to that question/those questions here..

I would be particularly interested in your comments on Amos' use of imagery. Do you find any of Amos' images particularly effective? Particularly disturbing?

Saturday, March 3, 2018

II Kings 18-25

Please read II Kings 18-25 for Tuesday after spring break.  You will probably find these chapters fairly easy going.  With the destruction of the northern kingdom (c. 722 BC), we don't have quite the complicated situation we have earlier in II Kings: no shifting back and forth between Israel and Judah.

What do you think of these last chapters in terms of genre?  Do they match up best to the criteria characteristic of prophecy ("thus saith the Lord voice, people seeking out a divine message, persecution/rejection of the prophet, vindication of the prophet, etc.), the characteristics typical of history (addressing what happened, when it happened, and why questions), tragedy (characters and themes of sufficient magnitude, etc.) or anti-tragedy (things that match the tragic form, but reflecting a situation where break-down has progressed so far that pure tragedy is no longer possible)?  Support your answer by citing specific passage in these chapters that support your view.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

II Kings 1-10, 17

Please read Chapters 1-10 of II Kings for Thursday.  Please read also Chapter 17.  We'll be focusing on two themes: whether or not the story of Elisha has the makings of tragedy and whether or not the story of the nation of Israel as a whole has the makings of tragedy.

Greek tragedies stand out, not only for their overall message, but also for the many "gems" of wisdom and beautifully phrased insights into the human condition included in the choral passages.  Please cite here one or two lines from the assigned chapters that seem to you equivalent in function/form to the choral sections of Greek tragedies. If you don't think it particularly useful to view II Kings as tragedy, cite instead a line or two that you consider a good example of historical/biographical insight, or that reflects the prophetic character of the book.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Kings 12-22

Please go back to Chapters 12-22 of I KingsI , the sections on Elisha and Ahab. We will start Tuesday's class with a discussion of that material.

Which of the stories/characters in I Kings 12-22 interests you the most?  Does this story lend itself to good tragedy? Or is does it seem more like history, biography, or prophecy rather than tragedy?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I Kings 1-11

Please read my study questions on I Kings and then I Kings, Chapters 1-11.

Does it seems to you that the I Kings account of Solomon has in it the makings of a good tragedy? Or is the I Kings account better viewed as history, biography, or prophecy rather than as tragedy?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

II Samuel

Please read my II Samuel study questions and then *all* of II Samuel. The key figure here is David, and II Samuel will take us almost to David's death.  If you have time to also read Chapter 1 and 2 of I Kings, you'll see the end of David's story. 

Choose one or more of the study guide questions linked above and suggest an answer/answer to that question/those questions.

If you prefer, list two questions of your own about II Samuel, questions you think would lead to good discussion.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

I Samuel 15-31 (Discussion II)

For Thursday's class (2/15), please read Samuel 15-31.

Does I Samuel seem to you to be best classified as history, prophecy, biography, tragedy, or something else entirely? Cite one or two passages/stories from the assigned chapters that you think particularly support your view of this book.