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Course description This course explores the major exegetical issues in the Book of Judges and provides students with opportunities to apply original-language tools to several of the book’s salient passages. The primary concern in any exegetical work rests in the attempt to see beyond the limited perspectives of our particular cultural heritages and experience the text of the OT as a witness from a time, place, culture and ethnic location far removed from our own. Once we have learned to receive God's word across a cultural and ethnic divide, we become better able to communicate our witness to God's word across the cultural divides of our times. So our attention to language, textual matters, style, syntax, literary genres, social settings, etc. is only partly antiquarian. They open up to us how God's word speaks through cultural and ethnic horizons very different form our own. In a world in which ministry must necessarily deal with cultural and ethnic differences, learning to negotiate such differences as an integral part of hearing God's word makes exegesis an effective preparation for living and serving in a diverse world. The events recorded in the book of Judges occurred and were recalled, recorded, and collected in the midst of historic changes in the life, politics, and culture of ancient Israel. The tribalism that divided the Hebrew People, the oppressions that threatened them, the provincialism that prevented them from responding effectively to their crises, and the recurrent apostasy that diluted their identity and drained their strength all emerge clearly in the book of Judges. Likewise, the various literary genres in the book and the signs of the use and re-use of the materials as the book took shape point to a struggle to receive God's word and reshape it for another generation, place, and circumstance. The tensions and conflicts of tribe, race, empire, culture, and faith that mark the book of Judges recur in contemporary life. Thus time spent with the book of Judges provides a meaningful encounter with problems and possibilities of contemporary ministry. The Spirit of God clearly found rich material for shaping this portion of the inspired scriptures. The objectives below, as they note matters such as language, text, historical and cultural setting, etc. should be understood as the specific steps necessary toward the fulfillment of this encounter.
Asbury Theological Seminary
OT, 617X, The, Book, of, Judges, SP08