Fall Bible courses at AMBS

Online courses    • Campus courses

Online Courses — Fall 2015

The Strange New World of the Bible BIB500E

Three hours — Loren Johns, Safwat Marzouk
By reading parallel types of material from the Old and New Testaments, students will come to understand better the scope of the Bible and its contents and background, as well as how the two testaments fit together. After an orientation to the world and the structure of the Bible, students will explore a variety of biblical texts and themes, including narrative texts, theological foundations, prophetic writings and Pauline writings, worship, wisdom literature, the Historical Jesus, creation, and eschatology.

Campus Courses — Fall 2015

Beginning Greek: I John  BIB502

Three hours — Ryan Harker
In this first-level Greek class, students learn the basics of the Greek language and read 1 John, an early Christian letter about the fundamental human desire to know and love God. We will take note of the style of the letter, its theology, and how it speaks to our own spirituality. While this is the basic skill-building course for the New Testament exegesis sequence, it will be helpful to any student who wishes to have a clearer understanding of the biblical text. This course is a prerequisite for New Testament exegesis courses.

Bible Reading Colloquium (Hebrew)  BIB510

One-half  hour — Ben Ollenburger
Bible department faculty lead weekly informal sessions to read biblical texts in their original languages, alternating by semester between Hebrew and Greek. Students may enroll for one-half hour of credit each semester, but enrollment is not required to participate in the colloquium. Prerequisite: one semester of Hebrew or Greek.

Biblical Perspectives on Atonement  BIB654

Three hours — Mary Schertz
The passion of Jesus has been the subject of theological debate for centuries. But how do the earliest commentators on these events understand them in light of their Jewish contexts? This class will look at how Paul, the Gospel evangelists, and the later writers interpreted the cross. We will also examine how several modern writers handle these materials as we formulate our own understanding of the atonement for faith and ministry.

Canon and Community  BIB603

Three hours — Loren Johns
This course focuses on the origin, canonical formation, and canonical authority of Scripture. We seek to understand the influence of various communities in the production, transmission, translation, preservation, and interpretation of Scripture. We focus also on modern English translations with attention to the use of the Bible in the congregation.

Introduction to Bible Study Tools  BIB503

Three hours — Loren Johns
In this course students will learn enough Greek and Hebrew to be able to use study aids and research tools based in the original biblical languages. They also will be oriented to basic exegetical methodologies. Using print and computer-assisted Bible study programs, students will cultivate skills needed when studying the Bible in preparation for preaching and teaching in the congregation.

Job and Wisdom  BIB532

Three hours — Safwat Marzouk
Wisdom literature addresses difficult and probing questions of the meaning of life, freedom, and responsibility, divine-human interaction, suffering and the problem of evil, the function of praise and lament, and the proper ethics that flow from a proper theology. In this class, we will discuss the perspectives presented by the wisdom traditions, especially as manifested in the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes.

The Strange New World of the Bible  BIB500

Three hours — Loren Johns, Safwat Marzouk
By reading parallel types of material from the Old and New Testaments, students will come to understand better the scope of the Bible and its contents and background, as well as how the two testaments fit together. After an orientation to the world and the structure of the Bible, students will explore a variety of biblical texts and themes, including narrative texts, theological foundations, prophetic writings and Pauline writings, worship, wisdom literature, the Historical Jesus, creation, and eschatology.

Teaching the Bible in the Congregation  BIB505

Three hours — Mary Schertz, Rachel Miller Jacobs
Students will explore the role and function of teaching Scripture in the congregation. Issues include assessment of current approaches to and congregational attitudes toward the Bible, the real or perceived gap between scholarship and the church, effective teaching modules for various congregational settings, biblical illiteracy and biblical irrelevancy, and the role of the pastor and other congregational educators in teaching the Bible. This class is for those who want to nurture spiritual maturity by helping a congregation encounter the Living Word both informationally and formationally.

What about the Bible? The Authority of Scripture  BIB645

Three hours — Ben Ollenburger
From its inception, the church has regarded Scripture—first the Old Testament and then the Christian canon—as indispensable to its faith and life. However, the church’s understanding of Scripture’s authority has varied. This course will examine views from the early and medieval church, the Reformation, and the modern and contemporary periods, paying particular attention to Mennonite statements from 1632 to 1995. We will consider the challenges posed and resources offered by such movements as historical criticism and feminism. Readings will be drawn from confessional statements, systematic theologies, and other monographs and essays. Students will articulate and refine their own disciplined views of Scripture’s authority. Prerequisite: one course in theology (HTE department).