Old testament

Instructions for Mid-term Essay:

1)  The essay should be between 750-1000 words (no more, no less).


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2)  This is an academic essay on certain aspects of the text of the Old Testament not your own reflections about that text.  If your only source is “the Bible,” then your research is insufficient.  Seek out reputable academic sources to help you write a good academic essay (At least 3 Academic sources).

3)  It should be grammatically correct. While this is not an English composition course, correct grammar is an aspect of clear communication therefore bad grammar will negatively impact your grade insofar as it obscures the point that you are trying to make.

4)  Use relevant primary sources, the textbook for the class, research databases on the library web site and other pertinent secondary literature (e.g., specialized encyclopedias or dictionaries, academic monographs and academic articles) in order to craft your essay.  Use of internet sources is acceptable but should not constitute the entirety of your research.  If an online source replicates a reputable print source, you may cite the print source while using the online source.  For example, see “The Catholic Encyclopedia” at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/.

5) Cite any sources that you used to gather the information for your essay. You may cite sources either parenthetically (with a “works cited” page) or with footnotes.  Lack of citation will result in an incomplete grade for the assignment (which in reality is the equivalent of a 0).  This essay should constitute original work and failure to comply in this regard will result in an incomplete grade for the assignment. DO NOT copy/paste a wikipedia article (or other similar online source) into the assignment box.

6) These are not reflection essays or journal entries.  These are intended to be brief academic essays.  Write them as such.  A good example of this type of writing can be found in specialized academic dictionaries or encyclopedias.  You might refer to Anchor Bible Dictionary (on campus in the library) or Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology (online) for examples of such writing.


7) DUE DATE: Essay must be submitted by at June 21 (see course schedule for specific dates).

8)  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me for any clarification.

9) Continue to the next page for the list of topics.



Topics(Choose One):

1) The Jewish Scriptures can be divided into a series of 4 covenants between Yahweh and his people. Compose an essay on these 4 covenants and tell how they are different from each other and how they are related to each other.

2) Compose an essay concerning ritual human sacrifice in the Old Testament. You will want to pay special attention to the stories of “The Sacrifice of Isaac” ( Genesis22:1-19 ) and the story of Jephthah’s daughter ( Judges 11:1-40 ). How does the testing of individuals by Yahweh function in this discussion?

3) The book of Job (particularly Job 1:1-2:13 and 38:1-42:17) constitutes what is commonly referred to as a “theodicy.” What is theodicy? How is the “problem of evil” typically set out? Is the answer to the problem of evil in the Job satisfactory?


Required Textbooks

  1. The Oxford Annotated Bible


  1. Carvalho, Corrine L.Encountering Ancient Voices: A Guide to Reading the Old Testament, 2nd edition (Winona, Minn.: St. Mary’s Press, 2009).


  1. Scholz, Daniel J.Jesus in the Gospels and Acts: Introducing the New Testament (Winona, Minn.: St. Mary’s Press, 2009).


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