Monday, May 08, 2006

THE OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA -- AN ONLINE COURSE: I am happy to report that Dr. Grant Macaskill and I will be teaching an honours (i.e., upper division undergraduate) course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha in the spring semester of next year (commencing in February of 2007). We and the students will be running a blog alongside the course, similar to the Qumranica blog of last year. Here is the course description:
DI 4716
Dr. J. R. Davila
Dr. G. Macaskill

Prerequisite: 11 or better in DI2001 or DI2003

A two-hour weekly seminar

This module explores the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, a loose collection of ancient quasi-Biblical writings fictionally attributed to biblical characters or set in the Old Testament period but rejected from the mainstream scriptural canons of both Judaism and Christianity. We shall study the orthodox and heretical interests and concerns of these documents; the reasons for their exclusion from the major canons; the problem of sorting out who wrote and edited them, when, and why; and the influence of these works after antiquity. The focus this year will be on texts preserved in exotic ancient church languages (e.g., Coptic, Ethiopic, Slavonic, Syriac), but all texts will be read in English translation and no knowledge of any ancient languages is required or assumed.

The lecturers and students will also contribute to a blog associated with the module.

1. A seminar paper of 4000-5000 words on a topic to be arranged. The essay will be discussed in a seminar and the student will then have the opportunity to rewrite it in light of feedback received. The final rewrite of the essay will count for 50% of the marks for the module and will be due by the last day of teaching in the semester.
2. A 3-hour final examination on the entire module, which will count for 50% of the marks for the module.

Charlesworth, James H. (ed.). The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha,
vol. 1, Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments;
vol. 2, Expansions of the "Old Testament" and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works. Garden City, N. Y. Doubleday, 1983, 1985.

Davila, James R. "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha as Background to the New Testament." Expository Times 117 (2005): 2:53-57.

The St. Andrews Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Website:
To take the course for credit, you have to be a registered, on-site St. Andrews student. But anyone will be welcome to follow the course through reading the blog.

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