Week 08: The Deuteronomistic History!

March 22-28: Former Prophets

The Former Prophets: Joshua. Judges. (Not Ruth!) Samuel. Kings. Here is a beginning list of “Big Ideas and Essential Questions” relating to the Former Prophets.



Review Bandstra on the Prophets, with special attention to “The Former Prophets” and “The Prophets as a Whole.” Also, read his Chapter 5 on Deuteronomy: The Torah of Moses. Or, in Stanley or your Introduction of choice, read on Deuteronomy and on the Former Prophets. You may need to search for “historical books.”

Recommended Reading:


View or listen to the two-part lecture, “Deuteronomy and the DtrH”:

“Make” of the Week

Pick one of the following options for this week’s “make,” sharing it on your blog, remembering to tag your post with our tag, “ootle.” (Garrett students: Remember that your work is assessed according to the course rubric. You may need to add analysis or other elements that will allow you to include each element of the rubric. Remember too that you must have commented, thoughtfully and substantively, to at least three [3] other OOTLE-ers on Jeremiah & Jerusalem or on Responses to Exile by Sunday evening.)

Make Option 01: (Based on Stanley, Exercise 43:) Read the following passages from the Hebrew Bible.

  • Deuteronomy 28:1-68
  • Joshua 23:1-16
  • 1 Samuel 12:1-25
  • 2 Kings 17:5-18
  • 2 Chronicles 36:11-21

Summarize what each passage says or implies about the relationship between faithfulness to Y*WH and his covenant and the events of social and political history.

Then, assess for yourself the credibility of the positions taken in these texts. Do you find these claims coherent with other biblical witness? Are they intelligible in light of the way we understand the world today? Are they moral? How or how not? What if they are not?

(Be sure to summarize, not re-tell at length. Make your claims in your own words as briefly as you may, citing the biblical text where apppropriate to support your summary.)

Make Option 02: Read the passages in the bullet points above for Make Option 01.

Some have written of slavery as the United States’ “original sin,” others of our treatment of Native Americans, or of racism generally, or of gun culture, or capitalism, or nativism, or American “exceptionalism,” or others candidate “original sins” for the United States.

What do you think is the United States’ “original sin”? What real consequences is the U.S. undergoing today as a kind of “historical judgment” on that original sin?

In about 1000 words write in the persona of a revered figure from the United States’ past...someone who could reasonably have written before, say, 1941. (Ben Franklin, Susan B. Anthony, James Hoffa, James Madison, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee, or who you will.) From that persona’s perspective, name that sin, and “forecast” the kinds of consequences the nation will suffer as judgment for that original sin. Experiment with the tools of the Deuteronomists: polemic, comparison and contrast, hyperbole, repetition of phrase, and so on.

Again, be sure to draw on actual consequences/circumstances in more recent U.S. history: you’re not going for the vague and “eschatological” here. Let your chosen historical person "forecast" existing consequences that we (in 2016) have already suffered, or are now suffering.

Students who identify themselves as of a different country may amend these instructions, writing as a revered figure in their own country’s history, concerning that land’s “original sin.”

Activity of the Week: Twitter Revival

Folks are having wonderful interactions with one another in the comments sections of your blogs, and on activities like the MLK Letter. Often, these are only visible to the the few interacting at one time. This week, let's bring the party back onto Twitter, where all the participants can see and join your interactions.

This week, do some or all of the following:

  • "Promote" one another's blog posts (from any week) on Twitter. Here is an example. A good format is: Quote or commentary; @-mention of blog author; URL to blog post; #ootle16 tag.
  • Start a conversation: Ask a question of the other OOTLE16 participants. Bring something up that you want to talk about. Just get a ball rolling, and see who picks it up.
  • When you find anything on the Internet that might be of interest to OOTLE16 participants, share it with us! Here is an example of that.
  • Do you Follow two people on Twitter who might not know each other, but should? Introduce them with a Twitterduction!

You may find it helpful to use a URL shortener, since Twitter only allows 140 characters. Here is a resource to help you understand and find URL shorteners.

Google Hangout of the Week: Office Hours!

As before, I will host a pair of Google Hangout Office Hours. This time, though, I'm going to put them in the same "week", and it will be after Spring Break. Most likely, these will be on Thursday morning, April 7th, at 10am CT; and Saturday afternoon, April 9th, at 1pm CT. Stay tuned!