Week 10: the Judaean Royal Theology

April 12-18: The Judean Royal Theology

Judah’s pre-exilic world view concerning the Davidic kingship in Jerusalem stands in contrast to other, more anti-monarchical, ideologies apparent in the Deuteronomistic History, and will give rise to later messianic expectations. What are the characteristic features of Judah’s “Royal Theology”? Here is a beginning list of “Big Ideas and Essential Questions” relating to the Former Prophets.



Read Bandstra Chapter 8 Samuel: The Rise of Kingship and Chapter 9 Kings and Prophets 1: The Early Monarchy. Or, in Stanley or your Introduction of choice, read on the books of Samuel and 1st Kings, and on Saul, David, and Solomon.

Recommended Reading:


View or listen to the two-part lecture, “The Judean Royal Theology”:

“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, “ootle16.” (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 the Royal Theology or on Emergence by Sunday evening.)

Make Option 01: “Write the Bible” Read the story of the rape of Tamar 2 Samuel 13:1-33.

Privately, reflect on the story. What does the story tell/show, and what does it hide or leave untold? Whose voices and interests are given expression, and whose voices or interests are not given expression? What do you wish happened that doesn't?

In a blog post (or oral presentation, or video presentation linked at your blog), write 350-750 additional words to the story. These words may be a prequel, or a sequel, or interlaced into the story. You may "break up" your words, adding some here, and some there.

Write freely: To paraphrase the book of Judges, assume “there is no censor in OOTLE16, and everyone may write what is right in hir own eyes.”

You may choose simply to write your words, and indicate by some means where they belong in relation to the biblical story. Or, you may copy and paste the biblical text into your blog and write into it and around it. If you choose the latter, find some way to format your text so that the reader knows at a glance what is biblical and what is nonbiblical.

This “make” was originally inspired by this news item.

Make Option 02: (from Stanley, Exercise 73)

“Read the following passages that describe the events that the Hebrew Bible says led to the founding of the Jerusalem temple and the northern shrines. What reasons are given for the founding of these shrines? How credible do these reasons seem to you? Why does the narrator express such different opinions [concerning] the northern and southern shrines?”

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-17
  • 1 Kings 12:1-33
  • 1 Kings 16:29-33
  • 2 Chronicles 3:1-5:14

You might read also “The Sanctuaries at Dan and Bethel,” by Jonathan S. Greer.

Be sure to use and cite course materials, including lectures and readings, in the formulation of your responses. Plan about 1000 words total.

Activity of the Week: Improve this Course!

In a curriculum-revision proposal accepted by the faculty yesterday (April 11th, 2016), Garrett-Evangelical asks instructors to...

identify how courses analyze and address systemic evil, racism and injustice, for example social justice, sustainability, and/or interculturality.

A few relevant observations:

  • Garrett-Evangelical has historical commitments to racial justice and the flourishing of the Black churches, while serving a denomination that is 90-95% white. [An added btw: today marks one year since the death of Freddie Gray]
  • Garrett-Evangelical's President has voiced a commitment that we "review [our] relationship with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender[], and Queer people in all aspects of the community's life," to be sure that Garrett-Evangelical is welcoming and safe for LGBTQ persons.
  • Dr. Tim Eberhart (Theology) leads the campus group "sustainG-ETS," which is a "coalition of Garrett-Evangelical students, faculty, staff, and friends working towards a more sustainable campus and more sustainable living overall."
  • The new curriculum will include a foundation course "Global Christianity in Interfaith World" and incorporate our "cross-cultural immersion" requirement into a 3-credit course.

Question for this activity: How might the resources and activities of "Introduction to the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible" give learners better practice at integrating the understandings animating this course with issues around systemic evil, racism, and injustice, especially around social justice, sustainability, and interculturality?

Here is a Google Doc on which to begin your activity. Please consider this an open-ended brainstorming...not an activity that you will “finish.” (Though, part of your brainstorming might be to envision what kinds of projects or artifacts would be worthwhile eventual goals for anybody who continues in your steps on this activity.)

This Activity is intentionally under-structured. Think of it as a one-week workshop. Range widely, but keep coming back to the question: How can academic Hebrew Bible studies help learners better integrate their learning with issues around systemic evil, racism, and injustice, especially around social justice, sustainability, and interculturality?

Google Hangout of the Week: Amy Erickson

On Thursday, April 16, 2:00-3:00 pm Central Time, I will be joined by Dr. Amy Erickson of the Iliff School of Theology for an "On Air" live Google Hangout. Maybe we'll talk about the Judaean Royal Theology. Maybe we'll talk about "God" as a troublesome character in Job and Jonah. Frankly, I don't know what might happen. Get on Twitter, and steer us where you want us to go.

During the Hangout, follow the hashtag #ootle16, asking us questions, making comments, and discussing the conversation among yourselves.