Old Testament theology I

The general scope of the course of Old Testament theology is to attempt to frame the diverse theological content of the Old Testament and to highlight the referential points which through the mediation of Judaism and Christianity have eventually become the cultural treasures of humanity. The term "theology" is used here in a wider sense: it does not focus merely on statements about God but it explores the manifestations of Israel's faith. The course Old Testament theology I focuses more specifically on previous attempts to systematise the content of the Old Testament (overview of a history of research). It aims to highlight the dilemma of "theology and/or history of Israel's religion" in recent discussions. The course also gives an overview of Old Testament pictures of the divine world in its ancient Near Eastern context. Specific topics to be discussed include monotheism, divine representation and mythological language.

Competences

Specific competences

By the end of this course the student should
  • be aware of the main approaches to the theology of the Old Testament;
  • be familiar with the main theological traditions within the Old Testament as well as its diverse nature;
  • be able to describe the role of canonical, historical and sociological factors which play a role in the background of Old Testament traditions;
  • be able to summarize the relationship between the biblical traditions and the Ancient Near Eastern world, with respect to the common traits and the divergences;
  • understand the idea of monotheism in the Old Testament traditions;
  • form a view about the theological role of iconographic representation in various texts of the Old Testament.

General competences

The course allows the student
  • to recognise the importance of the Old Testament for the Christian teology and culture;
  • to understand the relevance of the Old Testament for Christian theology in central issues such as monotheism and cultic representation;
  • to be aware of the complex nature of biblical traditions and its consequences;
  • to be able to reflect critically on a concrete topic or point of view regarding a topic.

Course structure

  1. The importance of the Old Testament for Christian theology

    Reading:

    • Baker, David L.: Két szövetség, egy Biblia
    • Csaba Balogh: Az Ószövetség (meghatározó) szerepe a református igehirdetésben, avagy: Kell-e nekünk az Ószövetség, s ha igen, mit kezdjünk vele?, 243-252 (10)
    • Rad, Gerhard von: Az ószövetség teológiája. Izrael prófétai hagyományainak teológiája, 298-320 (23)
  2. The role of an Old Testament theology. Principles and methods (1)

    Reading:

    • Jeremias, Jörg: Az ószövetségi teológia fő problémái, 35-52 (18)
    • Brueggemann, Walter: Az Ószövetség teológiája. Tanúságtétel, vita, pártfogás, 17-88 (72)
    • Rad, Gerhard von: Az ószövetség teológiája. Izrael történeti hagyományainak teológiája, 93-111 (19)
  3. The role of an Old Testament theology. Principles and methods (2)

    Reading:

    • Brueggemann, Walter: Az Ószövetség teológiája. Tanúságtétel, vita, pártfogás, 89-154 (66) 157-169 (13) 397-399 (3) 503-508 (6) 689-700 (12)
    • Karasszon István: Walter Brueggemann teológiája, 65-76 (12)
    • Pieterse, Werner: A „tanú törékenysége”, 155-166 (12)
    • Brueggemann, Walter: Visszatekintés, 205-211 (7)
  4. Canon history, social history and Old Testament theology

    Reading:

    • Kessler, Rainer: Az ókori Izrael társadalma. Történeti bevezetés, 37-49 (13) 205-209 (5)
    • Gerstenberger, Erhard S.: Theologies of the Old Testament, 5-24 (20)
  5. The divine name El and its composites. El and Baal

    Reading:

    • Toorn, Karel van der, Becking, Bob, Horst, Pieter van der: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 132-156 (25) 274-280 (7) 749-753 (5)
    • Loretz, Oswald: Ugarit und die Bibel. Kanaanäische Götter und Religion im Alten Testament, 54-86 (33) 66-73 (8)
    • Albright, William Foxwell: Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan. A Historical Analysis of Two Contrasting Faiths, 110-114 (5) 115-139 (25) 140-144 (5)
    • Karasszon István: Az óizraeli vallás. Vázlatok, 11-15 (5)
  6. YHWH and the faith of ancient Israel

    Reading:

    • Toorn, Karel van der, Becking, Bob, Horst, Pieter van der: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 910-919 (10)
    • Leuenberger, Martin: Jhwhs Herkunft aus dem Süden. Archäologische Befunde – biblische Überlieferungen – historische Korrelationen, 1-19 (19)
    • Karasszon István: Az óizraeli vallás. Vázlatok, 15-19 (5)
    • Tropper, Josef: Der Gottesname *Yahwa, 81-106 (26)
    • Younger, K. Lawson: Yahweh at Ashkelon and Calah? Yahwistic names in Neo-Assyrian, 207-218 (12)
    • Dalley, Stephanie: Yahweh in Hamath in the 8th Century BC: Cuneiform Material and Historical Deductions, 21-32 (12)
    • Loretz, Oswald: Ugarit und die Bibel. Kanaanäische Götter und Religion im Alten Testament, 88-88 (1)
    • Cook, Stephen L.: The Social Roots of Biblical Yahwism
    • Schmidt, Werner H.: Alttestamentlicher Glaube, 78-98 (21)
  7. God and goddess

    Reading:

    • Collins, John J.: Izrael vallása: az istennő visszatér, 195-252 (58)
    • Toorn, Karel van der, Becking, Bob, Horst, Pieter van der: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 99-105 (7)
    • Kőszeghy Miklós: Cseréplevelek. Héber feliratok a fogság előtti Palesztinából, 120-138 (19)
    • Keel, Othmar, Uehlinger, Christoph: Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel, 210-248 (39)
  8. Old Testament and mythology

    Reading:

    • Toorn, Karel van der, Becking, Bob, Horst, Pieter van der: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 511-515 (5) 684-686 (3) 834-836 (3) 867-869 (3)
    • Albright, William Foxwell: Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan. A Historical Analysis of Two Contrasting Faiths, 183-192 (10)
  9. The spiritual world of the Old Testament

    Reading:

    • Toorn, Karel van der, Becking, Bob, Horst, Pieter van der: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 343-345 (3) 345-346 (2) 618-620 (3) 627-630 (4) 692-700 (9)
    • Toorn, Karel van der, Becking, Bob, Horst, Pieter van der: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 45-50 (6) 128-131 (4) 231-232 (2) 240-244 (5) 520-521 (2) 673-674 (2) 700-703 (4) 726-732 (7) 794-800 (7)
    • Westermann, Claus: Isten angyalainak nincs szárnyuk
  10. The problems of Old Testament monotheism (1)

    Reading:

    • Oeming, Manfred, Schmid, Konrad: Der eine Gott und die Götter. Polytheismus und Monotheismus im antiken Israel, 1-10 (10) 11-38 (28) 97-110 (14)
    • Albright, William Foxwell: Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan. A Historical Analysis of Two Contrasting Faiths, 153-171 (19)
    • Schmidt, Werner H.: Alttestamentlicher Glaube, 98-117 (20)
  11. The problems of Old Testament monotheism (2)

    Reading:

    • Oeming, Manfred, Schmid, Konrad: Der eine Gott und die Götter. Polytheismus und Monotheismus im antiken Israel, 171-202 (32)
  12. Representations of the divinity in the Old Testament (1)

    Reading:

    • Oeming, Manfred, Schmid, Konrad: Der eine Gott und die Götter. Polytheismus und Monotheismus im antiken Israel, 227-248 (22)
    • Keel, Othmar, Uehlinger, Christoph: Gods, Goddesses, and Images of God in Ancient Israel
    • Schmidt, Werner H.: Alttestamentlicher Glaube, 117-126 (10)
  13. Representations of the divinity in the Old Testament (2)

    Reading:

    • Bahrani, Zainab: The Graven Image. Representation in Babylon and Assyria
  14. Evaluation

Total estimated time

Classroom study

  • 2 hours/week (Course: 2 | Seminar: 0 | Practice: 0)
  • 28 hours/semester (Course: 28 | Seminar: 0 | Practice: 0)

Individual study

  • Time for studying course notes and bibliography: 40 hours/semester.
  • Time for further documentation in libraries, electronic platforms, or on the field: 20 hours/semester.
  • Time for preparing essays, papers, or documentation: 0 hours/semester.
  • Time for personal tutoring: 0 hours/semester.
  • Total individual study: 60 hours/semester.
  • Total estimated time: 88 hours/semester.

Examination

The student should be aware of the main scholarly literature of the subjects treated and engage in dispute with the various positions. The exam will evaluate the students familiarity with the topic as well as his own personal opinion regarding the particular subjects and their interpretations.

Bibliography

Book

Journal article

Book article

  • Jeremias, Jörg (2014): Az ószövetségi teológia fő problémái In: Balogh Csaba: Testimony, dispute, advocacy. Encountering the Theology of Walter Brueggemann // Tanúságtétel, vita, pártfogás. Találkozások Walter Brueggemann teológiájával . Cluj-Napoca: Exit, 35-52 old.
  • Karasszon István (2014): Walter Brueggemann teológiája In: Balogh Csaba: Testimony, dispute, advocacy. Encountering the Theology of Walter Brueggemann // Tanúságtétel, vita, pártfogás. Találkozások Walter Brueggemann teológiájával . Cluj-Napoca: Exit, 65-76 old.
  • Pieterse, Werner (2014): A „tanú törékenysége” In: Balogh Csaba: Testimony, dispute, advocacy. Encountering the Theology of Walter Brueggemann // Tanúságtétel, vita, pártfogás. Találkozások Walter Brueggemann teológiájával . Cluj-Napoca: Exit, 155-166 old.
  • Brueggemann, Walter (2014): Visszatekintés In: Balogh Csaba: Testimony, dispute, advocacy. Encountering the Theology of Walter Brueggemann // Tanúságtétel, vita, pártfogás. Találkozások Walter Brueggemann teológiájával . Cluj-Napoca: Exit, 205-210 old.
  • Collins, John J. (2008): Izrael vallása: az istennő visszatér In: Collins, John J.: A Biblia Bábel után. Történetkritika a posztmodern korban . Napjaink Teológiája . Pannonhalma: Bencés, 195-252 old.

Collection of studies