How do we make sense of the Old Testament?

How do we make sense of the Old Testament?

United Theological College has announced that Rev. Bec Lindsay will teach Introduction to the Old Testament next semester.

The subject provides students with an overview of the Old Testament and how it came to be formed, as well as ways that different scholars approach some of the more difficult texts.

“I’m looking forward to re-discovering the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible as a whole. I spend a lot of time thinking about one portion of these texts for my PhD studies, but with this course I am returning to look at the big picture of the stories and conversations the Old Testament contains,” Rev. Lindsay said.

“I also really enjoy doing this within the context of a tertiary learning space. I anticipate a class that is full of diversity- culturally, theologically and in terms of people’s relationship to the biblical texts.

“Each participant will bring their own experience with the stories of the Hebrew Bible and we will see what happens when these come together. Hopefully this will challenge and encourage students- and me- to see God at work in the stories of the Bible and within the communities who recognise these stories as sacred.”

“People can expect a (very brief!) survey of the stories of the Hebrew Bible and an introduction to the different ways the Old Testament has been and continues to be studied. By the end of the course students will have been introduced to tools that deepen their ability to interpret the Old Testament in its context and theirs.”

Understanding the standpoint that people bring to the text forms a part of the course.

“I hope that we will each become more aware of the standpoint we bring to reading the Bible and to recognise that across time and space there have been many ways that other faithful Christians have engaged with the Old Testament,” Rev. Lindsay said.

Being an introductory unit, the course will provide an overview of the Old Testament. As such, Rev. Lindsay said there would be more left for students to explore afterwards.

“We won’t be able to discuss all the wonderful, wise and strange stories contained- there are simply too many,” she said.

“I do hope that the course will get students hooked on these stories, so that they will want to study them more deeply (and enrol in further study with UTC).”

Rev. Lindsay is currently undergoing a PhD at Flinders University, focusing on decolonial hermeneutics for ‘settlers’ in Australia. Her research draws on the book of Ruth in conversation with Indigenous texts.

She was previously one of the ministers at Hope Uniting Church in Maroubra.

Introduction to the Old Testament begins at United Theological College on Wednesday, 4 March at 9:30am. The course is available for full credit or to be audited, and will be available online via Zoom. For more information, visit the official UTC website.

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