I’m teaching a course on the Book of Hebrews in the Spring semester and am selecting textbooks for it over the next few weeks.
I’m planning to use two commentaries–David DeSilva’s socio-rhetorical commentary and James Thompson’s new commentary in the Paideia series. I’ll have students work through an assigned passage for the week, reading both commentaries on that passage and writing a 500-750 word essay on the passage that engages both commentators.
Further, I’ll probably assign at least one chapter per week from the edited volume, The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology. Students will write another 500-750 word essay that summarizes and evaluates each chapter.
Weekly class meetings will involve directed discussions of the passage itself, how the commentators processed it, the content and argument of the chapter from the edited volume, and then some lecture over the passage.
By the way, for my own preparation I’m reading my St. Andrews colleague Carl Mosser’s Ph.D. dissertation on Hebrews. It is excellent and if he continues to put off publishing it, I’ll be mighty tempted to steal it and do so under my own name. I’ve had my own work stolen once. I was in an Edinburgh coffee shop one day talking with a friend about my great idea for a series of novels about a boy who was really wizard and lived under his uncle’s staircase, but that’s a story for another time. Seriously, if you know Carl, urge him to get cracking. It’s great stuff.
At any rate, I’m just wondering of seminarians and former seminarians out there–if you’ve taken a class on a biblical book that you’ve loved, what was it about that class that was uniquely engaging and helpful? What was the structure of the course viz. readings, assignments, etc.?