This course will provide a close reading of the biblical books of 1–2 Samuel, exploring important historical, literary and theological issues raised by the text. We will investigate what the proper role of the monarchy was in Israel’s history; why Saul was rejected as king; whether Samuel was an unbiased prophet; the nature of Saul’s failure as king, and what qualities of David set him apart as a king. Sustained attention will be paid to the rise of David from young shepherd boy, to Israel’s hero and king, and his latter decline as sin, family crises and other tragic events threatened to depose him later in life. The key role of David in salvation history will also be explored with a biblical theological exploration of the “son of David” in messianic expectation. This course will consider the nature of the biblical narrative and its theological importance in both its ancient context and for the modern church today.
- To gain in-depth knowledge of the contents and message of the books of Samuel
- To gain familiarity with the assumptions, methods and conclusions of modern critical scholarship on the Old Testament
- To gain an appreciation for the literary character of ancient historiography
- To embrace the contemporary relevance of these biblical books for the Church today
- To grow closer to God through study of his Word
- To be able to interpret Samuel in its original contexts
- To be able to apply the book of Samuel to contemporary audiences.