The Book of Kings: A Tale of Two Kingdoms (MA/PhD)
What about all those Kings in the Old Testament? In this course we will have a close look at the biblical books of 1–2 Kings and study the epic storyline of the book, explore its historical significance, and also examine the key theological contributions of the book of Kings to Christian theology. We will examine the literary structure, authorial purpose and historicity of the books of Kings, as well as literary issues raised by the text. We will also focus on important questions like: Since God was Israel’s king, what was the proper role of the kingship in Israel’s history? Since God promised David a son on the throne forever, how do we make sense of the end of the Davidic dynasty in the Babylonian Exile? Due to the key role of David’s example and God’s promises to David in the history we will also undertake a biblical theological exploration of the “son of David” in Kings and messianic expectation. We will also consider in what way the kingdom of Israel represented the Kingdom of God on earth and how this theme of God’s Kingdom gets picked up in the preaching of Jesus Christ and consider how the Church fits into this theology of the Kingdom of God today.
- To gain in-depth knowledge of the contents and message of the books of 1–2 Kings
- To gain familiarity with the assumptions, methods and conclusions of modern critical scholarship on the Old Testament
- Understand how ancient Israel accounted for its history and how their methods of history writing compare with those of other history writers in the ancient world.
- To understand the significance of Israel’s role as God’s kingdom and its implications for NT talk of the Kingdom of God and the Church’s view of its role in the world today
- To embrace the contemporary relevance of these biblical books for the Church today
- To grow closer to God through study of his Word
- To grow in awareness of being part of God’s Kingdom
- To be able to interpret 1–2 Kings in its original contexts
- To be able to explain the role of Israel’s Kings in Salvation History
- To be able to apply the message of 1–2 Kings to contemporary audiences