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Biblical Literature and Languages

 B 3000 Introduction to Old Testament
This course provides an introduction to the literature of the Old Testament and its historical, cultural, religious, geographical and social context. Various methodological tools for investigating the content and genre of the texts will be studied. Throughout the course, students will investigate the different theologies presented by the Old Testament writers. (3 credit hours)

B 3001 Introduction to New Testament
This course provides an introduction to the literature of the New Testament and its historical, cultural, religious, geographical and social context. Various methodological tools for investigating the content and genre of the texts will be studied. Throughout the course, students will investigate the different theologies presented by the New Testament writers in order to see how their theologies shape various images of Jesus of Nazareth. (3 credit hours)

B 3300 Biblical Hebrew
An intensive introduction to the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of biblical Hebrew prepares students to translate passages of the Old Testament.

B 4000 Pentateuch
Pentateuchal traditions, including the primeval narratives, ancestral history, exodus, Sinai and wilderness traditions, are studied in the context of their literary origins and development and in the light of their importance for ancient Israelite religion and theology and contemporary theological significance.  Emphasis will be on the biblical material itself.

 

BC4001/BC5001:Reading the Bible en Espanglish: Latin@ Biblical Interpretation for Ministry

The relationship between the lived daily experiences of Latin@ communities in the USA and their engagement with the Bible/la Biblia serves as point of departure for any number of Latin@ biblical scholars. This course explores the hermeneutical methods, sources, themes, and insights of an ecumenical selection of Latin@ biblical scholars with particular attention to their significance for ministry.


B 4005 Book of Jeremiah
This course offers a literary and theological interpretation of the book of Jeremiah.  The book is studied in its varied contexts, in the themes and motifs that hold it together, and in the issues and questions it raises for readers.

B 4009 The Biblical Landscape:  The Bible and Archaeology
This lecture series will introduce the discipline of biblical archaeology by examining the development of the discipline and its methodology, by looking at the results of  important excavations from Bronze Age to the Byzantine Period sites in the Holy Land, and reviewing its impact on biblical studies.

B 4011 The Catholic Epistles
Addressed to the church at large, the epistles of James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude reflect the moral, theological, and eschatological concerns of late first century Christian communities. This course surveys the content and theological perspectives of these letters. Students will practice integrating critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church. Prerequisite: B4205: Introduction to the New Testament. 

 

B 4020 Job: Protest Literature
The Book of Job will be examined from both literary and theological lenses.  Its placement in the body of Wisdom Literature will be considered first.  Then the themes of creation, retribution, innocent suffering, theodicy, and divine incomprehensibility will be probed.  Finally, the contemporary implications of the book’s religious message will be discussed.

B 4021 Twelve Prophets
This course studies the Twelve Prophets (Hosea through Malachi) with respect to their original historical, social, and literary contexts, and to their theological interpretation in the Christian and early Jewish traditions. The course will also treat the nature and formation of prophetic literature, as well as the dynamic of prophecy and fulfillment. Emphasis will be placed on the role of critical study of the Twelve and of the history of interpretation as resources for contemporary theological reflection and pastoral practice.

B 4026 The Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis is a primary source of the foundational traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The course will study this book by focusing on its theological perspectives against the background of its literary and cultural contexts and by considering various contemporary approaches to its interpretation.

B 4027 The Book of Isaiah
This course will examine selected texts from the Book of Isaiah. While attending to the life-situation of each text to be studied, the course will focus on the literary and theological integrity of the book as a whole and how individual texts fit into that integrity.

B 4039 Using the Bible in Ministry (3 credits)

This is a course in the practical use of the Bible in various ministry situations:  in parish adult faith formation, in lectionary based catechesis, in RCIA, in children’s liturgy of the Word, and in the context of spiritual direction and retreats.

B 4301 Old Testament Narrative Literature
This course investigates selected short stories and novellas of the Catholic OT canon, such as Ruth, Tobit, Esther, Daniel, Judith, and the story of Joseph and his brothers. These works are examined as narrative literature that invites an exploration of challenging theological and ethical questions that remain relevant for people of faith today.   

B 4306 (online) Encountering the Bible Lands. Part A. (1 ½ credits)

This on-line course introduces the student to the history, geography, and significant archaeology of the Old and New Testament. The student learns how acquaintance with nonliterary sources has important implications for our understanding of the biblical text. The course runs from February 21-April 11, 2018, and is required of participants in the BSTP Spring Study/Travel Program, but is open to all students and auditors.

 

B 4306i Travel Seminar: Encountering the Bible Lands. Part B.  (4 ½ credits)

This travel seminar provides the participant in the BSTP an opportunity to visit significant archaeology and historical sites in Israel/Palestine, Greece, and Turkey. On-site lectures integrate archaeology and history with the biblical text.

 

B 4307 Toward a Biblical Theology of Friendship (1 ½ credit hours)

This course makes two extraordinary claims: that our life’s ultimate goal is friendship with God and that the Scriptures provide the roadmap. Friendship with God is a gift of Holy Wisdom (Wis 7:27). God speaks to Moses face to face as one speaks to a friend (Exod 33:11). And most striking of all these biblical examples, Jesus calls his own disciples “friends” (John 15:15). This course engages a dynamic process that integrates personal experience with biblical study in order to trace the emerging theology of friendship in the Scriptures.

B 4310 Old Testament Prophets
This course explores prophets, prophecy, and prophetic literature in the Old Testament. The theology of selected texts from the Pentateuch, historical books, and prophetic books will be examined from the perspective of their original historical, social, and literary contexts and of their value for theological reflection and pastoral practice in contemporary contexts.

B 4311 Deuteronomistic History: The Former Prophets
This advanced-level course focuses on the Former Prophets of the Hebrew Bible (Joshua-Judges-Samuel-Kings). Critical study of selected texts from these books will lead to an appreciation of both their literary and theological dimensions with a view to seeing their relevance to the Christian faith.

B 4312 Second Temple Judaism and Early Rabbinic Judaism
The first part of the course focuses on an examination of the variety of expressions of Judaism in the Second Temple period. The second part focuses on the emergence of Rabbinic Judaism in the wake of the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E.

B 4325 Humanism, Skepticism and Faith: The Wisdom Books of the Old Testament (3 credits)

A survey that will study selected texts from Old Testament wisdom literature to probe its belief in humankind's ability to find many levels of meaning in life and to cope with and even master the problems of human existence.

B 4313 Old Testament Poetry: Wisdom books and Psalms
An investigation of selections from the psalms and the wisdom tradition of the Old Testament, this course concentrates on careful reading of the text, the various theological concerns found there, and the importance of this material for ministerial practice.

B 4314 The Psalms: A Literary and Theological Study
This course is divided into four units. In the first unit, we will explore the many literary techniques that the authors of the psalms used, including chiastic structures, intertextual allusions, and parallelisms. Students will conduct close readings of the psalms in order to determine their literary features. In the second unit, we will discuss the genres of the psalms, and focus in particular on communal psalms of thanksgiving and individual psalms of lament. The third unit will ask students to explore the varied historical contexts of some of the psalms. This course will close with a study of the reception of the psalms in modern times.

B 4318 Paul: His Life, Letters and Theology
This course explores the literary and theological aspects of the Pauline epistolary archive, attending to the historical, social, cultural and religious context from which early Christianity emerged. As author or inspiration for the genuine and disputed letters, Paul’s experience of hybridity will be explored and serve as a hermeneutical key for interpreting the letters in today’s intercultural church.

B 4319 The Book of Revelation
An exegetical-theological study of the book of Revelation (Apocalypse) set within the matrix of the Jewish apocalyptic world and genre to draw out its theological and pastoral significance then and now.

B 4321 Book of Exodus
This course explores the book of Exodus from historical, literary, and theological perspectives, as well as selected aspects of its history of interpretation and reception in various contexts. Emphasis will be placed on the critical study of Exodus and its reception as resources for contemporary theological reflection and pastoral practice.

B 4326 Israel’s Choice: The Book of Deuteronomy (3 credits)

A study of selected texts from the Book of Deuteronomy to become familiar with the content and theology of this statement of traditional Israelite morality and the book’s motivational strategy.

B 4322 Deutero-canonical Books
This course examines the Deutero-canonical Books (with selections chosen among Tobit, Judith, Esther, Wisdom, Sirach, 1 and 2 Maccabees) to see how these inspired books have shaped Catholic theology in relation to their continuities and discontinuities with similar works in the Hebrew Bible.

B 4323 The Theological Vision of Paul the Apostle 
Paul remains a dominant voice in the New Testament.  His ardent love for the Crucified Christ, his deep and abiding roots in Judaism, his apostolic sufferings on behalf of the gospel, his dynamic sense of mission and his vision of an inclusive and compassionate church—all of these are fundamental motifs of this remarkable follower of Jesus and a foundation of the church’s life and mission today. This course will study the life of Paul within the context of Judaism and the Early Church and consider his major letters.  An introductory course on the New Testament is a recommended prerequisite.  Auditors are welcome.  

B 4400 Biblical Greek
This intensive introduction to the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of biblical Greek prepares the student to translate passages of the New Testament and early Christian literature.

B 4402 The Gospel According to Mark
A study of the Gospel of Mark with attention to its historical, literary, cultural, and theological world. The course helps students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church.

B 4405 Gospel According to Matthew
A study of the Gospel of Matthew with attention to its historical, literary, cultural, and theological world. The course helps students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church.

B 4406 The Gospel According to Luke
A study of the Gospel of Luke with attention to its historical, literary, cultural, and theological world. The course helps students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church.

B 4407 Gospel According to John
A study of the Gospel of John with attention to its historical, literary, cultural, and theological world. The course helps students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church.

B 4408 Acts of the Apostles
A study of the missionary expansion of early Christianity as depicted in Acts of the Apostles. The course helps students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church.

B 4409 Revelation and Letters of John
Thematic and exegetical study of the book of Revelation (Apocalypse) and the letters of John from the perspectives of history, culture, understanding of church, apocalyptic and epistolary genres, and contemporary interpretation.

B 4410 Christian Origins and the Pauline Mission
The missionary activity of Paul and his apostolic team is explored through his letters, Greco-Roman and Jewish literature, and archaeology tracing the development of the Christian religion as it encountered new cultures and adapted to its social environment.

B 4411 The Corinthian Correspondence
A study of 1-2 Corinthians with attention to the historical, literary, cultural, and theological world of that time. An examination of the relevance of Paul’s pastoral approaches for a contemporary multicultural church.

B 4412 (online) Portraits of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels

A historical, literary, and theological study of diverse themes and topics of each Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) to draw out who the human Jesus really was behind all the different portraits. Attention is also given to pastoral application for contemporary readers.

B 4420 Galatians and Romans
A study of Paul’s life and world, with attention to the letters to the Galatians and Romans in their historical, literary, cultural, and theological context. The relevance of Paul’s theological and pastoral approaches to the contemporary multicultural church is addressed.

B 4421 Synoptic Gospels
This course is a study of the three Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) focusing on the narrative, historical background, and theology of each evangelist. An exploration of source, form and redaction criticisms will enable the student to better understand and interpret the similarities and differences among these three gospels. The course helps students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church. 

B 4430 Luke-Acts
A study of the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles with attention to their historical, literary, cultural, and theological contexts. The course helps students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for a multicultural church.

BW 4440 The Gospel of Luke Exegeted and Preached
A study of the Gospel of Luke with attention to its historical, literary, cultural, and theological world in conjunction with study of the principles and theology of liturgical preaching. The course aims to help students integrate critical exegetical study of the text with theology, spirituality, and pastoral practice for preaching from the biblical text in a multicultural church.

B 4501 Gospel Parables
Study of the dynamics of the parables in the Synoptic Gospels as stories that challenge the hearer to conversion. Attention is given to historical, literary, cultural, and theological perspectives and to insights for preaching and teaching parabolically.

BC 4502 Perspectives in African Biblical Interpretation
After an introduction into the African culture and context, the approaches, themes, and texts in current African biblical interpretation are studied. Participants are introduced to the question of text and context in interpretation.

BC4503 Biblical Foundations for the Church’s Universal and Inclusive Mission

As Pope Francis has reminded the church both by his words and his actions, we are to be “missionary disciples,” that is, a church not closed in on itself but reaching out to the world with the message of the Gospel, particularly to those who are most vulnerable.  This course will identify biblical motifs from both the Old and the New Testaments that frame the scope and content of the Christian mission in the world today.  The dialectic between identity and outreach, between the particular and the universal, and between community and mission mark the entire Scriptures and throw light on the challenges and opportunities facing the global Church.

B 4504 Jesus Through Jewish Eyes
This course examines the different ways that Jews have related to the figure of Jesus during his life (to the extent that can be determined) and throughout the history of Christianity. Also demonstrated is the manner in which, at any given time, these attitudes are related to the state of Jewish-Christian relations.

BS 4520 Biblical Foundations of Spirituality
The faith of ancient Israel and of the early Christian communities is explored in order to draw from them the grounding for a contemporary biblical spirituality. Attention is given to biblical images for God, the various modes of prayer and worship, and the ethical demands for justice and peace in the biblical world and in our own.


B 5002 The Scriptures in Jewish Interpretive Tradition
How did Jews in the Second Temple, rabbinic, and medieval periods read the Hebrew Scriptures? How have Jews read the Hebrew Bible in modern times? This course will examine the interpretive traditions and developments among Jewish readers, using the book of Genesis as a lens with which to study the history of Jewish biblical exegesis. Interpretive texts will include passages from Midrash, Rashi (Rabbi Solomon Itzhaki), Nachmanides, and Maimonides.

BC 5002 Women in the Scriptures
An advanced seminar in feminist approaches to the scriptures, examining texts from the canonical as well as some non-canonical literature.

BD 5002 The Cross in Scripture and Theology
The cross is the central symbol of the Christian faith. Yet the meaning of the cross has been interpreted in many different ways through the centuries, from a source of scandal to the “tree of life.” In this course, students will explore interpretations of the death of Jesus on the cross, including those found in the Pauline letters, the Gospels and other New Testament texts, the works of classic Christian thinkers, and the thought of contemporary theologians writing from a variety of perspectives. The goal of the course is to deepen students’ insight into the meaning of the death of Jesus and the symbol of the cross in Christian life, spirituality and preaching.

B 5003 Postexilic Literature
An advanced seminar that explores the biblical literature that emerged in the decades after the end of Babylonian exile. Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah, Malachi, and other texts are examined as theological responses to the profound challenges faced by Israel in new historical and social circumstances.

 

BC 5003 Strangers, Migrants, and Refugees in the Bible

A literary, historical, and theological examination of various strangers, migrants and refugees in the OT and NT in order to help students to address effective pastoral responses to the issue of migration in our world today. Cross-cultural issues, implications and applications are addressed.

B 5005 Messianic Expectation in Early Judaism
This course is a seminar on messianism as it developed in ancient Israel and early Judaism in light of the Christian confession of Jesus as the Messiah.

 

BH 5010 Early Christian Literature Seminar
This seminar investigates sectarian literature, written within the first three hundred years of the common era, in order to study the development of emerging Christian society and culture. The course will explore the seeds of orthodoxy and heresy that characterize the post-apostolic age and that lead to the canonization of texts.

B 5011 Ancient Epistolography and Early Christian Letters
Twenty-one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are called “letters,” and epistles appear to have been the standard mode of communication between churches and church leaders. This course explores the methods of ancient letter-writing and delivery, and the social setting and rhetorical function of early Christian letters. Greek is preferred but not required. Open to non-MA students with permission of instructor.

BC 5012 Latina Perspectives on Biblical Interpretation
A seminar on the work of women theologians in the U.S.A. and in Latin America, with attention to Latina feminist/mujerista methods for interpreting scripture and insights for preaching and teaching from the scriptures in a multicultural church.

B 5012 Intermediate Biblical Exegesis
This methods course allows students to develop skills necessary for careful and critical study of biblical texts. Participants engage in close reading of texts from both testaments, are introduced to and practice various historical and literary approaches to the study of the Bible, and deepen their research skills for biblical study. This course provides a foundation for further academic and pastoral engagement with the Bible. Required for MA in Bible majors, all others with permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: B4203 and B4205 

B 5020 Biblical Hermeneutics
This methods course explores the rationale and practice of biblical interpretation and actualization, the movement from exegesis of a biblical text to thinking about its current relevance or implications in specific contemporary settings. Philosophical and theological foundations of principles of interpretation (hermeneutics) form the basis for an exploration of selected approaches or interpretive lenses brought to the Bible, which can include theological interpretation, feminist readings, postcolonial readings, and various contextual readings. Required for MA in Bible majors, all others with permission of the instructor. Prerequisites: B4203 and B4205 

B 5120 Seminar: Church in the New Testament
Explores the different perceptions and images of the church in the New Testament canon. Structures of communal organization, worship, and ministry, as well as the diversity in both theology and praxis are investigated.

B 5305 Passion Narratives
Study of the four Gospel Passion and Resurrection accounts, using a variety of approaches to biblical interpretation. Attention is given to how the various interpretations of the violent death of Jesus can help stop cycles of violence in contemporary contexts.

B 5400 Intertestamental Literature
A seminar focusing on non-canonical Jewish literature produced from 200 B.C. to A.D. 200. Emphasis on the impact of these writings on the theology of early Christianity and rabbinic Judaism.

B 5423 Jewish-Christian Relations
The course covers the history and current state of Christian/Jewish Relations and focuses on recent documents issued by both religious bodies.

B 5511 Fundamentalist Biblical Interpretation
A seminar focusing on the origins of fundamentalism and its approach to biblical interpretation with an attempt to formulate a pastoral response to the theological stance and proselytizing efforts of fundamentalists.