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Biblical Languages and Literature

Note: An “i” after the course number indicates the course is taught in Jerusalem as part of the Fall Biblical Study and Travel Program.

B 4000-1 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.

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 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.

DB 4100 Witness and Proclamation: The God of Jesus Christ
This course has as its content reflection on the God whom Christians proclaim and to whom Christians witness in mission and ministry. This God--Holy Mystery--is first manifest in human experience through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and made visible in the ministry and cross of Jesus of Nazareth. The doctrine of God as Trinity is addressed in terms of pastoral practice (P), method (A), particular contexts of cultures and religions (R), and the Christian tradition (T).

BC 4201 Jesus: A Dialogue between Christians and Jews
This course, offered in Israel, examines Jewish and Christian perspectives on the teaching and person of Jesus. To this end students will visit major historical, archaeological and religious sites in Israel with time spent in both the Galilee and the Negev.

B 4203 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. (2 credit hours)

B 4205 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. (2 credit hours)

B 4300 Hebrew
An intensive introduction to the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of biblical Hebrew prepares students to translate passages of the Old Testament.

B 4301 Old Testament Narrative Literature
An examination of the major narrative sections of the Old Testament. Attention is given to the formation of the material, its historical value, its theological importance to ancient Israel, and the role it might play in contemporary life and ministry.

B 4303 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 4305 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 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 The Former Prophets
A study of selected texts from Joshua to 2 Kings, focusing on the contrast between historical Israel and biblical Israel in order to appreciate the theological dimension of ancient Israel’s story.

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 4313 Old Testament Poetry
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
After examining current trends in the study of the Book of Psalms, this study will divide into three parts. The first part examines the poetry, the genres and their interpretation. The second part looks at the shape of the Psalter and the import of imagery. The last part considers the psalms theologically— as ethics and as spirituality, Jewish and Christian receptions, the liturgical use of psalms, and issues in a religious use of the psalms. 

B 4316i History and Archaeology of the Bible I
This field course provides the participant in the Middle East Part B Program an opportunity to visit some of the significant archaeology sites in Israel/Palestine and to learn how acquaintance with nonliterary sources has important implications for our understanding of the biblical text.

B 4316i Biblical History and Archaeology: Old Testament
A study of nonliterary sources for reconstructing ancient Israel’s history, this study of the principles of archaeology is complemented with visits to archaeological sites and museums in Israel, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt.

B 4317i Paul and the Gentile Mission
Students will acquire a familiarity with the contents of the seven undisputed Pauline letters, and explore the historical, cultural, and social background of the Pauline mission. They will visit significant sites in Greece and Turkey (Asia Minor) where Paul traveled and preached in order to appreciate the challenges and struggles of the early Christian Mission. They will deepen in their comprehension and appreciation of Pauline themes and theology. They will also gain further insight into the interpretation of Paul for believers today.

B4321 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 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 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 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.

BC 4403 Mark in Cross-Cultural Perspective
A study of the narrative of Mark from a cultural and theological perspective. Focus is on Markan style and theology in dialogue with the Jewish background and with the contexts and questions of today.

B 4404 History and Archaeology of Israel
The course is a study of the principles of archaeology and an inquiry into some of the nonliterary sources for understanding the ancient societies of the Levant.

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 Paul: 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 Paul: 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 4415i Jesus in Historical Context
A study of selected texts from the Gospels related to biblical sites visited in the Holy Land. Emphasis given to understanding Jesus within the context of first century Palestinian Judaism and the social context of first century Galilee and Jerusalem.

B 4416i Biblical History and Archaeology: New Testament
An introduction to methods of biblical archaeology for interpreting material remains of early Christianity. Classroom study is complemented with visits to archaeological sites.

B 4416i History and Archaeology of the Bible II
This field course provides the participant in the Middle East Part C Program an opportunity to visit some of the significant archaeology sites in Jordan and Egypt and to learn how acquaintance with nonliterary sources has important implications for our understanding of the biblical text.

B 4417i The Holy City (Israel)
This course examines the city of Jerusalem in the literature of ancient Israel and early Judaism.

B 4419i  Sacred Space in the Bible (Israel)
This course explores the role and theology of cultic sites as places of encounter with the divine in the Bible. Texts concerned with the wilderness Tabernacle, the First and Second Temples, and other sites of divine presence are examined with attention to their literary, historical, and theological features and perspectives. The course also examines how the NT draws on and transforms earlier biblical concepts when speaking of Christ and the church.

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 4422i History and Archaeology of the Old Testament (Travel Seminar)
This component of the Biblical Travel and Study Program consists of visits to sites in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan connected with the history, literature and archaeology related to the Old Testament. The site visits will be augmented by preparatory and follow-up classroom presentations. Participants taking the program for academic credit will do a follow-up assignment.

B 4423i History and Archaeology of the New Testament (Travel Seminar)
This component of the Biblical Travel and Study Program consists of visits to sites in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan connected with the history, literature and archaeology related to early Judaism and early Christianity. The site visits will be augmented by preparatory and follow-up classroom presentations. Participants taking the program for academic credit will do a follow-up assignment.

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.

BW 4500 Biblical Hermeneutics for Preaching
An interdisciplinary course that introduces students to a process of integrating contemplation, biblical and theological study, and pastoral praxis for a ministry of preaching. Strongly recommended for all M.Div. students.

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 Reading the Bible Differently: African-American Biblical Perspectives
Different contexts and perspectives lead to different approaches to, and interpretation of, the Bible. This course studies the interplay between the African-American contexts and the resulting appropriation and interpretation of the Bible. Participants are inducted into the wider issue of social location in biblical hermeneutics.

BC 4503 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.

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 4521 Integrating Seminar: Biblical Spirituality Program
This seminar integrates experience in the biblical study and travel programs and courses at CTU, ministerial background and personal ideals, and contemporary questions for a holistic biblical spirituality. Restricted to participants from the CTU study and travel program.

BC 5001 The Servant of the Lord and Interpretation
An extensive introduction to the text and themes of Deutero-Isaiah is followed by the study of the sayings about the Servant of the Lord, in relation to their meaning for the vocation of Israel and for that of people called to be God’s servant. Reapplications of the servant theme in the New Testament are considered to the extent possible.

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.

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.

BC 5010 Bible, Mission, and Culture
An examination of the grounds for, and models of, mission in the Bible, and of some issues in mission and culture. In even years the course is limited to the Old Testament; in odd years the entire Bible is considered.

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.

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 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 5201 Gospel of John from the Greek
This course is a careful exegesis of the Greek text of the gospel that stresses John’s unique language, literary style, and theology. Students also explore the social-historical context of the Johannine community.

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.

BD 5510 Feminist Hermeneutics in Bible and Theology
A team-taught seminar that investigates biblical texts and doctrinal themes such as God, Christ, Trinity, creation, theological anthropology, sin and evil, Mary, church, and ministry from a feminist perspective.

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.

B 5512 Biblical Methods
This seminar investigates several methods currently used to interpret biblical texts. These methods, with their underlying presuppositions and interpretive possibilities, are employed in the examination of various texts and evaluated for their effectiveness in opening up the meaning of the scriptures.

BC 5515 Forms and Meanings in Bible and Culture
The course examines themes that recur in cultures and in the First Testament in order to see how anthropology and biblical studies can enlighten each other as well as the missionary/theological enterprise.