For this reason I’ve always been puzzled by how common it is to begin Introduction to the Old Testament books and courses start at the beginning. To a scholar the beginning is obvious, canon, what makes the object of study a “thing”. It is because first Jewish and then Christian communities used these writings as Scripture they became a “thing” – and because they did we study them. Logical as all get out :)
But does it work? Does this beginning grab a potential audience and drag them into the rest of the book/course?
Perhaps instead of beginning at the beginning we should start with “Why it matters”. If we start there we might grab our audience in ways that a description of the three-part nature of the Hebrew Bible canon, and a discussion of the difference between this and the organisation of the Christian canon of the Old Testament may not!
Brooke describes the hangout like this
I will be joined by a few other biblical scholars for an “On Air” live Google Hangout. We will talk about why we love the Hebrew Bible and its academic study, and what kinds of things we hope for students to get out of an “Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible” course.
After that they may begin to understand why details of canon and canonical shape matter!
- BTW since the name has the “The” (see the masthead of the website) should the hashtag not be “#tootle15” instead of #ootle15 ? [↩]