At Trinity Western University I teach undergraduate courses and graduate seminars on biblical languages, literature, and theology, as well as on campus and online Dead Sea Scrolls classes.
Teaching the Words and Worlds of the Bible
While the wide exposure and ease of access to the Bible gives the impression that the Old and New Testaments are familiar, few modern readers recognize that the Bible they cherish, study, and read is a piece of foreign literature. Its story plays out on a stage half way around the globe, its cast of characters have names most can scarcely pronounce, it’s set in an age long past, and its cultural, political, economic, and religious ideals at times seem downright strange.
The courses I teach in the Religious Studies Department at Trinity Western University aim to provide students with a more detailed understanding of the content of biblical literature as well as an informed perspective on its historical, textual, cultural, and theological contexts.
Whenever possible I integrate artifacts, facsimiles, or digital projects that enable students to more directly encounter the dynamic textual and archaelogical items that relate to the worlds of the Bible. This may mean thumbing through digitized versions of the Aleppo or Sinaticus codices, taking a drone tour over the site of Qumran and across the Judaean Desert, or taking in soundbites from leading scholars on the ongoing significance of scripture in reception history.
Ultimately, my goal as a teacher is to challenge students to grow in their understanding of the Bible by learning how to ask better questions and reading it in entirely new ways.
Courses Taught and Program Offerings
At the undergraduate level, I regularly teach “Introduction to Old Testament Studies” (RELS 101), ” “Introduction to Biblical Hebrew I & II” (RELS 245; RELS 336), and “Dead Sea Scrolls” (RELS 320). On occasion, I also teach “Old Testament Book Study: Daniel” (RELS 240) and “Readings in the Hebrew Bible” (RELS 337). Many of these courses are part of the Trinity Western University Core Curriculum, can be taken to satisfy electives for program major/minors in religious and biblical studies, or are eligible as electives for other programs across campus.
For complete course descriptions and program requirements, see the Trinity Western University Academic Calendar. To sample some of my course content, see my posts on a lecture series from the summer online offering of “Dead Sea Scrolls” and webcast lectures for “Biblical Hebrew I.”
I also teach specialized seminars and supervise theses in the M.A. Biblical Studies program. My contributions to this program are on topics related to Aramaic literature, apocalypticism, Daniel traditions, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. I typically recruit at least one new Research Assistant a year from incoming students pursuing thesis research in an area related to on my ongoing projects.
Watch the following for my perspective on this program as an alum and some words from recent students on their experience in graduate studies at Trinity Western University.