OT Parallels

Well, we have about a week until we meet on campus, and you are wondering what to do with all your free time until then.

Each of you will present a report in class on one of the parallel documents from Old Testament Parallels, which is one of your other text books.   So, you can use the time to browsing in the book and selecting your ancient document.

Some of you may be familiar with the book Grasping God’s Word.  Several of the early chapters in that book emphasize the importance of observing what is there in the text.  Use a high-lighter, underline, circle things, make lists of key words, repetitions, turning points, imagery, figurative language, etc.

That’s what I recommend you do with the passage you choose from OT Parallels.  Photocopy the passage and mark it up.  Make all the observations you can, then do the same with a parallel passage from the Bible.  The book, OT Parallels lists plenty of cross-references, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a biblical passage for comparison.

Pay attention to similarities and differences, compare and contrast.  Often there are surface similarities in wording, but there are important underlying conceptual differences.

The third textbook, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament may also be helpful in prompting your thinking and identifying important parallel documents.

Next week on campus I will want you to look at some other sources of ancient literature from the Biblical world.  There are alternate translations and editions with notes and introductions.  There is also quite a bit online, especially of some of the famous literature like Gilgamesh and Hammurabi.

Your on-campus assignment will be to give a 10-minute report on your OT parallel.  The report does not have to be written, but you might want to include a visual aid or handout.

We will also be discussing some of the issues in Walton’s ANE Thought and the OT.

See you next week–and bring your hiking shoes.


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