TH5602 - Interpreting 1 and 2 Samuel


Interpreting 1 and 2 Samuel


20 CC   10 ECTS

Distance Learning: King's Evangelical Divinity School eCampus


10 hours of recorded lectures 10 hours
190 hours of generated study time. 190 hours

Students have access to an online discussion forum to communicate with tutors and other students, along with e-mail support from tutors. Where appropriate, telephone support is also available.
Scheduled hours Placement Hours Independent Guided study
10 0 190

Core course material is expected to be used fully and typically includes recorded lectures and reading of select textbooks, papers or book extracts. All students are expected to listen to all of the course lectures and read the required materials. A range of supporting teaching material is also available to students as further recommended learning options.

This course will include a survey of the contents of the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, which portray the transformation of Israel from a group of tribes to a centralized monarchic state.  An introduction will be given to the historical background, the canonical context, the possible sources, and the state of the text of the books.   Various approaches will be explored as ways of understanding and interpreting the text of the books of Samuel, though the module will focus on the exegesis of the text with an emphasis on theological interpretation and the ethical issues raised by it.  Attention will also be given to the portrayal of some of the main characters, especially King Saul and King David.

  • To build upon Certificate-level modules students have already taken in hermeneutical theory and practice, thereby enhancing their existing exegetical and hermeneutical skills.
  • To provide students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of 1 and 2 Samuel, with a special focus on the text of the books.
  • To encourage students to analyse critically the historical and canonical contexts of 1 and 2 Samuel.
  • To give students, through the lectures and a wide bibliography, the opportunity to explore critically and evaluate various methodologies used in the interpretation of Old Testament texts, especially Old Testament narrative, as applied to 1 and 2 Samuel.
  • To demonstrate the theological significance of the portrayal of King David, providing useful background material for further exegetical study of the Bible, such as the issue of messianic expectations in Second Temple Judaism, thus encouraging investigation of the interrelationship of biblical text and theological reflection.

Audio lectures, guided reading, individual study, and individual support where appropriate. Students will prepare for assignments individually using interactive online learning material. Students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in online theological discussion on the eCampus Forum.

  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the contents of 1 and 2 Samuel, and their historical background and function in the Former Prophets and in the Christian Bible.
  2. Understand various methodologies used in academic biblical interpretation, as applied to 1 and 2 Samuel.
  3. Evaluate critically various methodologies used in biblical interpretation so that they are in a position to reach their own informed conclusions.
  4. Assess and describe with accuracy and breadth the theological understandings of the text and relate them to their own system of belief.

Component Weighting % Learning outcome(s) assessed Assessment category
12000-word assignments50%AllCoursework
22000-word assignments50%AllCoursework



As assessment

Anderson, A. A. (1989). 2 Samuel. Dallas, Tex.: Word Books.

Brenner, A. (2000). Samuel and Kings. Sheffield, Eng.: Sheffield Academic Press.

Bar-Efrat, S. (2004). Narrative art in the Bible. London ; New York: T & T Clark.

Brueggemann, W. (1990). First and Second Samuel. Louisville, Ky.: John Knox Press.

Day, J. (1998). King and Messiah in Israel and the ancient Near East : proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press.

Firth, D. G. (2009). 1 & 2 Samuel. Nottingham, England Downers Grove: Apollos ; InterVarsity.

Gordon, R. P. (1988). I & II Samuel : a commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Regency Reference Library.

Longman, T., Garland, D. E., Youngblood, R. F., Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (2009). 1 Samuel-2 Kings (Rev. ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.

Halpern, B. (2001). David's secret demons : messiah, murderer, traitor, king. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans.

Jobling, D., Cotter, D. W., Walsh, J. T., & Franke, C. (1998). 1 Samuel. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press.

* Tsumura, D. T. (2007). The First book of Samuel. Cambridge, U.K. ; Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans.

Stephen Vantassel


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Tue, 02 Feb 2016

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