This experience is optimized for Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

Please upgrade your browser

Send the Gift of Lifelong Learning!

Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation

Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation

Gifting Information

FAQ
FAQ

To send your gift, please complete the form below. An email will be sent immediately to notify the recipient of your gift and provide them with instructions to redeem it.

  • 500 characters remaining.

Frequently Asked Questions

With an eGift, you can instantly send a Great Course to a friend or loved one via email. It's simple:
1. Find the course you would like to eGift.
2. Under "Choose a Format", click on Video Download or Audio Download.
3. Click 'Send e-Gift'
4. Fill out the details on the next page. You will need to the email address of your friend or family member.
5. Proceed with the checkout process as usual.
Q: Why do I need to specify the email of the recipient?
A: We will send that person an email to notify them of your gift. If they are already a customer, they will be able to add the gift to their My Digital Library and mobile apps. If they are not yet a customer, we will help them set up a new account so they can enjoy their course in their My Digital Library or via our free mobile apps.
Q: How will my friend or family member know they have a gift?
A: They will receive an email from The Great Courses notifying them of your eGift. The email will direct them to TheGreatCourses.com. If they are already a customer, they will be able to add the gift to their My Digital Library and mobile apps. If they are not yet a customer, we will help them set up a new account so they can enjoy their course in their My Digital Library or via our free mobile apps.
Q: What if my friend or family member does not receive the email?
A: If the email notification is missing, first check your Spam folder. Depending on your email provider, it may have mistakenly been flagged as spam. If it is not found, please email customer service at (customerservice@thegreatcourses.com) or call 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: How will I know they have received my eGift?
A: When the recipient clicks on their email and redeems their eGift, you will automatically receive an email notification.
Q: What if I do not receive the notification that the eGift has been redeemed?
A: If the email notification is missing, first check your Spam folder. Depending on your email provider, it may have mistakenly been flagged as spam. If it is not found, please email customer service at (customerservice@thegreatcourses.com) or call customer service at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: I don't want to send downloads. How do I gift DVDs or CDs?
A: eGifting only covers digital products. To purchase a DVD or CD version of a course and mail it to a friend, please call customer service at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: Oops! The recipient already owns the course I gifted. What now?
A: Great minds think alike! We can exchange the eGifted course for another course of equal value. Please call customer service at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance.
Q: Can I update or change my email address?
A: Yes, you can. Go to My Account to change your email address.
Q: Can I select a date in the future to send my eGift?
A: Sorry, this feature is not available yet. We are working on adding it in the future.
Q: What if the email associated with eGift is not for my regular Great Course account?
A: Please please email customer service at (customerservice@thegreatcourses.com) or call our customer service team at 1-800-832-2412 for assistance. They have the ability to update the email address so you can put in your correct account.
Q: When purchasing a gift for someone, why do I have to create an account?
A: This is done for two reasons. One is so you can track the purchase of the order in your ‘order history’ section as well as being able to let our customer service team track your purchase and the person who received it if the need arises.
Q: Can I return or Exchange a gift after I purchase it?
A: Because the gift is sent immediately, it cannot be returned or exchanged by the person giving the gift. The recipient can exchange the gift for another course of equal or lesser value, or pay the difference on a more expensive item

Priority Code

Cancel

Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation

Course No. 6650
Professor Craig R. Koester, Ph.D.
Luther Seminary
Share This Course
4.2 out of 5
41 Reviews
80% of reviewers would recommend this series
Course No. 6650
  • Audio or Video?
  • You should buy audio if you would enjoy the convenience of experiencing this course while driving, exercising, etc. While the video does contain visual elements, the professor presents the material in an engaging and clear manner, so the visuals are not necessary to understand the concepts. Additionally, the audio audience may refer to the accompanying course guidebook for names, works, diagrams, illustrations, and examples that are cited throughout the course.
  • You should buy video if you prefer learning visually and wish to take advantage of the visual elements featured in this course. While the video version can be considered lightly illustrated, including maps and specific works of art which are referenced, as well as on-screen text to help reinforce material for visual learners.
Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • Gain a fresh perspective on how God creates, destroys, confuses, and renews.
  • See how the events in Exodus have resonated throughout subsequent history.
  • Read between the lines of David's early triumphs, his relationship with God, his infidelity and brutality, and the tragic shattering of relationships within his own family.
  • Learn how these two important biblical heroes respectively illustrate the value of human initiative and the call for resistance against injustice and oppression.
  • Consider some narrative and spiritual challenges faced by the writer of The Acts of the Apostles.

Course Overview

Rightly recognized as one of the world’s most important spiritual texts, the Bible has shaped thousands of years of faith, art, and human history. Yet for all its importance to believers and nonbelievers alike, we rarely engage with the Bible as a collection of unique narratives that were only later united into what we now know as the Old and New Testaments. And these different texts—historical narratives, dramatic visions, poems, songs, letters—speak to a broad range of experience, from joy and wonder to tragedy and mystery.

The diversity of material in biblical books like Exodus, Isaiah, Psalms, Mark, and Revelation that has prompted people throughout history (from religious scholars to celebrated artists to everyday worshippers) to ponder and debate the meaning of these classic texts. To truly understand and appreciate the Bible’s many perspectives on faith, war, suffering, love, memory, community, and other enduring themes, it is enlightening to use a literary approach to reading and thinking about these separate books.

  • What do you learn when you consider biblical books with a focus on their settings, narrative structures, characterizations, images, and themes?
  • How do various biblical books offer quite different responses to events and issues, challenging readers to think of them in bold new ways?
  • How does this respectful perspective help us better understand the early history of Judaism and Christianity, as well as the roots of religious belief?

Enjoy an intellectual adventure like no other in Reading Biblical Literature, which offers a comprehensive, book-by-book analysis of the Bible from the fascinating perspective of literature and narrative. Delivered by religion scholar and acclaimed professor Craig R. Koester of Luther Seminary, these 36 lectures guide you through ancient stories, empowering you to engage with the books of the Bible as richly meaningful texts. From the stories of figures like Moses and King David to the gospel accounts of Jesus and the formation of the earliest Christian communities, this course offers an unforgettably vivid sense of the Bible as a tale filled with complex characters, dramatic conflicts, universal themes, inspirational wisdom, hidden meanings, revolutionary crises, and powerful life lessons. No wonder it’s considered the greatest story ever told.

Begin “In the Beginning…”

Composed over the span of 10 centuries, the books of the Bible are today divided into those of the Old Testament (known to some as the Jewish Bible) and the New Testament (the cornerstone of the Christian faith). But there’s no need to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the Bible. Reading Biblical Literature lets you encounter these books in a manner that’s accessible and engaging.

Professor Koester begins these lectures at the only appropriate place: with the creation of the universe as recounted in the book of Genesis. From there, you’ll plunge into Old Testament plotlines dealing with migration and exile, slavery and deliverance, anticipation and disappointment, conflict and reconciliation. It’s the story of the formation of the people of Israel, and along the way you’ll reconsider your ideas about a variety of biblical figures, moments, and ideas ranging from the familiar to the often overlooked.

  • One tower, many stories: At surprising moments in Genesis, God comes to regret ever creating humankind. One instance of this is the famous story of the construction of the tower of Babel. As you’ll investigate, it can be read in different ways: as a sort of folk tale, a critique of ancient society, and a commentary on humanity’s refusal to live within limits. The multiple levels of possible meaning create a more deeply significant story.
  • Abraham’s funny fallibility: One aspect that is often overlooked in reading Abraham’s life story is the inherent humor in it. There are certainly points where Abraham is portrayed as faithful and courageous, but he also appears as someone who can be woefully short-sighted, whose actions create as many problems as they solve. And yet this familiar trait makes the biblical patriarch all the more engaging, and all the more human.
  • King Saul vs. King Macbeth: The rise and fall of Israel’s first king, Saul, is a tale of ambition and arrogance similar to that of the medieval king Macbeth in Shakespeare’s eponymous play. There are machinations and prophecies of doom, political paranoia and the drive for power, and even a witch. Ultimately, in both worlds, people must deal with the consequences of their actions—and the will of God.
  • Words of wisdom: The Old Testament is packed with writings that form the core of the Bible’s wisdom literature, collected in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. The first book offers advice on how to lead a prosperous and meaningful life, the second is an unsettling and thought-provoking reflection on the emptiness of success, and the third challenges the idea that life is fair and suffering is meted out by God in proportion to wrongdoing. Each of these books, you’ll learn, is in conversation with one another on many levels.

Explore the “New” World of the New Testament

Whereas the Old Testament focused on Israel’s ancestors, kings, and prophets from the second and first millennia BC, the New Testament takes as its predominant focus the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth—as well as his followers and the dawn of the earliest Christian communities in the first centuries AD.

Reading Biblical Literature takes you deep inside this revolutionary moment in human history as it is recounted in the Bible’s pages. Throughout, Professor Koester focuses on enduring themes of suffering, service, death, hope, and rebirth. How does the narrative of Jesus and his follows expand upon, or respond to, similar themes established in the Old Testament? This key question leads you to revisit (or visit for the first time) iconic moments in the Bible in the company of a master scholar.

  • One life, four gospels: The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are each devoted to recounting the story of Jesus and his relationship to the God of Israel. Yet each book tells the story in a unique way, and the differences offer an intriguing range of perspectives on who Jesus was. From their accounts of Jesus’s teachings to the drama of his crucifixion and resurrection, each gospel follows a distinctive plotline. Through scenes of conflict and redemption, readers are taken more deeply into the question of Jesus’s identity and impact on those who followed him.
  • Apostolic Acts: One book you spend time with in this course is the Acts of the Apostles, which tells the story of the first followers of Jesus and the establishment of the early church. Written by the same person who wrote the gospel of Luke, this book narrates the struggle that early Christians faced as they tried to come to grips with their role in larger Jewish, Greek, and Roman society.
  • Pauline correspondence: Paul is considered to be one of the most controversial figures in the New Testament, if not the entire Bible. Professor Koester devotes several lectures to unpacking his letters to Christians in the ancient world, including 1 and 2 Corinthians. One theme in these letters is that of divine love. If love is shown by giving, writes Paul, then Jesus’s crucifixion shows God performing the utmost act of self-giving.
  • The end of days: Revelation, the last book of the Bible, uses the stirring visions of conflict and hope as a commentary on the nature of good and evil. Here, God is portrayed as a creator and Satan as a destroyer, a contrast that is essential for the writer’s understanding of evil. The writer of Revelation assumes that God created the world to be good. Therefore, evil is an invading cancer that must be defeated in order to bring new life to the world.

Join an Ongoing Spiritual and Literary Conversation

Adept at explaining each book’s meaning and highlighting its literary beauty, Professor Koester transforms the encounter with these ancient texts into a grand learning experience that’s equal parts educational and entertaining. A biblical scholar and noted author, he brings to Reading Biblical Literature the same incisive insights he’s brought to his academic work, including commentaries on the books of Hebrews and Revelation, as well as major studies of John’s gospel.

While his goal is to uncover and examine the Bible’s multiple perspectives, and to present the books of the Old and New Testament as narratives that can be studied the same way one would study any great work of literature, Professor Koester always highlights the spiritual importance these stories have had for people and communities throughout the world. Engaging in a dialogue with these multiple readings and voices brings a greater appreciation of just how intricate, vibrant, and abidingly meaningful the Bible is.

“My hope with this course is that, by tending to the different viewpoints within the Bible, readers of all sorts might find promising avenues to explore,” he says. “As we share our perspectives with those of others, we join a conversation that’s ongoing. It’s one that I find both challenging and enlivening. May that be true for you as well.”

Hide Full Description
36 lectures
 |  30 minutes each
  • 1
    The Bible as Dialogue
    Start your immersive journey into the books of the Old and New Testaments with this illuminating introductory lecture. By breaking down the Bible into its different books and narrative styles, you'll start to think of it not as a single book-but rather as a fascinating dialogue spanning centuries. x
  • 2
    Creation and Chaos in Genesis
    [Genesis 1-11] Travel back to biblical accounts of the dawn of time in Genesis and start to think critically about how its stories work as a narrative. By unpacking familiar tales from the book's first 11 chapters, you'll gain a fresh perspective on how God creates, destroys, confuses, and renews. x
  • 3
    Abraham, Sarah, and the Promise
    [Genesis 12-25] Abraham's spiritual legacy is nothing short of profound-yet his story also includes some little-appreciated humor. Delve into the biblical text and consider how Israel's patriarch is portrayed in Genesis 12-25. How is the overarching theme of promises reflected in his relationships with Sarah, Isaac, and God? Get to know Abraham as both exemplary and short-sighted-a much more relatable and well-rounded figure. x
  • 4
    Jacob, Joseph, and Reconciliation
    [Genesis 25-50] According to Professor Koester, the biblical stories of Jacob and Joseph are rooted in perennial themes of familial conflict and reconciliation. In this lecture, ponder the significance of disguises and dreams: how they propel the narrative forward and how they reflect the underlying mystery of God's will. x
  • 5
    Moses and the Drama of the Exodus
    [Exodus 1-15] Both encouraging and threatening, Exodus 1 15 is one of the Bible's most thrilling stories. First, consider the story's literary setting (and its surprising humor). Then, discover its focus on two different forms of power: God's and pharaoh's. Finally, see how the events in Exodus have resonated throughout subsequent history. x
  • 6
    Freedom and Law at Mount Sinai
    [Exodus 16-40] What happens after an enslaved people are set free? How is freedom lived out? Continue exploring Exodus with chapters 16 40, in which ancient laws and ideas of freedom begin to take root. Along the way, you'll study different interpretations of manna" and break down the different groupings of the Ten Commandments." x
  • 7
    Israel's Wandering in the Wilderness
    [Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy] Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy-three biblical books everyday readers find challenging to read and relate to their own lives. But with Professor Koester's insights, you'll come to see these books (with all their strange ancient rituals) as vital to a complete understanding of the Bible's narrative movement from Mount Sinai to the edge of the Promised Land. x
  • 8
    Violence and Kindness in the Promised Land
    [Joshua, Judges, Ruth] Turn now to Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, which challenge the idea of the Promised Land as a place of simple peace and prosperity. In comparing these three books, you'll witness disturbing accounts of violent conquest and explore the tragic consequences of that violence, and yet you'll also encounter remarkable instances of acceptance and welcome of foreigners. x
  • 9
    Saul, the Tragic King
    [1 Samuel] Why is the story of King Saul, who united Israel's twelve tribes, one of the world's great tragedies? Find out in this lecture, which approaches 1 Samuel as a three-act drama recounting Saul's rise to power as Israel's first king-and the path of his tragic, Shakespearean downfall. x
  • 10
    David and Nation Building
    [2 Samuel] Go beyond the heroic portrayals of David in Western art to reveal the vibrant heart of the fascinating figure described in 2 Samuel. You'll read between the lines of David's early triumphs, his relationship with God, his infidelity and brutality, and the tragic shattering of relationships within his own family. x
  • 11
    Solomon, a Study in Contradictions
    [1 Kings 1-11] Throughout the story of Solomon in 1 Kings, splendor and oppression go hand in hand. Were all the impressive results of Solomon's monarchy (including his iconic temple) worth the human suffering? Consider this perplexing question as you encounter a king who was both ruthless and wise. x
  • 12
    Psalms: The Bible's Songbook
    [Psalms] Packed with poems, prayers, and song lyrics, the Bible's 150 psalms are an evocative blend of hope, despair, anger, and contemplation. Here, consider the four different types found in the book of Psalms: songs of praise, prayers for help, psalms of gratitude, and psalms expressing trust. x
  • 13
    Biblical Wisdom Literature
    [Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job] Questions about the meaning of life abound in the Bible's books of wisdom literature: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. Join Professor Koester as he unpacks each book's distinctive character and outlook, the answers it offers to life's questions (sometimes straightforward, sometimes nebulous), and its contribution to a fascinating dialogue on how to live. x
  • 14
    Elijah, the Troubler of Israel
    [1 and 2 Kings] Continue on to 1 and 2 Kings and follow the story of the prophet Elijah. You'll examine his challenges to the god Baal, his flair for street theater, his tendency toward self-absorption, his earthly departure in a whirlwind, and, most important, his story's promise of a new beginning. x
  • 15
    Justice and Love in Amos and Hosea
    [Amos, Hosea] Discover how the prophets Amos and Hosea shattered the idea of spiritual indifference. First, learn how Amos portrayed a God committed to social justice and a society where people were treated decently. Then, learn Hosea's views on a rejected, angry God who wants to be reconciled with the people he loves. x
  • 16
    Isaiah on Defiant Hope
    [Isaiah] Go beyond the book of Isaiah's prophetic imagery to focus on the narrative's powerful, lasting visions of hope-and some of its disturbing passages on warfare and injustice. As you'll discover, these contradictions offer numerous challenges and rewards for the attentive reader who refuses to give in to despair. x
  • 17
    Jeremiah on Anguish and Compassion
    [Jeremiah] The book of Jeremiah takes as its goal the reconciliation between God and Israel. How does the prophet hope to achieve this? Find out by studying Jeremiah's vision of national transformation in the context of the larger geopolitics of ancient Israel-and the collision point of love, anger, grief, and longing. x
  • 18
    Babylonian Conquest and Exile
    [2 Kings, Lamentations, Habakkuk] In 587 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem. Explore the trauma of this cataclysmic moment through three biblical books: 2 Kings, which tries to explain the events of the loss of Jerusalem; Lamentations, which gives voice to the anger and grief of exile; and Habakkuk, which helps us come to terms with life's unanswered questions. x
  • 19
    Ezekiel on Abandonment and Homecoming
    [Ezekiel] Experience the dislocation of the Babylonian Exile with a close reading of the book of Ezekiel's perspectives on abandonment and homecoming. You'll trace this movement from Chapters 1-32 (which castigate the people for abandoning God to idolatry) to Chapters 33-48 (which include stirring visions of renewal). x
  • 20
    Jewish Identity and Rebuilding after Exile
    [Ezra, Nehemiah, Jonah] What did it mean to be Jewish after the Babylonian Exile? Professor Koester examines biblical books that offer differing perspectives. On one end: Ezra and Nehemiah, which define Israel by the temple, Jewish law, and Jerusalem. On the other: Jonah, where Israel's identity is defined by the way it relates to the other peoples around it. x
  • 21
    Esther, Daniel, and Life under Empire
    [Esther, Daniel] Delightful and playful, the books of Esther and Daniel tell stories of life under the Babylonian, Median, Persian, and Greek empires. Here, you'll learn how these two important biblical heroes respectively illustrate the value of human initiative and the call for resistance against injustice and oppression. x
  • 22
    Resistance, Adaptation, and the Maccabees
    [1 Maccabees] Dive into Jewish life under Greek rule in the 2nd century BC in 1 Maccabees. View the struggle for Jewish independence as a dramatic story marked by the tension between resistance and adaptation. Also, consider the debate over whether or not this book truly belongs in the Bible. x
  • 23
    Jesus as Messiah in Mark
    [Mark 1-10] Begin your look the New Testament with the first of several lectures on the four gospels-the narratives of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In Mark (which was likely the first to be written), you'll be reintroduced to the powerful story that continues to captivate people around the world. x
  • 24
    Mark on the Crucifixion and Resurrection
    [Mark 11-16] Continue examining the gospel of Mark, this time focusing on the infamous trial and crucifixion of the Son of God. Also, consider why this gospel ends so abruptly and how it suggests to readers the mystery of God's kingdom-and the role of suffering and sacrifice within it. x
  • 25
    The Dynamics of Forgiveness in Matthew
    [Matthew] Learn how Matthew reshaped the story of Jesus in startling new ways, specifically with its ideas on forgiveness. Start by confronting Jesus's relationship to Israel's heritage. Then, read between the lines of the iconic Sermon on the Mount. Finally, examine the coexistence of faith and doubt during Jesus's resurrection. x
  • 26
    Luke on a World Upside Down
    [Luke] The gospel of Luke is home to some of the New Testament's best-loved passages. Here, Professor Koester asks you to consider the more subversive dimensions of Luke's narrative. How do the inaugural sermon at Nazareth and the parables of the good Samaritan and the prodigal son challenge established patterns? How do they demonstrate the values espoused by Jesus? x
  • 27
    John on the Word Made Flesh
    [John 1-12] In the first of two lectures on the gospel of John, probe the first 12 chapters of this book's poetic prose, which takes readers back to the dawn of time. What does it mean for Jesus to embody the word of God in the flesh? Consider possible answers in this most distinctive account of Jesus's life. x
  • 28
    Self-Giving Love According to John
    [John 13-21] If Jesus is the giver of life, how does his crucifixion fit into the New Testament's larger spiritual narrative? To consider this question, you'll have to find new ways to think about events like the Last Supper, the Farewell Discourses, the crucifixion itself, and the story of doubting Thomas. x
  • 29
    The Early Church in Acts
    [Acts 1-10] Turn to subsequent texts of the New Testament, which take up the struggle to understand Jesus and what it means to live by his message. The Acts of the Apostles, you'll find, is a fascinating narrative that shows the Christian community being transformed as it welcomed Jews, Greeks, and Romans. x
  • 30
    Paul's Calling
    [Acts 9-17] One of early Christianity's most controversial figures is Paul. In this look at the apostle's life and mission, you'll learn how to see his preaching as an extension of older biblical texts and an attempt to connect the new Christian faith to other belief systems and patterns of life. x
  • 31
    Paul and the Roman Empire
    [Acts 17-28, 1 Thessalonians] Paul's travels to cities like Corinth and Philippi, and his letters to the Christian communities there, offer a lens into the relationship between early Christianity and the Roman Empire. From conflicts between Jesus's kingship and Roman imperial rule to the events of Paul's imprisonment, consider some narrative and spiritual challenges faced by the writer of Acts. x
  • 32
    Paul's Letters to a Community in Conflict
    [1 and 2 Corinthians] While in Ephesus, Paul wrote letters now known as 1 and 2 Corinthians to the Christian community of Corinth. Here, unpack the four major sections of these two iconic letters to a conflicted community, which offer insights into Paul's views on the cross, the Holy Spirit, the resurrection, and reconciliation. x
  • 33
    Freedom and the Law in Paul's Letters
    [Galatians, Romans] Continue your exploration of Paul's letters, this time by studying the correspondence he wrote to the Galatians and the Romans. In these letters, you'll find some of Paul's most provocative ideas about freedom and law-ideas that would play a profound role in shaping subsequent Christian communities. x
  • 34
    Paul on Gender Roles and Slavery
    [Philippians, Philemon, Ephesians, 1 Timothy] What did Paul have to say about women and about slaves? We find different viewpoints in the letters known as Philippians, Philemon, Ephesians, and 1 Timothy. How do these texts relate social roles to Christian love? How might they reflect patterns of community life that were changing over time? x
  • 35
    Letters for Sojourners
    [Hebrews, James, 1 Peter] Paul wasn't the only letter writer in the New Testament. Join Professor Koester for a discussion of the books of Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter, which sought to comfort and inspire early Christian outsiders through keeping the faith, focusing on integrity, and questioning what it means to belong."" x
  • 36
    Revelation's Vision of New Creation
    [Revelation] Conclude the course with a lecture on perhaps the most evocative, unsettling, and yet hopeful book in the Bible: Revelation. After considering the narrative's vivid word pictures, dramatic plot, and unforgettable characters, you'll see how Revelation fits into a comprehensive, informed reading of the entire Bible. x

Lecture Titles

Clone Content from Your Professor tab

What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Ability to download 36 video lectures from your digital library
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
Audio Download Includes:
  • Ability to download 36 audio lectures from your digital library
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 36 lectures on 6 DVDs
  • 265-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available
Video DVD
CD Includes:
  • 36 Lectures on 18 CDs
  • 265-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 265-page printed course guidebook
  • Photographs & illustrations
  • Suggested readings
  • Questions to consider

Enjoy This Course On-the-Go with Our Mobile Apps!*

  • App store App store iPhone + iPad
  • Google Play Google Play Android Devices
  • Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Tablet + Firephone
*Courses can be streamed from anywhere you have an internet connection. Standard carrier data rates may apply in areas that do not have wifi connections pursuant to your carrier contract.

Your professor

Craig R. Koester

About Your Professor

Craig R. Koester, Ph.D.
Luther Seminary
Dr. Craig R. Koester is the Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary. He attended St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary, then earned his Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York before returning to Luther Seminary to teach. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, a scholar-in-residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey,...
Learn More About This Professor
Also By This Professor

Reviews

Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 41.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from In-depth and comprehensive This review has given me a framework on how to read the bible with a deeper understanding of the context and purpose behind these stories,
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just starting to watch I have just watched the first lecture which is very promising and easy to follow. I ordered an historical atlas so I could follow the geography of the ancient world. This will be a good venue for me and I prefer DVDs to CDs because it helps me focus. I look forward to getting the overview of the Bible before I start more in depth study.
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Key word here: literature. Professor Koester is a recognized scholar of the Biblical anthology, but his consistent perspective is that of the reader of literature: enticing to believer and to skeptic.
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great series This is a really fine course. The professor is excellent. The material is appropriate. The visuals are terrific. I do like ... in fact I love ... having the sub titles for the lectures, but these need some editing.
Date published: 2017-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Accurate. I bought this title after taking classes on the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. This course helped me review and better understand the courses I had just completed.
Date published: 2017-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Each course is a temptation for me to buy and that is obvious in that I have bought over 200 courses. The material is unique and informative and enjoyable to listen to. I can sit at my computer and take notes while listening to the lectures. Even as an “old man” I’m back in the university class again keeping me mind alive and active.
Date published: 2017-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Layman's Guide to Understanding the Bible Reading Biblical Literature is a fine introductory course to understanding the Bible as literature. This course will challenge the preconceived notions of what the Bible is. If one has deep religious convictions, you have been warned. While this course gives a cursory overview of the books in the Bible, sometimes there was not enough content in the lectures. I have been watching and listening to The Great Courses' lectures on religion and many of their lectures have given me a more detailed understanding and appreciation of the Bible. I would have liked more in-depth information on certain books the Genesis and Exodus. Despite my misgivings after watching this course, there were several times the professor gave me a different perspective on famous Biblical characters. Seeing Saul as the Hebrew version of Macbeth really brought me to see the tragedy of his kingship in a different light. This lectures on the prophets like Elijah, Isaiah, and Daniel reminded me of how much I admire them. Overall, this course could have been a more advanced treatment of how to read the Bible and have included more lectures to give the professor more time to discuss about the important themes of the individual books.
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very Informative I will never read a book of the Bible the same. Excellent insight.
Date published: 2017-03-31
  • y_2017, m_9, d_22, h_3
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_2.0.3
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_6, tr_35
  • loc_en_US, sid_6650, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.0
  • CLOUD, getContent, 9.86ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT

Questions & Answers

Questions

1-10 of 11 Questions
1-10 of Questions

Customers Who Bought This Course Also Bought

Buy together as a Set
and
Save
Choose a Set Format
$549.90
$349.90
$639.90
$464.90
Video title