How to Teach Genesis 1  – Part I: Don’t Begin with “In the Beginning . . . “

Given that my post How to Teach Genesis 1 in 30 Minutes remains one of my most popular posts, I thought my readers (new and old) might appreciate a little more detail and a slower walk through the process.

While my previous post was aimed at a single session, this series will hopefully aid those who teach introductory or survey courses either in an academic or church setting.

Related Posts: Why Seven Days?Review of Michael Cosby’s Interpreting Biblical LiteratureHave Sex and Eat: The First Two CommandmentsWhen is a Snake not Merely a Snake?Review: Pete Enn’s Inspiration & Incarnation 1

Mistakes to Avoid:

Mistake 1. Beginning with Genesis

Do not begin with Genesis. As I have stated elsewhere, I think the majority of textbooks and biblical overview courses make a pedagogical error in beginning with “In the beginning . . . ” In any other subject, you teach the basics first before you jump into the really difficult material. You don’t jump into Hamlet before you teach grammar and the basics of poetry.

What’s a rhyme? What’s a simile? What’s a metaphor? Am I reading a comedy or a tragedy? If Romeo & Juliet is really a love story, then why do they die in the end? If Hamlet is a tragedy, why are there so many funny moments? Is that another dirty joke? Err, I mean, Is that more ribald humor? How come the clowns aren’t funny? Continue reading “How to Teach Genesis 1  – Part I: Don’t Begin with “In the Beginning . . . “”

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Review: Interpreting Biblical Literature by Michael R. Cosby (Stony Run Publishing, 2009)

Interpreting Biblical Literature: An Introduction to Biblical Studies by Michael R. Cosby (Stony Run Publishing, 2009)

As I prepared to teach a section of Baylor’s Christian Scriptures course, I spent a day or two examining the available introductory textbooks. While it is not a survey course, Baylor’s Christian Scriptures course does cover both Testaments in a single semester. In a survey course, I would feel more compelled to say something about every book of the Bible. Such courses often leave little room for actually modeling and teaching exegetical (or interpretive) practices. Continue reading “Review: Interpreting Biblical Literature by Michael R. Cosby (Stony Run Publishing, 2009)”