Harvard Presents Two Free Online Courses on the Old Testament


A quick note: Shaye J.D. Cohen, a professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard, has just released his second free course on iTunes. The first course was called The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism & Christianity. The new one, simply titled The Hebrew Bible, “surveys the major books and ideas of the Hebrew Bible (also called the Old Testament) examining the historical context in which the texts emerged and were redacted. A major subtext of the course is the distinction between how the Bible was read by ancient interpreters (whose interpretations became the basis for many iconic literary and artistic works of Western Civilization) and how it is approached by modern bible scholarship.” The new course, featuring 25 sets of video lectures and lecture notes, has been added to our collection of Free Online Religion Courses, a subsection of our collection of 1,300 Free Online Courses. Other related courses worth exploring are Introduction to the Old Testament and Introduction to New Testament History and Literature, both from Yale.

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Comments (20)
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  • Gwendolyn P. Robinson says:

    Just received this information. Please advise on the next class.

  • Evelena Draughn says:

    I am a deacon in my church. And I want to learn more and understand more. I just don’t want too read scripture I want to understand it and what it is about.

  • Evelena Draughn says:

    And please let me know when the next classes start. Thank you.

  • Tina Camp says:




  • Gengis says:

    Hi Evelena,

    The best way to learn about the Bible is to learn how to study it byt yourself. I curently doing a Th.D. and so far the best method to learn has been with YWAM



    Thanks to Harvard for offering some short courses free online. It is sad that most people can not afford to pay most of the coursed Harvard is offering . It means only the rich will continue to access knowledge at the expense of the poor . The poor who have enormouse potential to impart this rich knowledge if given the opportunity are often times denied the opportunity as aresult of high cost of fees. I wish to commend you to continue this free short courses as part of your global social responsility towards the liberation of the poor. Any time Harvard is mentioned it sends a signal to the listener that Harvard has all the potential and resources to transform the life of the ordinary man. I trust that Harvard will expand its free online programmes to enlightend the people of the world. Most of your pamphlets
    which I have been privilage to read has transformed my life . thanks

  • A k bandyopadhyay says:

    I would like to undertake a short course on Bible from harverd University please advise

  • Candice says:

    It’s not a course when all you do is watch a video and read notes. If you can’t get some feed back even if from fellow learners it’s not a course.

  • Nina todd says:

    Interested in learning old and New Testament surveys.

  • Carolyn wolfe says:

    I’m very much interested in taking this course.

  • J'aime says:

    I’m listening to these lectures now and they are great. I’m on #17. Highly recommended.

  • Carolyn says:

    I’d love to take a Harvard class! I am nobody that could ever go there. Im even old. But if Harvards going to let us have a peek at their class!! Yes! Im in!

  • Hkun Naw says:

    Hi…i wanna study by online.

  • berneatha wilder says:

    interested in taking a free online course in Introduction to the old and New Testament, thanks in advance for the information

  • Tom Trowbridge says:

    Is there any way to do this course on a PC?

  • Gary Braude says:

    I would like to take the course on who wrote the Old Testament

  • Tony Hyman says:

    Dear Sir/ I would like to study a course on Old Testament Introduction.
    Tony Hyman

  • Sulekha Nair says:


    I would like to study a course on Old Testament.

    Thanks and regards,

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