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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