Ancient Israel: A Free Course from NYU


Course descrip­tion: You may think you know ancient Israel quite well, or you may be sure you know noth­ing. In either case, this course is designed to make the acquain­tance from scratch. My ancient Israel is strange, some­times shock­ing, diverse, and most­ly hid­den. It can be approached from archae­ol­o­gy and non-bib­li­cal writ­ing as well as from the Bible as its most famous arti­fact. I am a bib­li­cal schol­ar and stu­dent of ancient lit­er­a­ture, so this class will lean toward what is writ­ten, embrac­ing the Bible as a source. In a broad­ly chrono­log­i­cal frame­work, we will ask what I hope to be unfa­mil­iar ques­tions, try­ing to get you to see things you had not con­sid­ered before. The course assumes no pri­or knowl­edge, and all knowl­edge is built from the ground up based on “pri­ma­ry evi­dence,” the actu­al mate­r­i­al from the ancient world – includ­ing the Bible. Every full-class meet­ing will involve con­ver­sa­tion in response to some piece of pri­ma­ry evi­dence, with expec­ta­tion that stu­dents have as much right as any schol­ar to fig­ure out who these peo­ple are for them­selves.

Texts Used in the Course:

The course is taught by NYU pro­fes­sor Daniel Flem­ing.

Ancient Israel (find the 25 lec­tures above, or in this YouTube playlist) will be added to our list of Free Online His­to­ry Cours­es, a sub­set of our col­lec­tion, Ancient Israel: A Free Course from NYU.

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