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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future by Emory University

4.7
162 ratings
50 reviews

About the Course

With its walls razed to ground by Babylon’s armies, Jerusalem joined a long line of ancient vanquished cities—from Ur and Nineveh and Persepolis to Babylon itself. While some recovered from the destruction, others did not. But none responded to political catastrophe by fashioning the kind of elaborate and enduring monument to their own downfall that we find in the Bible. Most conquered populations viewed their subjugation as a source of shame. They consigned it to oblivion, opting instead to extol the golden ages of the past. The biblical authors in contrast reacted to loss by composing extensive writings that acknowledge collective failure, reflect deeply upon its causes, and discover thereby a ground for collective hope. Working through colorful biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts, and drawing on an array of comparative examples, the course illustrates the thoroughgoing manner with which biblical authors responded to defeat by advancing a demotic agenda that places the community at the center. The aim of the biblical authors was to create a nation, and they sought to realize this goal via a shared text, which includes stories and songs, wisdom and laws. This corpus of writings belongs, without a doubt, to humanity’s greatest achievements. Whereas the great civilizations of the Near East invested their energies and resources into monuments of stone that could be destroyed by invading armies, the biblical authors left a literary legacy that has been intensively studied until the present day. More important, these authors’ visionary response to defeat brought to light a radical new wisdom: the notion that a people is greater than the state which governs it, and that a community can survive collapse when all of its members can claim a piece of the pie and therefore have a reason to take an active part in its collective life....

Top reviews

CS

Oct 12, 2016

It's a very good course if you want to know how the bible came into being, events that happened from the very beginning and how the bible continues to remain and be read even today. Wonderful!

RS

Feb 03, 2019

A deeply thought provoking and challenging course that exceeded my expectations, chiefly, by the way it helped me connect the ancient past with the present.

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26 - 49 of 49 Reviews for The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future

By MARIA L R G

Sep 05, 2017

Excellent course, I strongly recommend it for everyone. I didn´t have previous knowledge about the topic and I learn a lot and manage to pass it. Excellent videos with subtitles in different languages.

By Marco d P

May 16, 2016

Grest course! I do recommend!

By Lucy I D L R T

Mar 25, 2017

El profesor es muy dinámico y ayuda a ver la situación geo-política de Israel, las ventajas y desventajas de estar en el cruce de camino de dos potencias rivales.

By Cecilia S

Oct 12, 2016

It's a very good course if you want to know how the bible came into being, events that happened from the very beginning and how the bible continues to remain and be read even today. Wonderful!

By Pamela m k

Aug 14, 2016

Outstanding in every way.

By Hugo O C R

May 28, 2016

This course is an excellent way of going about the history of Israel/Judah from a political perspective. It also presents many archeological evidences and compared them to the Bible. The discussions are quite interesting and multidisciplinary and the professor is really has a very practical approach.

By Luz-Elena C

Aug 01, 2017

Best one!

By Russil A

Dec 11, 2016

Excellent course! Professor Wright is passionate, warm and engaging. Loved it!

By Qin L

Sep 20, 2016

Compared to lectures offered by various seminaries, Professor Wright has organized the course in a way that has included both biblical sources and extra-biblical sources which are not permitted by seminaries. The part I love the most is the interviews by Professor Wright with leading scholars of different expertise.

It is not hard to tell the effort the professor has exerted to put the course together. I would love to take more courses from Professor Wright regarding OT and relevant areas and am wondering how I can access them.

By Jesús A G

Aug 22, 2017

Este curso representa una buena manera de introducirse en los estudios bíblicos. El único problema que le he visto es que a muchos vídeos que no están subtitulados al castellano, y en otros, la calidad de la traducción de los subtítulos no es muy buena. Pero en términos generales es un magnífico curso, y el profesor lo orienta de forma muy amena.

By Naokichi D

Mar 09, 2018

Enriching historical knowledge in every course material.

By JOHN Q

Mar 25, 2016

Great course! As a non christian I learn a lot about western culture and history

By Helene S

Sep 07, 2016

I just started this class this morning and Professor Wright is great. Usually I find the professors in a one on one lecture such as this, either speaking too fast or just boring. He is terrific. I have enjoyed the lessons very much.

By mary h

Aug 21, 2018

Professor Wright TRULY "knows his stuff." I am sure that he is brilliant and in the videos you can just see his brain racing ahead of his speech. One senses that there is so much more he wishes he could convey to his students in the limited amount of time. Very interesting course.

By Rodrigo A R O

Aug 21, 2018

muy bueno

By Clifton L

Jul 18, 2019

This is one of the best courses I have taken with Coursera. the lectures were excellent and the readings were also wonderful.

By Rabbi M F

May 18, 2019

This is, by far, the best and most interesting course I have taken to date, and I have multiple graduate degrees and seminary coursework under my belt. I have been wanting and waiting for a complete interdisciplinary approach for decades, and finally, this is it!

Thank you, Professor Wright! If only I could take more courses from you!

By Andreina K

Jun 09, 2019

Me encanto

By Alice Z

Jan 21, 2019

Well done basic history tweaked towards the Hebrew Bible veracity.

By CHAN W F P

Jan 10, 2018

Good and cncise historical background for me,

By Robyn B

Oct 14, 2016

I found the background given for the writing of the bible very interesting and gave me a whole new perspective on Hebrew Scriptures.

By Ross M

Jul 26, 2019

The most detailed MOOC I have ever seen. Very high quality videos, presentation and content. I like the fact that there are many links to explore and do futher learning.

Some of the transcription is a little ropey/plain wrong and you have to google what you think you've heard to get the word/name etc. And there are the odd fragments where a question is asked and then it goes off on a tangent and you're not quite sure if you did actually get the answer but otherwise a really, really good course and excellent instructor.

By Joy S

Jan 07, 2017

Very complex and tedious subject.

By Leanne W

Aug 10, 2016

Can't actually be done as a free course, like others on the site; you have to pay just to get a quiz grade.