Chevron Left
Back to The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future

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

4.7
stars
194 ratings
63 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!

DJ

Nov 16, 2019

Excellent course, providing a broad background of the historical Bible, as deep as you care to go and a good companion to the various Bible studies I've taken.

Filter by:

26 - 50 of 62 Reviews for The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future

By Patricia N W

Sep 13, 2018

The first of many classes I intend to take on this subject. Please have others.

A great class that brought many new thoughts and many revelations.

By Dina R

Jun 08, 2016

Very interesting discussion about the writing of the Hebrew Bible. Particularly enjoyed the interviews with experts in the field.

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 David K

Feb 16, 2017

I found this course very interesting, and learnt a great deal about how and why the Bible came to be written.

By Robert T K

May 25, 2020

This is a good introduction to Old Testament archaeology and analysis of the development of its scriptures.

By Lim K B J

Apr 15, 2020

Have given me more historical and objective approach to the Bible, great course ! Thank you !

By Richard H

May 23, 2016

I like Dr. Wright's observation of the Levant bridge between the 2 main powers of the day.

By Sissi D

May 02, 2020

Excellent study, I will be taking more from Emory University! Thank you very much!

By JOHN Q

Mar 25, 2016

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

By Macx S

Dec 06, 2016

Very great course for believers and non belivers, packed with useful information

By jorge e j d

Jan 31, 2018

Muy Bueno. Gracias por este excelente curso. un abrazo desde Bogotá , Colombia

By Russil A

Dec 11, 2016

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

By Edi d

Aug 30, 2016

This course has mad me look at the Bible in a completely new and exciting way.

By Gustavo O

Sep 14, 2018

Very good teacher and the course is amazing! Thank you for share!!

By Saleh M

Nov 03, 2016

it would be better if we could do exams without buying certificate

By Naokichi D

Mar 09, 2018

Enriching historical knowledge in every course material.

By Rosalee C

Aug 07, 2016

This is a very enlightening course. I loved it.

By Sven S

Nov 29, 2018

Great course, very interesting and good lecturer

By David H

May 17, 2018

Great course, it gave me plenty to think about.

By Jereesh K E

Oct 11, 2018

Very much interesting information

By Marco d P

May 16, 2016

Grest course! I do recommend!

By Pamela m k

Aug 14, 2016

Outstanding in every way.

By Guillermo I R

Jul 18, 2017

Un curso excepcional

By Maria C V B

Mar 11, 2020

EXCELENTE MATERIAL!

By Federico C

Jun 07, 2018

Great teacher