Video on Modern Biblical Scholarship

Many outstanding courses, lectures, and videos on modern Biblical scholarship are available on the web, some free and some for a modest fee. We have listed some of the best. You can link to them by clicking on the icons below. 


Open Yale Courses RLST 145: INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT (HEBREW BIBLE) (Professor Christine Hayes)

This twenty-four lecture course is free. According to the course description: "This course examines the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) as an expression of the religious life and thought of ancient Israel, and a foundational document of Western civilization. A wide range of methodologies, including source criticism and the historical-critical school, tradition criticism, redaction criticism, and literary and canonical approaches are applied to the study and interpretation of the Bible. Special emphasis is placed on the Bible against the backdrop of its historical and cultural setting in the Ancient Near East." Christine Hayes is the Robert F. and Patricia Ross Weis Professor of Religious Studies at Yale. Lectures 13 (on 1 and 2 Samuel) and 14 (on 1 and 2 Kings) are particularly relevant to the subject matter of this book." Professor Hayes has published a book based on these lectures, which can be purchased by clicking here.

Harvard's Course on The Hebrew Bible (Professor Shaye Cohen) (select "Watch a Lecture with Notes" in the menu)

This twenty-five lecture course is free. According to the course description: "This course 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. James Kugel, former Harvard professor and author of the course’s textbook, contends that these ways of reading the Bible are mutually exclusive. Professor Cohen respectfully disagrees." Shaye J. D. Cohen is the Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of Harvard University. Lectures 16 ("Saul, Samuel, David, Solomon") and 17 ("Divided Monarchy; Prophets") are particularly relevant to the subject matter of this book.

Lectures by Professor James Kugel (Harvard)

This series of four lectures were given by Professor James Kugel of Harvard University, speaking at Israel's Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. Professor Kugel was the Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University for twenty-one years. He retired from Harvard to become Professor of Bible at Bar Ilan University in Israel, where he also served as chairman of the Department of Bible. Two of his books on ancient and modern Biblical scholarship are highly accessible to lay readers: How to Read the Bible and The Bible as it Was. You can purchase them by clicking on their titles, and his web site (which includes more videos) is accessible by clicking here.

PROFESSOR Richard Elliott Friedman's Course on The Hebrew Bible (University of Georgia)

Twenty-seven lectures by the author of Who Wrote the Bible? This course is not free, but the cost is less than $1 per hourlong lecture and is well worth the price! According to the course description: "An introduction to the books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) that tell its core story, from creation to the time of great empires. Learn from a leading researcher in the field, the author of the bestselling, most-assigned book on the subject, Who Wrote the Bible? Encounter the narrative books from literary, historical, and archaeological perspectives. Address real questions of what in the Bible is historical and what is not. See the world of the ancient Near East that produced it. See the Bible’s conception of God, covenant, and how to relate to one’s fellow human beings."Professor Friedman is the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and is the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. His web site is accessible by clicking here.

The Bible Unearthed (Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman)

Documentary series on Biblical archaeology (available for purchase). This four-episode series, based on the book of the same name by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman (available here) shows video of the actual archaeological sites discussed in the book.