BIB6320EN - Advanced Mission of God in OT Poetry

Course description

Ancient Israelite poetry has received renewed attention. This course introduces students to trends, trajectories and defining contributions in the study of Israelite poetry. The student will analyze critical presuppositions and ideologies at work in the study of Hebrew poetry, with attention given to the missiological function of poetry in Israel and the importance of God’s mission in its composition and use.

How this course benefits students

The course examines the missiological message in the composition of Hebrew poetry. These poetic compositions invigorated the worship and spirituality of ancient Israel through the celebration and description of God’s saving acts on behalf of Israel.The understanding of the missiological importance of the Old Testament poetry will directly impact the student’s teaching, preaching and interpretation of God’s word, and further enhance the recognition and appreciation of God’s saving acts in his/her lives.

Why this course is important

Old Testament poetry describes Yahweh’s deeds of salvation on behalf of ancient Israel. However, the story of salvation in ancient Israelite poetry has its climax in the revelation of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. This understanding of God’s works of salvation in Israelite poetic composition naturally demands the need to help students understand as well as participate in the celebration and appreciation of God’s sovereign redemptive plan in salvation of the world.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Biblical Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Scobie Smith, Senior Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The course is committed to the study of God’s word through the diligent study of Hebrew poetry.

Missionally driven

The study is missiologically-driven by its quest to read and understand Old Testament poetry from the perspective of mission.

Contextually informed

Acts of God in the Old Testament are celebrated in the composition of Hebrew poetry. This celebration of God’s acts of salvation sung in Hebrew poetry occurred within a specific historical context. The contextual character of God’s salvation in Israel’s poetry inevitably suggests the need for the students to develop familiarity with the contextual dimension of Hebrew poetry and the implication of this dimension in the interpretation of God’s word.

Interculturally focused

God’s message of salvation in ancient Israel’s poetry has also an intercultural dimension particularly in the celebration of God’s salvation and victory over the nations. This intercultural dimension of God’s victory over the nations demands the complementing message of God’s love and grace to the nations of the earth.

Practically minded

The God of the Old Testament reveals himself in history as a God of mission who is practically involved with the suffering and pains of his people expressed in ancient Hebrew poetry. The God of ancient Israelite poetry is dedicated towards the salvation of his people. This description of God in ancient Israelite poetry demands from the students the need to practically participate in God’s continuous works of salvation for the redemption of individuals and communities.

Experientially transformed

The course encourages synergy between the knowledge of God’s mission as laid out in the Old Testament poetry and the need for an experiential encounter with God in one’s daily life.