BIB 315.01 Joshua-Esther (3 credit hours)

At Ohio Valley University, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community
that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity.

Class days/times: MW 9:35am-11:50am
Location: East Bible Annex, Room #05
Instructor: Bruce Terry
Office: East Bible Annex, Room 201
Phone: (304) 865-6120 (office); (304) 295-6486 (home)
E-mail: bruce.terry@ovu.edu; Web site: http://bterry.com
Office hours:
M  2:00-3:00pm
T  1:00-2:30pm
W 2:00-3:00pm
Th 1:00-2:30pm
F  by appointment

I. Textbooks:

II. Course Description:

BIB 315 Joshua–Esther (3 credits) An examination of Israel’s history from their establishment in the Promised Land to their return from exile, drawing upon historical, exegetical, and archaeological materials. A textual studies course. Offered fall, odd-numbered years.

This course will focus on the books of the Old Testament often known as the books of history. Emphasis will be on knowing the narrative and religious material contained in the text itself. The course will also cover questions of introduction and background, as well as an examination of dating the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah.

III. Rationale:

This course addresses the following objectives of the Bible program:

Objectives For Every Student

Provide students with a more in-depth study of the scriptures than what is gained in introductory studies and/or with training in Christian life and ministry

Objectives For Majors

Provide students with a more in-depth survey study of Old Testament books
Provide students with training in how to study the Bible for themselves

IV. Integrating Faith and Learning:

Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (ESV).  Consequently, this class will use biblical texts and references to texts to help the student grow in faith.  But simply hearing is not enough.  Jesus told those who believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32 ESV).  So it is necessary to keep doing what we learn.  In light of this, this course will also contain references to application of principles learned.  One of the objectives is a faith objective.  It will not be assessed for a grade, but life is such that it will be assessed, one way or another.  My prayer is that you will pass that test of life.

V. Course Objectives and National Standards:

  1. To acquaint the student with the historical events of the Old Testament books of History.
  2. To develop an academic understanding of reading an ancient text such as the Bible and its use in historical reconstruction of events.
  3. To study introductory material to the twelve books of Old Testament History in particular and the Old Testament in general.
  4. To investigate the question of dating procedures used in the books of Kings.
  5. To help the student see the religious experience of Old Testament characters, thus providing a faith building experience.

There are no national standards for undergraduate study of the Bible.  At OVU, we emphasize the biblical text and its application in our lives.

VI. School of Biblical Studies Mission Statement:

At the School of Biblical Studies, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community by encouraging biblical faith to produce life-long truth-seekers who serve God in His kingdom throughout the world.

VII. Course Requirements and Evaluation:

Assessment of whether the objectives have been met will be based on the student's performance on homework and tests assigned by the teacher and on the student's ability to do relevant analysis on his or her own in papers described below. Academic abilities assessed include reading with understanding skills as evidenced by a reading reports and classroom discussion; writing skills as evidenced by typed papers; and memory organization and retention as evidenced by major exams.

Your grade for the class will be based on three major exams (including a comprehensive final exam), eight typed one to three- page papers, one two-bonus-point map on the division of the land of Canaan among the twelve tribes, attendance, and grades from pop quizzes over the reading, collected in-class work, and collected homework. The typed papers are on the following: 1) three two-page introductions described in the following paragraph (honors contract students may substitute a six-page research paper on the copying, transmission, reconstruction, and translation of the Old Testament text, with special emphasis on textual problems in Samuel, or on reconciling apparent contradictions between Samuel-Kings and Chronicles, or other significant approved topic acceptable to teacher); 2) four one-page chapter reports on The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (chapters 1, 2, 3, and 10; students should plan to read chapters 5, 6, and 9 with the corresponding passages in the biblical text) and one one-page article report on McFall's "Translation Guide"; and 3) a three-page lesson on the life of a character in the Books of History with an application to Christians today. The pages listed are full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required) and bibliography (also required). One page is defined as 27 double-spaced typewritten lines (counting the title, but not your name or page numbers) with 1" margins. The typed papers should be written using the Turabian style guide. Exam questions can come from the lectures or assigned readings from either the textbooks or the Old Testament. The final exam will cover material from the whole course.

If the student does not write the six-page research paper with an honors contract, students should write three two-page introductions to three of the books of History studied in this course. Each introduction should include at least two references to print sources such as Old Testament introductions and commentaries besides the textbooks for this course. An introduction should include such items as information on the author, the audience, the date of composition, the background to the letter, relevant culture and geographical information, main ideas, and structure of the book. The introductions should be turned in separately by the first date the Old Testament book is discussed in class. Every time an introduction paper is turned in, it should include a cover sheet and bibliography. Note that the two-pages are two full pages. Do introductions on three of the following eight books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and/or Esther.

The four reading reports over chapters in The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings should be over chapters #1, 2, 3, and 10. Include a brief summary of important things from the essay that you want to remember and any assessment of the author's points that you wish to include. Do the same with the article by McFall for the fifth reading report. The reports will be graded as completed on-time or not, of proper length or not. They should be at least one full page in length.

Ten points will be given for attendance. One point will be deducted for each class missed, including those missed for illness. The only exception to this will be those who miss on official school business and have an official notice to this effect; up to five such absences will not count against the student's grade if the student has no unexcused absences. Two grace days will be given to all students to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace days will be applied first to excused absences.

Class handouts and homework can be found on the Internet at: "http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/history/". Homework may be printed out, done early, and turned in if the student knows of an absence that is coming up. Late homework is accepted for only half credit, since the answers will often be given in class. . Homework over three weeks late is accepted for only quarter credit. If you will miss due to a school excused absence, please pick up and turn in the homework early.

Additional readings/quizzes/essays/maps may be assigned.

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If for some reason you cannot make the due date, please ask my permission to turn the work in late. Late reading reports will be accepted for only half credit, since the readings will be discussed in class. Reports which are both late and short will be accepted only for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than three weeks late will only be accepted for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than six weeks late will only be accepted for one-tenth credit. Realizing that other teachers may assign work due at the same time, I will not dock your grade on the map if it is no more than one (1) week late; however, if it is later than one week, expect to have your grade on that assignment lowered by half. The typed introductions and lesson turned in late will dock the paper grade by one-half letter (5%) per class period late.

No paper will be accepted that is more than two weeks late. A paper that is more than one week late may not be rewritten, except in unusual circumstances. A paper must be at least 75% of assigned length in order to be rewritten. The grade on a paper which is rewritten may be increased on content, length, and mechanical errors. Any rewrite should be turned in within two or three weeks of receiving the original graded paper back. All rewrites should be turned in with the original graded paper. No grade will be given to a paper which contains enough mechanical errors to dock the score by a letter grade (i.e., 40 mechanical errors). It will be turned back without a score and the rewrite counted as late. Be sure to proofread and spell check!

Students who are absent on exam days with good reason may schedule a make-up exam within the next week. You must ask to take a make-up exam.

Students who score less than a 70 on a major exam may petition to retake the exam within a week after grades are returned on it. The highest grade on any retake exam will be 70. Once again, you must ask to retake an exam. There will be no retakes on the final exam. Study hard for it.

Definition of a Credit Hour

The US Department of Education and OVU's accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, have established requirements regarding how much time is required to be spent on a course for each credit hour earned. As a result, all colleges and universities have been required to establish policies that adhere to this definition. In keeping with this requirement, OVU expects you to spend a minimum of two hours outside of class doing course work (reading, doing homework, writing papers, reviewing for tests, etc.) for each hour you spend in the classroom. Because this is a 3-credit hour course, you should expect to spend a minimum of 6 hours each week outside the classroom doing work for it.

Bible Map Instructions

For 2 bonus points draw or trace a map of Palestine following the conquest of Canaan showing at least the following:

Bodies of Water: Mediterranean Sea, Dead Sea, Jordan River, Sea of Galilee

Regions: The twelve tribes and regions of Bashan and Gilead

Cities: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Ai, Hazor (Hatsor), Bethel, Dan, Shiloh, Gibeon, Gibeah, Beth Shan, Megiddo, Hebron, Gath, Ashdod, Ashkelon

Mountains: Nebo, Ebal, Gerizim, Gilboa, Carmel

Extra credit may be given for neatness, detail, and good use of color.

N.B. In lieu of drawing or tracing, it is acceptable to photocopy an outline map of the region and fill it in with the above; however, it is not acceptable to photocopy a map which has any of the above marked on it. You must fill it in. An outline map is available at: http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/gospels/palolmap.htm

VIII. Grading System:

The final grade will be based on your work in the following way:

          three 2-page introductions or 6-page research paper 12%
          four 1-page chapter reports                          8%
          1-page article report                                2%
          3-page lesson on a character                         6%
          Attendance                                          10%
          Pop Quizzes/Homework                                12%
          Major Exams                                         30%
          Final Exam                                          20%

Only in the area of Maps will any extra credit be allowed to exceed these percentages. Your final grade will be A, B, C, D, or F. An A will be given for an average of 100-90, a B for 89-80, a C for 79-70, a D for 69-60, and an F for any average below 60.

IX. Academic Integrity and Scholastic Conduct Policy:

Because Ohio Valley University expects students to follow the highest standards of honorable conduct in all areas of life, it is essential that students maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarizing (whether intentionally misrepresenting another's work as one's own or failing to follow appropriate requirements of documentation), and helping others cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards, as is falsifying records such as those kept for field experiences, practica, internships, etc. Students who engage in these behaviors in a course in which they are enrolled will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, being placed on restricted status (i.e., the student will not be allowed to participate in on-campus activities, including intramurals, and may not represent Ohio Valley University in public events, including athletic competitions, performances, and presentations), or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University.

Students who engage in these behaviors when they are unrelated to a course in which they are enrolled will also face appropriate consequences, which could include being placed on restricted status or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University. If a student believes he or she has been falsely accused of academic dishonesty, or if the student believes the consequences of an incident of academic dishonesty are unjust, the student may ask that the situation be reviewed. To ask for a review, the student should give to the vice president for academic affairs written notice of the appeal and the reasons for it within three business days of being informed of the consequences of the alleged incident; detailed instructions about the appeal procedure are available in the catalog or from the Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not. Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious crime. The maximum penalty at OVU is expulsion from the University.

Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with me. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own.

Professional Dress

Students should dress modestly regardless of the type of clothes that they choose, and be aware that first impressions count and are often dictated by clothing choices. Specifically, members of the University community should avoid clothing that is revealing and/or features offensive slogans, language, or advertisements. Examples of revealing clothing include but are not limited to: midriffs or halters, mesh or netted shirts, tube tops, low cut blouses, and short skirts and shorts exposing the upper thigh. Very tight clothing should be avoided. Examples of offensive slogans, language or advertisements include but are not limited to: curse words, sexually suggestive language or gestures, and references to alcohol or drugs.

Electronic Devices

Please turn cell phones OFF or ON SILENT or ON AIRPLANE MODE before entering class. You may place your cell phone on your desk as a clock; otherwise, keep it put away. The use of cell phones, smartwatches, computers, and tablets for texting, calling, emailing, googling, checking the internet, tweeting, using facebook and snapchat, and/or playing games is not permitted; such is distracting both to the students doing such and the students around them. Please put these electronic devices away. Do not use your device out of sight under the desk. If you should use your device in class without the teacher's permission, you will be asked to put it in the teacher's basket for the duration of the class period. I reserve the right to count you absent should you disregard this. Cell phone, smartwatch, or tablet use for voice, text, or data during a test will result in failure of that test!

X. Policy for Attendance and Tardies:

OVU Catalog:

Regular class attendance is most important. There is the potential for learning during each class session, and these opportunities are irreplaceable. By attending class, students have a deeper and richer learning experience, and they are often exposed to others' viewpoints. Instructors are responsible for recording attendance in each of their classes.

Students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy for each course and clearing excused absences with the instructor. Although students involved in Ohio Valley University activities may need to be excused from a class session, it is the student's responsibility to request the absence from the instructor and to discuss with the instructor how the absence may affect the student's ability to meet course requirements. While instructors should make reasonable accommodations for students who miss class because of Ohio Valley University-sponsored activities (e.g., academic competitions, performances, and athletic competitions) or other sound reasons (e.g., illness or family emergencies), students should recognize that not every course can accommodate absences and that neither the absence nor the notification of the absence will relieve the student from meeting course requirements.

A student who stops attending class sessions (or participating in an online course) for three consecutive weeks without a justifiable reason will be dropped from the course and given a grade of W (Withdrawal) if dropped before the 12th week of the semester; if the student is dropped after the 12th week of the semester, the grade will be F-IW (Failure-Improper Withdrawal). If the course in question is a course from which a student may not withdraw, the grade will be F-IW regardless of when in the semester the student is dropped.

Bible Class attendance policy

A student who is dropped from a required Bible course for violating the university's Class Attendance Policy will receive a grade of F-IW. If this is the first time a student has received a final grade of F-IW in a required Bible course, the student will be placed on Bible Course Probation for the next full semester. While on Bible Course Probation, a student will not be allowed to participate in university-sponsored activities, including student organizations and intramurals, and may not hold an elective campus office. In addition, a student on Bible Course Probation will not be allowed to represent Ohio Valley University at various events, including performances (except those required as part of a course), intercollegiate athletics, and other competitions. If this is the second time a student has received a grade of F-IW in a required Bible course, the student will be suspended from the university for one semester. See the catalog section "Bible Class Attendance Policy" for additional details.

Course Policy:

Attendance in class is mandatory; it will be part of the basis for the grade given. If you cannot attend for good reason, either notify me beforehand or as soon as possible afterward. This applies even if you have an excused absence. You will be expected to do all work of any classes missed, except for pop quizzes. If you do not intend to attend regularly, kindly withdraw from the class now.

Do NOT miss class simply because you do not have an assignment finished. Do NOT miss class if you can possibly come; save any absences for sickness or death in the family. If you have an extended illness, please contact me to let me know.

Kindly try to be a class on time. If you are consistently tardy for no good reason, I reserve the right to count three tardies as an absence. I do count half absences.

If you have to leave early, please inform me before class. Do not schedule extra work, doctor's appointments, etc. during class time if at all possible. If you are too frequent in leaving early, I reserve the right to count early departures as a partial absence, adversely affecting your grade.

Absences may be excused if you bring me documentation that you were hospitalized, ill with a contagious disease, involved in an accident, on school business (up to five hours), or there was a death in the immediate family. More than five hours of absences which include three hours of unexcused absence will result in your being dropped from the course with either a W or an F at my discretion. You may pay a fine and petition to be reinstated. Additional unexcused absences will result in your being dropped without future reinstatement. No credit will be given for a course in which absences, both excused and unexcused, total more than 30% of the hours of the course (i.e., as many as 15 class hours, counting each class as 1½ hours; that is a total of 10 class periods). Should you approach this limit, you will be asked to withdraw from the course (if possible). I reserve the right to drop you from the course as a warning at any time once you have at least 5 total absences. If you are dropped for any reason, reinstatement is not guaranteed and will be granted only if a plan for success is presented. Note well: Absences may adversely affect your grade, as outlined above under the topic Course Requirements. A drop from your only Bible course may affect your ability to enroll in the next semester.


If (and only if) you are unable to complete assigned work for the class because of an extraordinary life-event, you may request a grade of Incomplete. The request must be made through the registrar's office seven calendar days prior to the last day of class, and the vice president for academic affairs reviews these requests. The procedure is defined in the OVU catalog.

XI. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the office of the provost as soon as possible. After your disability has been verified, I will work with you and the provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

XII. Bibliography:

The bibliography will be given as the course progresses.

XIII. Course Calendar:

MAJOR EXAM DATES:   Exam 1 -- Monday, October 7, 2019
                    Exam 2 -- Wednesday, November 6, 2019
                    Final Exam -- Monday, December 9, 2019
                                  10:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Tentative Course Plan

 8/21/19 -- Introduction to the Course

 8/26/19 -- Dating Old Testament History
            homework: for each class period below, read the text assigned in
                         the previous class and do any written homework given
                      read Intro. to the OT (IOT) on Joshua
 8/28/19 -- Joshua 1-6

 9/ 2/19 -- Labor Day (no school)
           homework: Bible map on the division of the land due
 9/ 4/19 -- Joshua 7-11, 14

 9/ 9/19 -- Joshua 18, 20, 22-24
            homework: read the IOT on Judges
 9/11/19 -- Judges 1-4

 9/16/19 -- Judges 6-9, 11-12:7
 9/18/19 -- Judges 13-21

            homework: read the IOT on Ruth
 9/23/19 -- Ruth
            homework: read the IOT on I & II Samuel
            homework: chapter 1 report on The Mysterious Numbers due
 9/25/19 -- I Samuel 1-11

            homework: chapter 2 report on The Mysterious Numbers due
 9/30/19 -- I Samuel 12-20
            homework: chapter 3 report on The Mysterious Numbers due
10/ 2/19 -- I Samuel 21-31

            homework: study for exam
10/ 7/19 -- Major Exam
            homework: chapter 10 report on The Mysterious Numbers due
10/ 9/19 -- II Samuel 1-8

            homework: article report on McFall's "Translation Guide" due
10/14/19 -- II Samuel 9-16
10/16/19 -- II Samuel 17-24

            homework: read the IOT on I & II Kings
10/21/19 -- I Kings 1-12
            homework: alternative research paper due
10/23/19 -- I Kings 13-22

10/28/19 -- II Kings 1-8
10/30/19 -- II Kings 9-17

            homework: study for exam
11/ 4/19 -- II Kings 18-25
11/ 6/19 -- Major Exam
11/ 8/19 -- Last Day to Drop a Class with a "W"--Stick with it to the end!

            homework: read the IOT on I & II Chronicles
11/11/19 -- I Chronicles
            homework: lesson on Old Testament character due
11/13/19 -- II Chronicles

11/18/19 -- II Chronicles
            homework: read IOT on Ezra-Nehemiah
11/20/19 -- Ezra


12/ 2/19 -- Nehemiah
            homework: read IOT on  Esther
12/ 4/19 -- Esther

WEEK SIXTEEN: Final Exam Week
            homework: study for final exam
12/ 9/19 -- Final Exam (10:00-11:50am)

N. B.: Homework is listed before the class for which it is due!


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