Course Summary

An investigation into the world of the Ancient Near East

The course focuses on the economic, geographical, literary, political, religious, and social environment in which the events recorded in the Old Testament transpired.  Included is a synopsis of early civilizations: Sumerian, Akkadian, Amorite, Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Hittite, Hurrian, Israelite, Kassite, and Persian. 3 semester hours of graduate credit.


• Recognize major personalities and events within a geographical and historical framework 

• Analyze ancient sources and the role of archaeology in understanding the history of the Ancient Near East.

• Compare Ancient Near Eastern history with the biblical record

Credit. Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on three multiple choice examinations, a research paper, and an essay. Each element is valued at 20% of the final grade. A sample multiple choice problem is given below:

Mark the incorrect answer: A unique characteristic of the god Bel is (A) his exclusiveness, (B) his identification with prayer, (C) his identification with sacrifice, (D) his identification with Babylon.


Internet links imbedded within the course syllabus

Other textbooks and collateral reading may be accessed through the Electronic Collection with no cost to the student.  If, however, the student prefers hardcopy works, the following are recommended.:

Currid, John D. Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament. Baker Academic, 1997. 272 pages. $30. ISBN: 978-0801021374

Foster, Benjamin R. and Karen Polinger Foster. Civilizations of Ancient Iraq. Reprint ed. Princeton University Press, 2011. 312 pages. $31.09. ASIN: B012HTW21G

Hoerth, Alfred, Gerald L. Mattingly, and Edwin M. Yamauchi, eds. Peoples of the Old Testament World. North American ed. Baker Academic, 1998. 400 pages. $24.96. ISBN: 978-0801021960

Matthews, Victor H. and Don C. Benjamin. Social World of Ancient Israel, 1250-587 BCE. Baker Academic, 2005. 352 pages. $27.20. ISBN: 978-0801047077