Dr. Ted Hildebrandt, OT History, Lit., and Theology,
© 2012, Dr. Ted Hildebrandt
A. Course Introduction [0:0-3:29]
Ok class, let’s get started. The clock in here is about five minutes slow so we’ll have to remember that at quitting time. But right now, we’ll get started. This is Old Testament History, Literature and Theology class, and welcome all of you to this classroom. The other class has previously heated and warmed it up for you. Let’s get these folks some syllabi. As we said, this is Old Testament History, Literature and Theology course and so you’re in the right class. We will be, in this class, believe it or not, after the first day you’re going to say this is crazy, but we’ll be video-taping this whole course. What I hope to do is to make the tapes available online. You’ll have to give me the weekend to work on rendering and editing the video. I’m going to try to get them up every Monday. Kyle Lincoln will be our TA for the class and he’s going to be our video-tape expert back there. He will also be running review sessions for this class. When we get toward the exams there’ll be review sessions. Kyle will be running those. So he’s the guy you need to know.
Let’s open with a word of prayer and then we’ll jump into an introduction to the course. Alright, let’s begin. “Father, we thank you so much for your word. We thank you that you’ve expressed your love, your anger, and your expectations of humankind over the thousands of years that are represented in the Old Testament. Thank you that you allow us, in this course, to see your different relationships with people for so many centuries, and with so many different types of people. Father, we are very different types of people, we seek to know you, we seek to love you, and we seek to worship you. We pray that this course might lead to those ends; that we might honor and glorify you, which is the chief end of man. We thank you for your presence here with us. In Christ’s name, Amen.”
This is Old Testament. I think I’d like to begin just going over the syllabus. We’ll try to get the lay of the land, and by the way, it’s alright not to catch everything in this first class hour, it’ll come over time. We’re just beginning the semester. So let’s just go through this. You see my name: I’m Dr. Ted Hildebrandt. I go by Hildebrandt, or by Ted, just don’t call me Teddy.
Speaking to student: Yes, ma’am? You need a syllabus? Okay.
My contact information is there, I do a lot of emailing. I’m sorry I do old emailing, I don’t do the Facebook. There’s an old system they call email; do you know how to use that system? If you don’t we can work with CET and they can get you going with that. I realize it’s an outdated system but that’s what I still use. Sorry, I’m mocking myself out at this point. I’m over in Frost 304, third floor Frost; there’s a bunch of Profs up there. My phone number extension is 4412, and my email is there. My hours: I’m in there most mornings, I usually come in about 8:30 or 9:00, so I’m usually in from 8:30 or 9:00, till noon. So if you have any questions or want to drop in and talk about something, feel free to drop in. I’m generally in 8:30-noon type of thing. I’m usually there for most of that time.
B. Syllabus Read Through
So, let’s do the course description: “This is a course in Old Testament History, Literature and Theology. It examines the Old Testament in terms of its history.” History is going to be really important in the Old Testament because God is going to do these incredible things in history. In other words, this book is not just myth and legends, these events actually happened in history. So it records for us the mighty acts of God in history.
C. Importance of culture in the revelatory and
interpretive process [3:59-7:38]
We’ll be teaching this against a cultural background. In other words, this book, the Bible, comes to us from a very different culture than what you folks are used to in the 21st century. Okay, Moses wrote in 1400 BC, Abraham lived in 2000 BC – that’s 3000-4000 years ago. So the culture was very, very different. Does culture make a difference when you try to understand somebody? Does culture make a big difference? Yes. So we’ve got to realize the cultural impact of that. The Bible will be written in the Hebrew language. I dare say there are very few people, although I had one Jewish fellow in the last class, who can do some Hebrew. It’s written in the Hebrew language, and does language affect how things get communicated? Sometimes different kinds of things can get communicated by the language, and so the language itself is really important. By the way, the Hebrew people, read backwards. They read, from right to left; we read the other way. Now, did you notice I said “backwards,” do you see what I just did? Is that a cultural thing? Would they say we read backwards? What I’m saying is the language is different.
When God comes in the Old Testament and gives us poetry, is the poetry that he gives us “good American poetry?” No. Do you realize, Hebrew poetry does not use rhyme and meter? Rhyme and meter are so embedded in the English language, yet they are not even used by the Hebrews; they don’t do poetry like that. They rhyme thoughts using parallelism. So it’s a whole different way of doing poetry.
By the way, did God adapt himself to that culture? Does God adapt himself to culture? That’s a bigger question. Or does God come down and say, “Hey, this is who I am. You guys do it my way or it’s the highway!” Does God adapt himself; when God comes down to write poetry, does he write Hebrew poetry? Yes, he does. So he adapts to their language and culture and that affects a lot of things in how he’s going to communicate.
Have you ever tried communicating in another culture? I’m not talking about, “I was down in New York City and we went cross-cultural” No. I’m talking, have you ever lived in a different culture where everyone around you is of that other culture? Does that affect how you communicate? Everything’s different. It is an interesting experience. Hopefully, you’ll have a chance to do that at Gordon College. In some senses you’ll do that here because we’ll be going through the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is going to take us back 3000 years. So culture is an important influence, in terms of how God expresses himself and how people understand, what they hear.
By the way, does your culture affect how you hear this book? Are you locked into your 21st century culture? Have your schools prepared you, trained you, and actually PC-ized you? You’re Americans and you’re trained in a certain way. When you read content of the Old Testament are you going to be shocked? You’re going to be shocked because the stuff is so different from what you’re used to hearing. We have our perspectives in America that we’re so used to hearing them. We pride ourselves in diversity, right? I just laugh because I don’t think so. We’re diverse within the narrow scope of that little PC circle. But what happens here when you get into the Bible, there’s no PC consensus. It’s just raw life as it happens with all its ups and downs. You’ve got to wrestle with that. So I’ll be jamming that in your face and watching you squirm; and some of that content is going to be shocking. It still kind of shocks me at times. So culture’s a big thing.
D. Significance of Geography in Reading Texts [7:39-10:51]
Geography is another thing that’s really important. I lived in Israel back after the Civil War for a year. My wife and I lived in Israel and so I got to know the places, why? I walked those places. When it talks about going from the Mount of Olives and back into the temple area and Jesus riding a donkey—I’ve walked that road. I don’t want to tell you how many times, but probably hundreds of times. I’ve climbed the Mount of Olives. I even climbed in eight inches of snow one time just to get a picture. What I’m saying, when you know a place, it’d be like saying Jesus went to Danvers and went to the mall. Now question: Do you where Danvers is? Do you know where the mall is? When it says that, you know exactly where it is and you understand what’s going on.
By the way, does geography affect things? Let me just put it this way, how many of you are from Massachusetts? Does geography affect things? How many of you are from New Hampshire? Question, you people from New Hampshire, does geography affect things? Is New Hampshire different from Massachusetts? You say, “Thank the Lord.” Okay, Massachusetts is different than New Hampshire. If you go to New Hampshire, they will tell you that. By the way, does anybody come from Maine? Is Maine different than the other two? I’m from, actually the honest truth is I don’t know where I’m from anymore. I was originally from the Niagara Falls, New York area, and I lived in Israel and Tennessee. I lived in Tennessee for a while. My wife said “I ain’t raising my kids to talk like that.” I kind of liked it myself; but she didn’t. She’s an English major, so she’s taught me how to speak proper –“ly.”
But what I’m saying is, is geography significant? Let me just give an example. If you’re from Tennessee, do you grow up in a different world in Tennessee than it is in Massachusetts, seriously. Is there a difference between the hills of Tennessee; are they very different than what you’d get in Massachusetts? Yes. Does that geography affect a person’s worldview if they’re from the Midwest, for example, or if they’re from Texas, or if they’re from Alabama? Okay, so, geography affects things.
We’re going to learn to read geography almost like a language. You learn to read geography like a language, in terms of what types of things are reflected. Is New York City different than Virginia? Okay, in a city context are you going to get one kind of worldview and are you going to get a very different way of being in West Virginia? Tell me about Galilee versus Jerusalem. Galilee is where a bunch of hicks lived. So Jesus is from there. So when he comes down into the city of Jerusalem things change. You need to learn how to read geography and how that affects things.
Literary backgrounds: the Bible uses literary forms; God uses the literary forms of that day. So we’re going to get into things like the book of Deuteronomy. All of a sudden you’re going to be reading the book of Deuteronomy and you’re going to be saying, “Holy cow, look at that!” It’s almost exactly like a Hittite treaty form. The Hittites had their treaties and the book of Deuteronomy fits that literary form almost to a “T”. Did God use the Hittite treaty to structure the whole book of Deuteronomy? Very likely. So, in other words, are there literary factors? God writes Hebrew poetry as he does in Psalms. We’ll be learning Psalms like, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” But you’ll notice, they don’t use rhyme and meter like we do in English; they do parallelism and parallelism of thought. It’s a whole different way of doing poetry. I love it; that’s actually my area of expertise--Hebrew poetry. It’s beautiful. So there are literary conventions that even God will observe.
One of those will be the Hebrew language. He’ll come down and speak in Hebrew. Actually, let me just harass you guys up front: Was Adam’s name really “Adam”? [student response] Well, “Adam” means “man” in Hebrew. Question: did Adam and Eve speak Hebrew? I want you to think about that just for a second. Did Adam and Eve speak Hebrew? Adam’s name is “man”; Eve’s name is Havah. You know havah because you say, “la-heim.” Does anyone say that? Alright, La-heim is a Jewish toast that means “to life.” Havah’s her name, you call her Eve. Havah’s name is built off “to life.” Adam and Eve’s names mean something in Hebrew. Question: could Adam speak Hebrew? And the answer is, I’ll tell you flat out, he couldn’t have spoken Hebrew, nor was his name really “Adam” because, frankly the Hebrew language did not exist before 1800 BC. If the Hebrew language did not exist, how could the guy be given a Hebrew name?
Then you say “uh-oh, the whole Bible’s off, Adam and Eve just disappeared.” But what I’m saying is, are “Adam” and “Eve” translations of their original names probably? Did they translate names between cultures? Excuse me, some of you in this class, is your name a translation from your culture into our culture? Yes. So is that anything threatening? The answer is “no”. They’ve got names, and his name was - who knows what it was, but when they translated it into Hebrew, God says they’ve got to understand, his name originally meant “man” and so they just called him “Adam”. By the way, do we translate it from Hebrew into English? When it comes into English are there any problems when going between the Hebrew and English? Yes, there are. So all I’m saying is, you’ve got to deal with the Hebrew language, and we’ll look at. Language is important. So we’re going to look at literary backgrounds.
F. Historical Background [13:56-14:09]
Ancient Near Eastern historical background: they’ve dug up all these archeological artifacts and we’ll be noticing the archeology and what that’s done to help us understand the Bible. Archeology, comparative history, literature, theological themes, and various things will help us understand the Old Testament better.
G. Introduction to the Old
Western culture, I’ll explore that as well for the application of these texts as the foundation for spirituality. I will in this course, and it will bother some people, but I will teach you the heavy stuff to try to get you to understand the Old Testament. You will learn the content of much of the Old Testament. Is the Old Testament too big for you guys to do in a semester? Seriously, the New Testament is one third the size of the Old Testament. The Old Testament’s huge. So we’ll cover some of it; I’d rather do some of it well then to shotgun through it. We’ll do basically the history section. The thing with the history is this: if I can get you interested in the history, and I will try my best to get you interested in the history, if the history of the Old Testament is interesting, tell me about the prophets. Are they really interesting? And is the poetry really beautiful? So we’ll spend a lot of time on the history and the history will lay the background for the poetry and the prophets.
Next is personal spirituality. My goal for this course is to have you love the Old Testament. When you’re done, basically I hope you’ll love God and you’ll love his Word. In order to do this personal spirituality approach, what I do is I tell a lot of personal stories. Some of the students like the personal stories because it makes the class more fun and they get to see how schizophrenic I am. I do that on purpose, though; the reason is that I want you to see modeled someone who is taking the word of God, the Old Testament, and showing the connection with 21st century life. I will attempt to make the connection with something that’s three-thousand years old and the 21st century. I want you to see how that works out in one individual’s life and I want you to see stories that will illustrate it from a very personal perspective. So think about that and how we think about God on a personal level.
H. Knowing the God of the Old Testament [15:59-20:11]
What I love about the Old Testament is this: (I’ve
got to be careful with my illustrations now) suppose a young man is dating a
young woman and he only knows this young woman in a work context. Suppose they
work at MacDonald’s together. Okay, they both work at MacDonald’s and they see
each other a lot only at MacDonald’s. Question: When he only sees her in one
context, does he really know her? How do you get to know a person? Do you get
to know a person by seeing them in many, many different contexts; seeing them
under stress, seeing them with their parents, is that pretty important? Seeing
them with their parents, seeing them with their siblings, seeing them with
their nieces, seeing them with their teachers, their authoritative figures,
seeing them on the job, seeing them off the job. How do they party? When you
see somebody in a hundred different situations, then you get to know the
person. We are going to get to see God over a period of about 1500 years.
God, in the Old Testament, is going to deal with hundreds and hundreds of
people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the 12 brothers, Moses, Aaron, Miriam,
etc. We’re going to see God interacting with hundreds of people and what I’m
going to try to show is that God is very different than what you may have grown
up to think.
So I think all of us, including the professor, have what I call “idols of the mind,” in other words, false ways we conceptualize God. Part of becoming Christian is having your view of God blown apart. Not blown apart into atheism, but blown apart into worshiping God for who he really is. Wonder, that’s what I’m going to try to do, I’m just going to put the cards on the table. I hope to prepare you to wonder at the mystery of God. What’s cool about wonder?
Let me just use myself for an example. Okay, so I go into the library, my brother—I was a little slow when I was in college—set me up with my wife basically in the library. He was trying to sell her some drugs [No-Doz]. She wouldn’t take the “drugs.” So he comes home to me, and I’ll never forget it, he walks into the house and says, “Ted,” now see, I was his older brother and I was kind of “straight” which meant “weird” back in those days. He was doing all sorts of really bad stuff, and he tried to drop some of the stuff on her and she wouldn’t take it. So he comes home and he says, “Ted, you’ve got to meet this girl. She is as weird as you are! You got to meet this girl.” So, I went to the library, and met her in the library and asked her out to Handel’s “Messiah,” which she wanted to see. So we went out then.
Question, do I know my wife (this has
been 36 years now)? Are there still things about my wife that I still don’t
understand after 36 years? I want to tell you, you know what wonder is when
you’re fascinated with another person and you want to get to know them really intimately.
Are there all sorts of things that come up in all sorts of different contexts with
our children? They raise these issues and she goes off on one thing and I go
off on exactly the opposite. Then we’ve got to get our act together because the
kids are playing us off against one another. Okay, it is the good cop, bad cop
game. In the process we have to deal with each other.
So what I want to tell you, what I want to do is to create toward God that notion of the mystery of someone whom you love, and so you want to explore who they are. God has sent us a love letter in his word—his Bible. When you really care about someone, do you notice little things about them? What I’m saying is the Bible going to tell us a whole lot of things about God and I want you to become fascinated and enamored with that. God becomes the object of your love, the object of your wonder, your mystery, and you get caught up in that. Sorry for going off on that but it’s one of the main purposes of the course: knowing God.
I. Other Course Goals [20:12-20:44]
Course goals, know the basic content of the Old Testament. People know the New Testament, Jesus walks on the water; people know a lot of the New Testament. A lot of the Old Testament people don’t know. Once we get out of Genesis and when we hit Leviticus it’s over. So Genesis is good, everybody knows Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, and those kind of things. So Genesis is a good way to break in, but once we get out of there we’re going to be swimming. So we’ll learn the content of the Old Testament. I’m big on content learning.
J. Transmission and Translation of the Bible [20:45-22:59]
How did the Bible come down to us? What is its
origin and transmission? I hold up this Bible (I use an NIV now). How did
this NIV come into existence? Did God write the NIV? No, you know who wrote
the NIV? Marv Wilson. Okay, that was supposed to be a joke; apparently it
didn’t go over too well. The honest truth is he was one of the translators of
the NIV. Now I don’t think he advertises that. Question, is it possible for
Marv Wilson to make a mistake? You don’t know Marv Wilson. No. So therefore
you’re guaranteed that certain books are alright.
But one thing we need to do right up front, is I see some of you getting really serious on me, do you understand sarcasm? Let me explain sarcasm. Now this is very important and it’s very important to be said on tape. When I say something sarcastic, that means I meant the exact opposite of what I just said. If you take it for what I’ve just said, we will totally miss each other. Okay, so what I just said, Dr. Wilson is one of the greatest men I’ve ever met in my life; that’s the truth. Now the truth is he does make mistakes. Like all humans, he makes mistakes. Now he makes a lot less than I do, but he’s quite a person. You’ll be reading, by the way, his book, Our Father Abraham. It’s a classic around here at Gordon. We’ll be talking about that in a minute.
What I’m trying to say is, how did the Bible come down to us? How did Dr. Wilson get it? Well, you say, he translated it from Hebrew, because he knows Hebrew so well. That’s true. Where did he get the Hebrew text from? Well, the Hebrew text came from a thousand A.D. But where did those people from a thousand A.D. get it from? It came from Moses all the way down to us. Did it have to get copied over and over again? When the people copied it, did they ever make mistakes? When people translated it, from Hebrew into Greek, and then Greek into the Latin Vulgate, did they ever make mistakes? When it comes over into English, do different translations disagree with each other? Which one do you pick? So how did the Bible come from way back then, and how does it come down to us now? We want to trace that out and be honest with our endeavors in that.
So there’s a whole bunch of things here as far as goals and I don’t want to belabor that point. So let’s jump into the textbooks on page two here. Jump over to your textbooks. In this course there’s basically one, no two, things you’ve got to purchase. One thing you should have is a Bible. What translations are up to you. Do most of you use the NIV? How many of you use NIV? A lot of you use NIV. I know some of the translators. It’s a good translation and was done by good people. Does anybody use the NRSV? The NRSV, okay, Kyle, are there others? NRSV is the New Revised Standard Version, it’s a good version also. It was done in a more, how shall I say, broad English, more than just American English kind of way. Anybody use the ESV? Okay, ESV and RSV are like this. The ESV is, in my opinion, and by the way, let me just do this. When I walk over here, that means I am giving you my opinion; over there is the Bible, this is my opinion. Do I have a right to an opinion? Yes, but when I walk over here, do you trust that or not trust that? It’s me, trust it. What I’m trying to tell you is, this is my opinion and I could be wrong. But I have checked the ESV out in thousands of places and basically it’s a knock-off of the NRSV. But the NRSV is very good. ESV is good. Does anybody use the NLT, New Living Translation? You’ve got to be really careful with that one. Okay, especially in the book of Proverbs and other places you have to be very careful with the NLT. Sometime just look up the book of Proverbs in there and just see the problems with it. [Sad joke I was one of the translators of the NLT for Proverbs.] I’m saying that with a smirk on my face.
So what other translations do we have? King James Version, does anybody do King James? You’ll notice I will often quote out of the King James. I will often be looking at the NIV but I’ll be reading King James in my head because when I was a kid I was trained in the King James Version [KJV] and the King James is still very deep in me. The King James is one of the most beautiful translations ever done anywhere. It’s a phenomenal piece of work. Does anybody use the New King James Version? The New King James Version is very helpful and takes out a lot of the “thee’s” and “thou’s” that makes it more readable. It’s a well done translation, the New King James. Those are all fine.
L. Introduction of the DASV [Digital American Standard Version] [25:23-28:33]
Now I want to introduce something to you guys. About two years ago I had girl in class who had trouble seeing. When I gave her a test I gave her a forty-six page test because, the font had to be over 24 pt. So each page was one or two questions, it was all I could get on some pages. She had trouble seeing. Secondly, the year before last, I don’t want to use her name, but a girl sat right down in front, a great person, but she was blind, and she went around with a cane. Then I wondered how do you get the word of God into somebody like that? They need to be able to, in case of the one, I don’t want to say her name, but let me just make up a name, Janice, had to be able to blow up the font. By the way, is a computer a wonderful thing for blowing up the font? Have you guys ever done that with the web where you push “control +” and you can make the font grow right on your screen. “Control –“ shrinks it down again.
So what I decided to do was to make my own translation of the Bible, and you say that’s really arrogant and it probably is and it’s probably stupid. Anyway I did it. What I’m calling it is the DASV. DASV is the Digital American Standard Version. It is built off the ASV of 1901. I used the ASV as the basis then I modified it and updated it. What’s the advantage when it’s in digital format? It’s online. If it’s on the screen, can you print it? Yes, it’s in PDF, it’s in DOC (you guys use DOC, Microsoft Word), it’s in HTML. Do you guys use PDF, HTML, DOC? What’s the advantage of putting it in DOC? Can you drop it in your word processor? Can you cut and paste it? Yes. What’s the advantage of PDF? It can be read on Macs and PCs and wherever. What’s the advantage of HTML? When you click it, it jumps on the screen instantly. HTML is the language of the web. Plus I also then made, unfortunately with my voice, what are called audio MP3s. Now in the old days they used to have these things you’d put on your arm, they used to be called, I think it was i-pods. You put these things on your arm and then you put these things in your ears and you kind of go around with this thing and you go out jogging. Or if you’re my wife and you’ve got to travel to Lowell every day and you’re traveling an hour and ten minutes in the car you cut the MP3 and put it on a CD. Do you ever listen to books while you’re in the car because you’re traveling two and a half hours a day to go to work? So there are MP3 audios for the whole Bible. This means then, can you listen to the Scriptures? So that’s one of the advantages to the DASV. I’m exploring other things such as images, images with text and combining images with texts and the digital format allows me to do that. That’s up online and to be honest with you, two weeks ago Thursday, I finally finished it. After a long time, I finally finished it, and it’s at my editor’s now, Chronicles will be the last book. My editor is my mother. She’s editing the last part of it. But anyway, the DASV [Digial American Standard Version] is available online for anyone who wants to use that as well.
M. Our Father Abraham by Dr. Marv
Now the only book that you have to purchase for this class is Dr. Marv Wilson’s book Our Father Abraham. It’s a classic here. It’s done by Dr. Wilson, who teaches at Gordon. Are there used copies of Our Father Abraham all over this campus? Every student that’s come here has had to buy this book, so there are used copies all over the place. So you should be able to get it fairly cheaply.
Let me explain the last part of this class, as far as what’s required for this class. Let me walk over here to do that. The honest truth is, as I look at you guys, I could never have sat where you’re sitting. When I went through college I was really poor. I ended up working forty hours a week and going to school. You say, “Oh, that’s really something working forty hours and going to school that’s must have been neat.” When you work forty hours a week and go to school full time in engineering, it’s not neat. It’s not fun, it’s a lot of down-right work and it’s a real hassle. But I was dirt poor and my parents and no one in my family went to college. So I was the first one. This collar that I wear is white now, but that collar is really blue. Blue to the core; my parents never went to college. So I was the only one who went to college. My parents didn’t have any money; they could barely afford to live. So did I grow up with a real sense of what money meant and the accompanying limitations of not having it?
Well, five years ago, I was assigning books for this class and the books were getting up to almost a hundred bucks. Have you guys bought your books? Have you paid a hundred bucks for books for classes? Old Testament was starting to be a hundred dollars for books. I said, “This is crazy.” If I were a student and I came to this class and I was going to be charged a hundred dollars for books that would not be good. I thought there’s got to be a better way to do this. I also know what it’s like to publish books. I have published books and CDs etc., etc. Question: how much does the publisher make? Let me put it this way, this is my wife’s thing, she says, “you spent all summer working on this article on wisdom literature, and they published it in the InterVarsity Dictionary for Wisdom and Poetry.” So I spent all summer working on it and we’re talking two to three-hundred hours-worth of work. How much do I get paid for that? I’ll just be flat out honest, how much did I get paid for that? Two hundred and fifty dollars. Figure it out. My wife is a CPA—she did. And she said, “you’re making less than a dollar an hour. Why don’t you go to a Sam’s Club or Wal-Mart and be a greeter, at least you’ll make minimum wage. That would be a 600% increase, Ted, instead of writing all this stupid stuff.” What I’m telling you is, the publishers make 90% and the authors make less than 10%.
So now, my thing is and this is what I’m really into, leverage the Internet. Leverage the digital medium for the good of others and for the glory of God. Now how do we do that? Well that means I know a lot of scholars now because I’m an old man. I go around to my buddies and friends and I say, “Hey, you got a copyright on that article, can we use that article at Gordon College? Can I post it up online?” Now question, when I post it up on line, what’s the advantage of that? Can I now post it in full text (HTML, DOC, PDF) can I also make it an MP3 audio file so you can listen to these articles? Now you can listen as well as read it. By the way, do some people like to read it as it’s being read to them? You can actually set it up so it reads to you while you look at the text and get it in both your eyes and ears.
So, anyway, I’ve gone through and done that, and have basically everything you need in the course. So what’s that going to cost you? It costs you a fraction of that. So you pay me ten bucks and that provides you with all the materials for this course. That’s basically it. So what that does, to be honest with you, it saves everyone in this class at least fifty bucks and realistically more like seventy-five bucks.
You say, “But, Hildebrandt, you’re making ten bucks a piece, you’re making all this money.” Okay, let me tell you this after several years of doing this, how much do I make? The answer is right there “0”; because it costs me. Frankly, I have to pay some of these people for some of the material. We’re going to see videos and the like. I’ve had to pay those people. My goal, and I’ve been pretty successful so far, is to make nothing and that’s what I end up coming out with. By the time I’m done, how should I say, I use the content that you guys give me to develop more of this content. So that’s kind of what’s going on there. That’s all the cards out on the table. That’s kind of the way it is, but it’s ten bucks.
So you say where is all of the material online that you’re talking about? This is what they call the Internet. This is called…let me, “my name is Al Gore, I invented this.” Sorry, I’ve got to be careful about this now. This is on video tape. This is what President Bush called “the Google.” I don’t know my own URL; this is the honest truth. So here’s how you get to my site. By the way, it’s outside Blackboard, it’s out in public space. So when you go home you can get at this material from anywhere, it’s on the web. I’m going to go to “the Google.” This is how I get to my own site: I type in “Ted Hildebrandt,” it’s up here by the top in the search box. I type in “Ted Hildebrandt.” I hit “search,” and then there it is, do you see it; “Theodore,” (Theodore’s another name for “Ted”) “Hildebrandt” and it says Gordon College, so I click this link to go to my website. After I hit it, I might bookmark it, because am I going to be going back there aagain and again, so I bookmark it.
N. Online Course
Here’s the site. By the way, when you come in here, do you see the DASV, the Digital American Standard? Do you see that this says “Old Testament: BCM 101,” that’s us. So you go “Old Testament: BCM 101” and you click there; and what is here? The syllabus. Do you need this printed one? Yes, you do, because some of you are going to lose your syllabi. Is it always there? It’s always there. So here is the HTML, DOC, PDF, for your syllabus. You’ve got copies of your syllabus now so you don’t need that electronic one. Okay, here’s some old study guides from old exams.
Here’s your first week’s assignment. What do you need to do for next Thursday? You’re going to be reading Genesis 1-25—you can do it in the DASV. Here’s the DASV. You can do it in DASV zip file. Now there are some articles you need to read; and so where are the articles? You just go down here, and you see this one here, it says “Dr. Elaine Phillips: Theology Primer.” So you’ve got HTML, DOC, and then you’ve got an MP3 there. The MP3 means what? You right-click on the MP3 link and you click “Save as,” and then you save it down to your computer or jump drive and you’ve got the audio for it ready to go. Now here’s Dr. Perry Phillips. Dr. Perry Phillips has a PhD in astrophysics and he’s writing on the Days of Genesis, the seven days of creation. He’s a scientist, PhD from Cornell University, and he writes on the Days of Genesis; HTML, DOC, PDF, and MP3 so you can listen to it. Here’s Don Carson; now Carson is a super-scholar and I’ve got his “Challenge to Pluralism” again in the three print formats and the MP3 audio so you can listen to that.
Now for this class, let me just give you the first couple of quiz questions for next Thursday; here’s your first quiz question, did you, (don’t write this down, this is dumb). The first question is: Did you read Genesis 1-25? How much did you read? Did you read a hundred percent, ninety percent, or eighty percent? How much of Genesis 1-25 did you read in the last three weeks? Meaning I want you to do what? Read Genesis 1-25. Did you read Elaine Phillips’ Primer, Theology Primer? Yes or no. Did you read Perry Phillips’ Days of Genesis, yes or no (and how much if you didn’t read the whole thing)? Now on the D.A. Carson article, I’m going to ask you specific questions. So Carson you need to read with more detail because I’m going to ask you one or two questions on the content of Carson’s article.
Here are the memory verses; two memory verses, Genesis 1:27 and 2:24. By the way, here are all the PowerPoints; I use PowerPoints in class. Here are all the PowerPoints that I will have on the screen. Question: does that mean you will need to copy down all the PowerPoints? No, just download them and put them on your machine. You can go into PowerPoint, pull all the text out and put it in Word, or even take notes on the PowerPoint slides themselves. The PowerPoints are there so you don’t have to write everything down. It’s there so you can use those as part of the course materials. Do you see the benefit of that? So the PowerPoints are listed here.
O. Online Bible
Here’s the book of Genesis, chapters
1 to 50. Then it asks do you want beginning, intermediate, or advanced levels
of difficulty. What do you guys want to try? Advanced, okay, these guys are
good. Alright, let’s try the advanced questions, and I’m going to click off
the beginning, and we’re going to click “next.” Then about ten minutes later
it will come up—it came up quickly. Okay, so, our first question: “What did
Jacob put on Rachael’s tomb?” Flowers, you usually put flowers on a tomb
right? a pillar, a stone from each of his children? Did anybody see “Schindler’s
List,” they put a stone. Anyways, an altar to the Lord? Somebody said an
altar. Okay, so we’re going to pick “an altar.” Now, what color came up?
This is supposed to be red, okay, so the feedback is in your face when you get
it wrong. The correct answer comes up in green--the growing color. So it was
really a pillar, he built a pillar as a memorial. That isn’t a bad guess, an
altar to the Lord. They did build a lot of altars.
So then I hit “next” and we can go to: “At the time when the descendants of Shem were on the earth, the earth was divided in whose time?” And then it gives you these names. By the way are these advanced questions? Yes. Nimrod, that was an excellent guess, because Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord, but she guessed and I don’t want to push Nimrod because I’ll feel bad again. I’m going to push Peleg. The word “Peleg” in Hebrew means “to divide;” you know like dividing the languages. Maybe, should I pick the right one? Why don’t I pick Luddite just in honor of the Luddites? Do you know what a Luddite is, anyone? Okay I’m going to pick Luddite and you see the answer was really Peleg. Peleg comes up as the right answer and it says, “No, Luddite is wrong.”
[Student question] We shouldn’t have picked the advanced questions, these are too advanced. If you picked the beginning questions it would say, “Who was Adam’s wife?” or something like that. See what he’s doing. Let me start over here, actually let me go back to the quiz selector, so you just go back to the quiz selector. He’s paranoid, so let me just go here and hit “next.” Okay, here’s a beginning question. “Who lived the longest in Genesis 5?” Who lived the longest of anybody? Methuselah. Okay, so that’s the quizzer. So now you say, I still didn’t know Methuselah, so the Bible quizzer is online here. All the questions for the quiz will be taken from the “easy” section, the “beginning” level. So you can go over the “beginning” level ones and you’ll come up with the hundred and ninety-three questions, it won’t take too long to buzz through those. Beginning questions will come up. Methuselah will not be on your quiz, however. So okay, does everybody see how this works? So let me get back to this Old Testament quizzer and I’ve got Genesis through Deuteronomy done. Then, quite frankly, I was writing seven hundred questions for the book of Joshua and, I’ve got to be honest with you, I just ran out of time. I haven’t done anymore and I haven’t been able to reprogram the Flash and there’s a lot of stuff I haven’t been able to do. I just haven’t had the time to do it. But I’ve got Genesis to Deuteronomy done--to do this through Deuteronomy is a pretty big chunk by the way. So we’ll have the quizzer for that. So then here are the stories that you’ll need to know.
P. Transcribing Assignment [41:51-46:59]
Let’s go back to your syllabus. One of the things that we’ll be doing in the class is there’s an attendance policy here and extra credit. But before I do the extra credit, let me describe an assignment and you can be thinking about this. I’m wanting you today to break up into groups. So you’ll be breaking up into groups of six or seven. So look around and think about breaking up into groups of six or seven. Now, what you’re going to do by next Thursday. Let me try to explain what is going to be happening. What you’re going to do is, I’m going to give you a ten minute section of audio and you’re going to type up what the person said. I call it “transcribing.” You know what transcribing is? You listen and you transcribe ten minutes and you’ve got it. Now there will be six people in your group that means ten minutes, ten minutes, ten minutes, you take the six people and you put them together and what have you got? You’ve got an hour lecture.
So I’ve got lectures by Dr. Dave
Mathewson and Dr. Robert Vannoy. These guys are really super-scholars and we’re
going to transcribe their lectures to put it into what? HTML, DOC, and PDF.
Now why am I doing this? Let me just walk over here again. Why am I doing
this? Because, this never sells very well with the students, but if I keep
saying it I’m hoping it catches on. When I went to college it was like “I’m
going to college, feed me, feed me, teach me, all this stuff, teach me, teach
me,” and it was all this self-direction. What I’m wanting you to do is to
think about the fact that you’re at Gordon College. Is Gordon College a really
incredible place? You’re lucky to be here; I know we don’t use the word “luck”
anymore. But it’s a special thing that you’re here. My thing is, do we at
Gordon College need to be developing things to help Christian people at other
places who don’t have it as well as we do? So what we want to do is create
these lectures that are pulled from Dr. Robert Vannoy, a specialist in Samuel.
We’ll take his lectures and transcribe these lectures and make them available
to people all over the world. By the way, will people all over the world come
to Gordon College to use these lectures to help them in the Christian church?
The answer is: “Yes.” So I want you to think about learning in terms of
producing things that help other people who aren’t as privileged as we are.
Now you say, “Oh, yeah, Hildebrandt, that just means work.” Yes, it means an hour’s worth of your time. An hour’s worth of work and we put it all together. So in each one of your groups of six or seven you’re going to have one person who’s an editor and they better be an English major or somebody like that. You’ve got one person who’s an editor and you’ve got what we call scribes and you’ve got five or six scribes. The five or six scribes will get an MP3 audio. They’ll type it up. It will be about ten minutes and it will take you about an hour depending on how fast you type.
Okay, let me tell you a very important secret; and you say, “Hildebrandt, how do you know all this stuff,” I have done hours and hours of transcription myself, so I know exactly how long this work takes and the problems with it.
When you get your audio, if you put it on full-steam ahead, does the guy talk a lot faster than you can type? Yes. He’s talking a mile a minute and you can’t keep up. If you are in Windows and you’re in the Windows Media Player there’s a play button. It’s got a triangle on the “play” button. If you right click on that play button you can set it to “slow,” and it slows it way down. Now, question, what’s the advantage? If Vannoy goes slow, can I almost keep up to him typing? I still can’t keep up with him, but now I do a minute at a time, I’ll do a minute of typing. What do I do, you grab the little scrubber thing at the bottom and you take it back. Do you know how to do that? Bring the scrubber back and then you play it again, one minute. Then you do it again. Type, then do it again. So then after about two or three times of pulling it back to go over the one minute have I got the one minute typed? Then I’ll go to the second minute, and it’ll be one minute to two minutes. Then I’ll go through and I’ll type as fast as I can the first time and I’ll get about eighty or seventy percent of it. Then I’ll scrub back to the one minute mark and I’ll listen to it again. But the media player going slow is really important and really helpful.
Now Mac people, I’m not a Mac person, I’m a Christian. Sorry, but anyway, shouldn’t say that especially on the day when Steve Jobs stepped down today. Steve Jobs stepped down today, that’s a big deal for you Mac people. Anyway, on the Mac, you can get the Mac to go slow. I don’t know how to do it but I’m told if you go into properties or something in the Mac player you can get the Mac to go slow and you can set it to go slow. So Mac can do it too. Check with CET to see if they know how to do that, I don’t know how to do it because it’s Mac and I’m just a PC person. Mac people can download the free VLC Media Player and in the bottom right corner set the speed on that player to slow by adjusting the number there. So that’s coming up; so be thinking about the groups you’re going to be breaking into.
Q. Testing and Quizzes [46:50-48:04]
In this course if you want a good grade you’re going to need to take the tests. Basically this is how the class will work; every Thursday, quiz, quiz, quiz, quiz, every about fifth week, there will be a test. Quiz, quiz, quiz, quiz, quiz, test; that’s how it goes. Okay? So every Thursday is either a quiz or a test that kind of rhythm. Now if you say, “I’ve bombed Hildebrandt’s quizzes, I don’t know who Methuselah’s mother was, Hildebrandt had this question on Methuselah’s mother, and I didn’t know it, so I missed it and I want to better my grade.” You can do extra-credit in here. You can do extra transcriptions, and by the way, we’re taping this whole thing, so you can do transcriptions of this class actually. We’ll put the transcriptions up as we get them too as well for the whole class to help other people. You can do other transcriptions also. I’ve got lectures from Dr. R. Laird Harris who talked about Leviticus and was an expert on Leviticus. So you can do that for extra credit, you’ll have to do a whole transcription. You’ll have to do the whole hour that will take you about six to ten hours. Then five points of extra-credit are added onto your final average. So that’s one way to do it. You could do memory verses as well.
I also want to advertise a little bit for the honor’s option. What is the honors option? The honor’s option on page five and it works like this: if you score better than a 92 on the first exam and you’ve got quizzes better than a 90, you can ask for the honors option. What that is, is you can get out of the final exam by doing two transcriptions yourself. What that amounts to, two transcriptions are going to run you probably about ten to twelve hours. Okay, so you say, “well that’s ten to twelve hours, I could get…” What’s the advantage of not taking the final? Come final’s week all the classes have finals. Finals week is really tough with all these exams. If you can off load one of those finals and say I don’t have to take a final in Old Testament class, does that free you up to study better for your other exams? Okay, use your heads, so this way you can do the transcriptions. When do you have to do that? You can do that on your own time, whenever you want, and then you get out of the final. So there’re a benefit to doing that. So that’s called the “honors option.”
Evaluations here are given for my benefit; I grade on a curve. But this is where I start my curve. So if you want to get the grade just do the extra credit work, and it lets you adjust your own grade. I believe in curves; I used to teach with an old guy, he was seventy-five years old. He said he didn’t believe in curving. For him, curves belonged on roads, in baseball and on women, not on exams and grades. Now I say that, the guy was a seventy-five years old, give him a break. You say, “that’s a very sexist statement.” The guy’s seventy-five, okay, let him live. I say, curves also belong on my test scores. So we will work at that.
S. Assignments for the Coming Week [49:49-51:33]
Next, if you flip over the audio
project is described on page six with the audio transcription. Then if you go
over to page eight; this is what you need to keep open. This is where the
action happens and this is basically, September 1. Do you see September 1?
What is due next Thursday? You’ve got to read the “Theology Primer,” you’ve
got to do the “Days of Genesis,” you’ve got to read the “Challenges of
Pluralism.” By the way, the “Theology Primer” and the “Days of Genesis,” do you
have to know all the details on those, or do you just have to read it? Just
read it, okay? You don’t have to know the details. You do have to know details
on the “Challenges of Pluralism.” Read from the Bible Genesis 1 to 25. Basically,
you’ve got to do your transcriptions, your transcriptions are due next Thursday
too, which I see isn’t listed here, but those will be due next week and you’ll
break into groups in a minute here.
Okay, you’ve got to break into groups but before you break into groups, you guys have to know Genesis 1 to 25. I want to teach you Genesis 1 to 25 in Bible-robics. That means, everybody’s up, we’re going to do Genesis 1 to 25, here’s how it goes. Okay, everybody stand up and be thinking about breaking into your groups. But here’s Genesis 1-25. [Do Bible-robics]
So seven to eight o’clock in this room every Wednesday night Kyle will be running the reviews for the exams. The quizzes are always on Thursday so he’ll be doing it every Wednesday night here, seven to eight o’clock. That’s good to know, he’ll get you set up for that. Okay, let’s jump back in, we have got to do two more things. We’ve got a Bible assessment exam so we’re going to try to assess the kind of biblical literacy knowledge level that you have. That’ll be our first quiz, it doesn’t count, but it’s just kind of an assessment we do.
T. Proofs on the Existence of God [51:34-52:16]
Before we do that, I wanted to get started on some underlying presuppositions. We believe at Gordon College that this book, the Bible, is the Word of God. Now that makes some assumptions. If this is the Word of God, then our first assumption is that there is a what? There is a God. Do we live in a culture where atheism is trying to make a big comeback? There’s about what, four percent of Americans who are atheists and they’re trying to make a big comeback. So there’s all this, Dawkins and all of this, etc. etc.
So why do we believe there is a God? By the way, can we prove the existence of God? The answer is: no. Is it reasonable to believe that there is a God? Yes, though we can’t prove it. So what I want to do is to run through some of the proofs for the existence of God.
One of the proofs that we’re going to use is the cosmological argument. By the way, these arguments are actually all on the web there’s a whole sheet and I’ll give you the sheet next time with these all printed on them. But the cosmological argument basically works like this, cause – effect, cause – effect, cause – effect. If I look at you, can I assume that you had some parents? By the way, is it possible for you not to know your parents but did you have parents at one point? Now you say, “But Hildebrandt, now they can do it in a test tube.” Okay, but that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is if I look at you, I can assume that you had parents. So you look at effects and think about the causes. You see a train wreck can you assume when you see a train wreck that something went wrong. When you see effects of things can you assume causes? Cause- effect, cause-effect, cause-effect. Can cause-effect, cause – effect work all the way down over thousands of years of causes-effects?
Now what happens when you get back to the first cause? What is the first cause that caused everything? Cause-effect, cause-effect, cause-effect work all the way back, what’s the first cause? You say, well, the first cause was the whole universe comes together, in one big, actually it was small, it was about the size of a grapefruit, wasn’t it? It’s supposed to be the size of a grapefruit or a watermelon. It was all together once, then what happened? Boom, it exploded and the universe came into being. What caused that initial explosion to happen? By the way, even scientists who don’t believe in God have to come up with a way for the first cause to get this thing going. We, as Christians, would say the first cause is what? “God.” And so, in other words, cause-effect, cause-effect, cause-effect, we go back to the original cause, and the first cause is God. Do other people have to propose something else as the first cause? By the way when you’ve got the whole universe together in a watermelon and you’ve got to blow that whole thing up, do you have to have something powerful enough that can defy gravity and just blow the whole thing up like that? What kind of force does that take for a universe? So the first one is the first cause and we would suggest that God is our first cause, other people may propose other causes but when you use this cause and effect thing going back it’s like that.
V. Teleological [Jolly Green Giant] argument – Argument from
This one I like a lot. This argument is called the teleological argument. It is the argument from design. What this means is, I call it my “Jolly Green Giant” argument. Okay, you guys are all sitting in chairs; do you see how the chairs are arranged? Rows, aisle there, aisle there, aisle there, aisle there, aisle there, and about ten rows going back. Now what’s going to happen is, there is a jolly, green giant, and we’re going to unhook all of the chairs, [don’t do this], but we’re going to unhook all of the chairs. The jolly, green giant then is going to pick up the building of Jenks, and he’s going to shake it and he going to put it down. When he puts it down I want the chairs to be in exactly this same order. By the way, there’s what, 110 chairs? Not a big deal. 110 chairs, I want them exactly the way they are now, aisle there, aisle there, aisle there, aisle there, these rows, three there, four there, okay, exactly like this set up. Now I’ll let him do it a billion times. He will shake Jenks a billion times and put it down.
Question: do you think after a
billion times it would come out exactly like this just once? You say, we’re
Americans, and we don’t do billions anymore, we do trillions. Now I wouldn’t
laugh too hard if I were you because you guys are the ones who are stuck paying.
So I’ll give you a billion trillions, the giant is going to shake it for a
billion, trillion years and he’s going to keep doing it. How many of you think
in a billion, trillion years that the chairs would line up just like this? How
many of you think that after he did it the first time that these chairs would
be so tangled up that they would be a mess forever?
Okay, when you see order, if you came into this room and you were just born out of the cosmic ether and you came into this room and you walked into this room as your first experience as a little baby walking in, and you looked around and saw these chairs, would you assume these chairs were from a glacier that pushed these chairs into this order?
Let me take you a different way, when you walked with me around Sinai. Walk with me through the desert of Sinai, which I did for many weeks because my guide said we had to walk Sinai. Well, walking in Sinai there rocks everywhere. All of a sudden we walk up on this thing, there’s a circle of rocks about this big, ten feet around, and on the western side, there’s two rocks set up like this and there’s a rock that goes over this like this and there’s a hole in there on the west side and you can kind of crawl in there. It’s kind of like an igloo made out of rocks. Now when we saw those nawamis in Sinai, that igloo, for the first time; and, by the way, there were ten of them, and they all had the doorway facing to the west. It was like for midgets or something, you had to get down there to go in. Anyway what I’m saying, when we hit all ten of those, they all faced the west and the doorway was about this high. Did we assume it must have just happened that way, that the glacier just kind of dropped them down that way? How many of you, when you walk up and saw ten of them, all facing the west, with the doorway, hollow in the middle, how many of you would assume that that’s just natural causes—there was no plan for that it just happened that way? When you see that level of order, do you not say somebody did that?
Some of you are from New Hampshire. Have you ever walked through the woods and all of a sudden you’re back in the woods and you see this row of rocks, all lined up straight and it looks like a rock wall. When you see that rock wall all lined up straight, did you assume that the glacier did that or that people did that? When you see that level of order, order demands a what—a person who ordered it, right?
When you come into this room and you see these chairs all lined up like that, is this obviously the work of a human being? Somebody set this up. Is it luck that the chairs came like this, and if you shook it a million times it would be a mess.
Basically this is an argument from order, because the universe is a universe having many more times the order of this room. Therefore there must be an Orderer, someone who orders this stuff. In other words, it just doesn’t luckily happen; otherwise you’d have a chaotic mess, but there isn’t a chaotic mess. So that leads to a thing called “intelligent design.” By the way, are there different people who have different opinions on this thing, intelligent design? Again, I want to walk over here, are there different people on this campus that have different views on intelligent design? Some people say, “No, I don’t believe in intelligent design” evolution is more their thing. Other people are more creationistic--know God created things. Intelligent design says what? That the universe is designed, that the universe has a Designer.
Now, by the way, the people that developed this, the scientists would say, these people that do intelligent design are a bunch of morons, they’re not really scientists. Let me just tell you about William Dembski, he’s not a real scientist, he’s just got a, let’s see, a PhD in mathematics from the University of Chicago. Oh yes, and I forgot to say, he also has a PhD from the University of Chicago in philosophy; a double PhD. So he’s a real idiot, isn’t he? You say, that’s the University of Chicago; we’re Harvard people out here. I just want to tell you there are other schools that are decent outside Massachusetts. The University of Chicago is a top-flight school. He got two PhDs out of the place and one in mathematics. A person who gets a PhD in mathematics, does that say something? Okay, think about that, yes. Does he know some things about science? The answer is, yes. He’s one of the people who’s behind intelligent design, and what I’m trying to say is there are tons of people who hold intelligent design who are first class scientists. So be careful about this, “well, scientists don’t hold this,” that’s wrong. There are tons of scientists who hold intelligent design.
So anyway I just want you to think about some of these types of things. Can we prove the existence of God? No. Do these things lead us, when we see order in the universe of the magnitude that we see it, to think that someone ordered this stuff? I ask you to look at this classroom, if you came in here, would you not assume somebody put these chairs this way? It didn’t happen just by chaos as luck. So all I’m saying is the universe is of orders of magnitude higher than ordering these chairs.
W. Dr. Perry Phillips Big Bang and the Creation of the
Universe Lecture [60:50-62:30]
Dr. Perry Philips, PhD in astrophysics from Cornell University, is that decent--PhD, astrophysics, Cornell University? He’s married to Dr. Elaine Philips. Dr. Philips is going to do a talk on the “Big Bang Theory” next Monday night at seven o’clock; down in Jenks 237. I’ll send you guys an email on this. Perry Philips is going to discuss the Big Bang Theory and how he thinks that leads to the idea that there is a God. A first-class scientist, I know Perry Philips very well. I lived with Perry and Elaine, and we lived as two couples in Israel for a year together. Do you get to know a person really well when you live together like that for a year? That’s one of the reasons I want to tell you, just between us, here, Dr. Perry Philips is one of the most godly, Christian men I’ve met in my lifetime and I consider him a dear friend of thirty-something years now. But is he also a full quality scientist? The guy has a Ph.D. in astrophysics, very bright, very, very bright too. So he’s doing that Monday night and it’s a free lecture, seven o’clock, Jenks 237. If you’ve ever wondered about the Big Bang, this is very, very good. [His lecture is posted online on our web site.]
Okay, we have one more thing to do here and that is to do this assessment. So I’m going to pass this out if I could get somebody to help me down here. I’ll give you this stack, and this stack, and just kind of pass them out over there.
by Ashley Holm
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt 2
Final edit by Grace Wood