Panorama of Biblical Research

This course focuses on the question: How to study Old Testament texts properly? It presents, first, a broad overview of issues and methods in contemporary research on the Hebrew Bible. It treats the traditional historical-critical methods, including their historical background and philosophical presuppositions, but also their more recent synchronic counterparts, such as structural analysis, rhetorical criticism and literary reading of narratives. Next, all these methods will be evaluated from a Christian, Bible-believing perspective: which elements of them can responsibly be integrated in a reformed or evangelical approach? How should such an approach look like? The course will be enriched by several illustrations and examples taken from various biblical texts.

Gert Kwakkel

Gert Kwakkel (MA Theological Seminary Kampen, 1984; PhD Groningen State University, 2001) has been professor of Old Testament in Kampen, the Netherlands, since 1993. Since 2012, he also teaches Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew at Faculté Jean Calvin, Aix-en-Provence, part-time. His research concentrates on the prophets and theological themes, such as covenant and righteousness. He has published several books and articles, for the academic audience, ministers and the general public. Most of his academic work in English has been published by Brill, Leiden.

Date: September 28 to October 3.

Prophecy, Religion and Power

This course offers a comparative analysis of texts dealing with the relationship between prophets and the royal courts in the Bible and the ancient Near East. The analysis of the documents points to commonalities and differences between each socioreligious context. The course follows an interdisciplinary approach in which the biblical texts are read in dialogue with various philosophical traditions that seek to conceptualize the complex relationships between power, politics, religion, and the divine will.

Rodrigo F. de Sousa

Rodrigo F. de Sousa (MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD University of Cambridge) is professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Faculté Jean Calvin. His research focuses on prophecy in the Bible and its ancient versions, specially the Septuagint. He is the author of Eschatology and Messianism in LXX Isaiah 1-12 (Bloomsbury, 2010) and has published in many academic journals, including the Journal of Semitic Studies, Journal of North-West Semitic Languages and the Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. He is a member of the editorial board of the Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Biblical Criticism Series.

Date: October 12-16.

The Revelation of John in Western Interpretation and Imagination

This course offers a history and evaluation of the interpretation of the Revelation of John and consideration of ethically responsible forms that this might take today. Study of Revelation’s rich reception and impact history in the European arena (notably, in English-, French- and German-speaking contexts) and of its contemporary relevance. Study of the cultural and imaginative appropriation of Revelation in an inter-change where religion and society, history and politics, literature and art, music, film or material culture meet. Interpretation of texts (whether literary, historical or political), para-texts and associated artefacts of aural, material and visual culture impacted by, or illustrative of, the Revelation of John.

Gordon Campbell

Gordon Campbell (BA BD DEA PhD) has been Professor of New Testament Studies in Union Theological College, Belfast, since 2007. Previously he was reader and then professor of New Testament at the Faculté Jean Calvin (1998-2005), where he also served as Faculty Vice Dean and, briefly, Dean. For this module, Gordon will be drawing on recent research and publications.

Date: October 26-30.

Prophecy, Miracles and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament

This course is an in-depth study of the Gospel of Luke and its companion volume, the Acts of the Apostles. In these two books, Luke presents Jesus as the « prophet like Moses » of Deuteronomy 18:18-19 who also fulfills Moses prayer of Numbers 11:29, « Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them. » No two books of the New Testament have more to say about prophecy and the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus and the life of the church. 

But no two books have caused more discussion and controversy in the twentieth century church. At the beginning of the twentieth century fundamentalists were defending the truth of the Bible against liberal theology and claiming that miracles and supernatural manifestations ceased with the end of the apostolic age. But this was also the time of the beginnings of Pentecostal revivalism with its claims that the age of miraculous healing and supernatural gifts and the anointing of the Holy Spirit was being restored to the church. The claims and counterclaims of these two groups have led to a greater appreciation of the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament and the theological importance of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. 

Janet (Jenny) Meyer Everts

Janet Meyer Everts (PhD, Duke University) taught biblical studies at Hope College in Holland, MI (an undergraduate university of the Reformed Church in America) for 34 years before her retirement in July 2019. Upon her retirement she was appointed Senior Research Professor. Her research project focuses on prophecy in the New Testament and the ways Various interpretations of prophecy can be used to encourage or discourage the exercise of charismatic gifts and the ministry of women in the church. She has been active in the Society for Pentecostal Studies for her entire career and was a founding member of the diversity group within the Society. She remains a diversity mentor. She was instrumental in affiliating SPS with the Society of Biblical Literature and led the first Program Unit of SPS at SBL International Meeting. She has presented and published numerous papers at professional societies. Most of these papers have been published in journals, as book chapters or as conference proceedings. In 2015 she coauthored the book Pentecostal Theology and the Theological Vision of NT Wright: A Conversation (CPT Press, 2015). Wright’s response, which was published as part of the book, has generated quite a few comments. In it he shares his own experience with the charismatic movement and Pentecostals. 

Date: November 16-20.

Studies on the Book of Numbers

As indicated by the Hebrew title במדבר, “In the Desert,” Numbers focuses on the Israelites’ wilderness sojourn. It begins with the Israelites at Mount Sinai and ends with their encampment on the on the verge of entering Canaan across the Jordon from Jericho. The thirty-eight-year wanderings in the Kadesh region are sandwiched in between. Numbers tells the story of God’s dealings in severity and kindness with a people prone to sin. God remains faithful to his promises made to the fathers. Numbers amply illustrates “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom. 5:20).

Special consideration will be given to Numbers’ unique aspects, such as: Levitical ministry (not at all dealt with in Leviticus!); guarding the sanctity of the tabernacle and the purity of the camp; blood kipper and bloodless kipper, the former underlying the biblical doctrine of atonement and forgiveness of sin. Special problems to be treated, among others, include: semantics of key words (e.g., hatta’t, kipper, paqad); literary unity in diversity (law, narrative, story, reports, etc.); large census figures; critical and holistic readings.

In reading Numbers, attention will be given to its position in the history of revelation and in the history of redemption. Commentary on Numbers in Deuteronomy, the Prophets, the Psalms and other Writings, especially citations and allusions in the NT, underscore its relevance for God’s people throughout the ages. God’s dealings with his people recorded in Numbers “were written down for our instruction” (1 Cor. 10:11).

Ron Bergey

Ron Bergey (B.S. Philadelphia College of Bible [today Cairn University]; M.A. Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Ph.D. Dropsie University [today Annenberg Research Institute, Judaic Studies]) has taught Hebrew and OT on the undergraduate and graduate levels, since 1977, at the Institute of Holy Land Studies (Jerusalem), Faith Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), Western Reformed Seminary (Tacoma) and for the last 25 years until retirement in 2016 at the Faculté Jean Calvin. Ron has published many articles in research journals (JQR, JSOT, JETS, RR) also in Bible dictionaries and encyclopedia. He has contributed chapters in collectives and penned commentaries on the Pentateuch and the book of Isaiah in French. He was involved in Bible translations and study Bibles. He is currently working on the Book of Numbers commentary in the forthcoming ESV Bible Expository Commentary (Crossway Books).

Date: November 30 to December 4.

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