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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future by Emory University

4.7
151 ratings
47 reviews

About the Course

With its walls razed to ground by Babylon’s armies, Jerusalem joined a long line of ancient vanquished cities—from Ur and Nineveh and Persepolis to Babylon itself. While some recovered from the destruction, others did not. But none responded to political catastrophe by fashioning the kind of elaborate and enduring monument to their own downfall that we find in the Bible. Most conquered populations viewed their subjugation as a source of shame. They consigned it to oblivion, opting instead to extol the golden ages of the past. The biblical authors in contrast reacted to loss by composing extensive writings that acknowledge collective failure, reflect deeply upon its causes, and discover thereby a ground for collective hope. Working through colorful biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts, and drawing on an array of comparative examples, the course illustrates the thoroughgoing manner with which biblical authors responded to defeat by advancing a demotic agenda that places the community at the center. The aim of the biblical authors was to create a nation, and they sought to realize this goal via a shared text, which includes stories and songs, wisdom and laws. This corpus of writings belongs, without a doubt, to humanity’s greatest achievements. Whereas the great civilizations of the Near East invested their energies and resources into monuments of stone that could be destroyed by invading armies, the biblical authors left a literary legacy that has been intensively studied until the present day. More important, these authors’ visionary response to defeat brought to light a radical new wisdom: the notion that a people is greater than the state which governs it, and that a community can survive collapse when all of its members can claim a piece of the pie and therefore have a reason to take an active part in its collective life....

Top reviews

CS

Oct 12, 2016

It's a very good course if you want to know how the bible came into being, events that happened from the very beginning and how the bible continues to remain and be read even today. Wonderful!

RS

Feb 03, 2019

A deeply thought provoking and challenging course that exceeded my expectations, chiefly, by the way it helped me connect the ancient past with the present.

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1 - 25 of 47 Reviews for The Bible's Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future

By Andreina K

Jun 09, 2019

Me encanto

By Rabbi M F

May 18, 2019

This is, by far, the best and most interesting course I have taken to date, and I have multiple graduate degrees and seminary coursework under my belt. I have been wanting and waiting for a complete interdisciplinary approach for decades, and finally, this is it!

Thank you, Professor Wright! If only I could take more courses from you!

By robert s

Feb 03, 2019

A deeply thought provoking and challenging course that exceeded my expectations, chiefly, by the way it helped me connect the ancient past with the present.

By A.J. T

Feb 02, 2019

Awesome, awesome, awesome course. There is a wealth of information contained in this course, the way the course is presented conducive to learning, and the professor goes out of his way in explaining things very easy to understand terms. Highly recommended.

By 周润泽

Jan 30, 2019

It helped me so much not only in interpretation of Bible but also in my understanding of formation of Nationalism. It even helped me to study early North American history and New England colonists' psychology and life.

By Alice Z

Jan 21, 2019

Well done basic history tweaked towards the Hebrew Bible veracity.

By Sven S

Nov 29, 2018

Great course, very interesting and good lecturer

By Jereesh K E

Oct 11, 2018

Very much interesting information

By Gustavo O

Sep 14, 2018

Very good teacher and the course is amazing! Thank you for share!!

By Patricia N W

Sep 13, 2018

The first of many classes I intend to take on this subject. Please have others.

A great class that brought many new thoughts and many revelations.

By mary h

Aug 21, 2018

Professor Wright TRULY "knows his stuff." I am sure that he is brilliant and in the videos you can just see his brain racing ahead of his speech. One senses that there is so much more he wishes he could convey to his students in the limited amount of time. Very interesting course.

By Rodrigo A R O

Aug 21, 2018

muy bueno

By Federico C

Jun 07, 2018

Great teacher

By David H

May 17, 2018

Great course, it gave me plenty to think about.

By Naokichi D

Mar 09, 2018

Enriching historical knowledge in every course material.

By jorge e j d

Jan 31, 2018

Muy Bueno. Gracias por este excelente curso. un abrazo desde Bogotá , Colombia

By David H

Jan 23, 2018

This course is very involved but logical and follows a nice path of learning. Anyone wishing to see and understand how life was and how it was perceived and reported is quite interesting and gets the grey matter working. Thoroughly enjoyable.

By CHAN W F P

Jan 10, 2018

Good and cncise historical background for me,

By MARIA L R G

Sep 05, 2017

Excellent course, I strongly recommend it for everyone. I didn´t have previous knowledge about the topic and I learn a lot and manage to pass it. Excellent videos with subtitles in different languages.

By Jesús A G

Aug 22, 2017

Este curso representa una buena manera de introducirse en los estudios bíblicos. El único problema que le he visto es que a muchos vídeos que no están subtitulados al castellano, y en otros, la calidad de la traducción de los subtítulos no es muy buena. Pero en términos generales es un magnífico curso, y el profesor lo orienta de forma muy amena.

By Luz-Elena C

Aug 01, 2017

Best one!

By Guillermo I R

Jul 18, 2017

Un curso excepcional

By juliana l

May 06, 2017

As a person who is considering a Christ centered career, it is nice to see and study the history of the bible and know more deeply why it is the way it is. Even reading the recourse information has answered questions I had, and as I finish the class I hope to learn a LOT more.

By Fiona M M

Apr 03, 2017

I enjoyed this class and was amazed by how the Bible came about and the fact that it survived 2.5 millennia. I will be reading the Bible with a new understanding because of this course. I wish there were additional courses on the Bible on Coursera.

By Lucy I D L R T

Mar 25, 2017

El profesor es muy dinámico y ayuda a ver la situación geo-política de Israel, las ventajas y desventajas de estar en el cruce de camino de dos potencias rivales.