Teaching resources

In May 2017, I had the opportunity to chat with Phillip Michael Sherman of Maryville College for his podcast “Teaching a Bible that Matters.” The podcast is part of The Maryville Seminar for Socially Engaged Teaching of the Bible. I spoke with Dr. Sherman about how I tie my teaching of the Hebrew Bible into social consciousness.

Here are a few teaching resources I have created, available as PDFs to download:

Holladay workshop

I created this handout to introduce students to the lexicon used in my Biblical Hebrew class, Holladay’s A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. By giving students questions to answer about specific Hebrew words, this workshop lets them explore the features of the lexicon and prepares them to look up words on their own.

Choose your own verb-venture

This flow chart is inspired by the Choose Your Own Adventure books of my childhood. I created one for each inflection of Hebrew verb (perfect, imperfect, etc.) to help students figure out the binyan (stem) of a verb.

Exegesis assignment

This is an example of the exegesis assignments students completed in my Biblical Hebrew class. This one is for students in their second semester of the language, and it asks them to explore the Hebrew of a controversial pair of verses with an eye toward arriving at their own interpretation.

Bible translations exercise

At the beginning of the semester, I gave this handout to students in Themes in the Hebrew Bible to spark discussions about Bible translation and biblical “literalism.” I asked them to address the implications of variant translations of these well-known verses; we then segued into a discussion of Leonard Greenspoon’s article “10 Common Misconceptions about Bible Translation.”

Group script-writing assignment

In my Classical Judaism course, I assigned groups to imagine that they were trying to pitch a Tudors-style miniseries about ancient Jewish history. The two groups in my class that semester wrote and performed scenes based on the intrigues of the Hasmoneans and the Herodians, and the results were both funny and educational. This exercise could be adapted for other courses.