BIB 401 O.T. Wisdom Literature Instructor: Bruce Terry
Section: 01 Room: NC 46 Day/Time: MW 2:00-2:50pm
Office: Stotts (NC), Room 243 Telephone: 304/865-6120/295-6486
Office hours: MWF 1-2pm; TTh 1-2:30pm; MW 3-4pm; MT 4-5pm


Course Description

This course will focus on the wisdom literature of the Old Testament: Job through Song of Solomon. The course will cover an introduction and significant passages within those books. Special attention will be paid to the problem of suffering as addressed in the book of Job and some of the Psalms, the genr‚ of different Psalms, and categories of thought for Hebrew proverbs.

Course Objectives

  1. To acquaint the student with the wisdom literature of the Old Testament.
  2. To develop an academic understanding of reading an ancient text such as the Bible and its modern use in devotional and didactic settings.
  3. To study introductory material to the five books of the wisdom literature in particular and the Old Testament in general.
  4. To investigate the types of genr‚ used in the Psalms.
  5. To help the student see the religious experience of individuals in the Old Testament, thus providing a faith building experience.

Attendance and Tardies

Attendance in class is mandatory; it will be part of the basis for the grade given. If you cannot attend for good reason, either notify me beforehand or as soon as possible afterward. This applies even if you have an excused absence. You will be expected to do all work of any classes missed, except for pop quizzes and daily homework. If you do not intend to attend regularly, kindly withdraw from the class now.

Do NOT miss class simply because you do not have an assignment finished. Do NOT miss class if you can possibly come; save any absences for sickness or death in the family. If you have an extended illness, please contact me to let me know.

Kindly try to be a class on time. If you are consistently tardy for no good reason, I reserve the right to count three tardies as an absence.

If you have to leave early, please inform me before class. Do not schedule extra work, doctor's appointments, etc. during class time if at all possible. If you are too frequent in leaving early, I reserve the right to count early departures as a partial absence, adversely affecting your grade.

Absences may be excused if you bring me documentation that you were ill, involved in an accident, on school business, or there was a death in the immediate family. More than three hours of unexcused absences will result in your being dropped from the course with either a W or an F at my discretion. If you have a plan to successfully complete the course, you may be allowed to pay a fine and petition to be reinstated. Additional unexcused absences will result in your being dropped without future reinstatement. No credit will be given for a course in which absences, both excused and unexcused, total more than 25% of the hours of the course (i.e., more than 8 class periods). Should you approach this limit, you will be asked to withdraw from the course. I reserve the right to drop you from the course as a warning once you have at least 6 total absences. If you are dropped for any reason, reinstatement is not guaranteed and will be granted only if a plan for success is presented. Note well: Absences may adversely affect your grade, as outlined below under the topic Grades.

Office Hours

I will be in my office ten hours during the week as outlined above. If you have class conflicts with my office hours, you can schedule another time with me. Appointments during office hours will be given precedence over drop-ins, but if you need to see me about something and don't have an appointment, come on up to my office and I will try to squeeze you in. If you need help, please use my office hours. You may also see me both before and after class as time permits. I will be available for extended conferences after class hours if it does not interfere with another class or chapel. No appointment will usually be necessary to see me at this time. If I am not in my office at office hours after a class, check my last classroom to see if a student has detained me there.

Assignments, Assessment, and Grades

Assessment of whether the objectives have been met will be based on the student's performance on homework and tests assigned by the teacher and on the student's ability to do relevant research on his or her own in papers described below.

Your grade for the class will be based on three major exams (including a comprehensive final exam), three typed papers, one two-bonus-point map on the extent of Solomon's kingdom, attendance, and grades from pop quizzes over the reading, collected in-class work, and collected homework. The papers are on the following: 1) a 5-page research paper on either the types of genr‚s used in the Psalms or a more in-depth study of one particular genr‚ used in the Psalms; 2) a 3-page book report on either Ash or Miller's section of the Psalms Commentary; and 3) a 4-page lesson on the suffering in the book of Job with an application to Christians today. The pages are full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required) and bibliography (also required). One page is defined as 27 double-spaced typewritten lines (counting the title, but not your name or page numbers) with 1" margins. The typed papers should be written using the Turabian style guide. Exam questions can come from the lectures or assigned readings from either the textbooks or the readings from the Old Testament. The final exam will cover material from the whole course.

Class may be dismissed if there are classroom conflicts during Lectureship week April 6-9. In such a case, students will be expected to attend at least a one hour class or lecture for each hour missed and turn in a one-page report on the class or lecture attended. The reports will count as attendance grades.

Ten points will be given for attendance. One point will be deducted for each class hour missed (counting each class as 1½ hours), including those missed for illness. The only exception to this will be those who miss on official school business and have an official notice to this effect; up to five such absences will not count against the student's grade if the student has no unexcused absences. Two grace hours will be given to all students to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace hours will be applied first to excused absences.

Class handouts and homework are found at: "". Homework may be printed out, done early, and turned in if the student knows of an absence that is coming up. Late homework is accepted for only half credit.

Additional readings/quizzes/essays/maps may be assigned.

The final grade will be based on your work in the following way:

          5-page paper on the genr‚ of the Psalms           10%
          3-page book report on wisdom literature            7%
          4-page lesson on suffering in Job                  8%
          Attendance                                        10%
          Pop Quizzes/Homework                              15%
          Major Exams                                       30%
          Final Exam                                        20%

Only in the area of Maps will any extra credit be allowed to exceed these percentages. Your final grade will be A, B, C, D, or F. An A will be given for an average of 100-90, a B for 89- 80, a C for 79-70, a D for 69-60, and an F for any average below 60.

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If for some reason you cannot make the due date, please ask my permission to turn the work in late. Late homework is accepted only for half credit, since the answers will often be given in class. Realizing that other teachers may assign work due at the same time, I will not dock your grade on the map if it is no more than one (1) week late; however, if it is later than one week, expect to have your grade on that assignment lowered by half. Any of the three typed papers turned in late will dock the paper grade by one-half letter (5%) per class period late.

No paper will be accepted that is more than two weeks late. A paper that is more than one week late may not be rewritten, except in unusual circumstances. A paper must be at least 75% of assigned length in order to be rewritten. The grade on a paper which is rewritten may be increased on content, length, and up to (but not exceeding) a letter grade on mechanical errors. No grade will be given to a paper which contains enough mechanical errors to dock the score by two letter grades. It will be turned back without a score and the rewrite counted as late. Be sure to proofread and spell check! The English proficiency test sets the minimum standard for college papers.

Students who are absent on exam days with good reason may schedule a make-up exam within the next week. You must ask to take a make-up exam.

Students who score less than a 70 on a major exam may petition to retake the exam within a week after grades are returned on it. The highest grade on any retake exam will be 70. Once again, you must ask to retake an exam. There will be no retakes on the final exam. Study hard for it.

Academic Integrity Policy

Because Ohio Valley College expects students to follow the highest standards of honorable conduct in all areas of life, it is essential that students maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarizing (whether intentionally misrepresenting another's work as one's own or failing to follow appropriate requirements of documentation), and helping others to cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards. Students who engage in these behaviors will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, or being dismissed from the College. A student who believes that he or she is being treated unjustly may file an appeal with the Provost; the student must initiate the appeal within 48 hours after receiving notification of the consequence. Appeal procedures are available in the office of the Provost.


Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not. Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious crime. The maximum penalty at OVC is expulsion from the college.

Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with me. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own.

Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Provost before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, inform your instructor and your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

MAJOR EXAM DATES:   Exam 1 -- Thursday, February 13, 2003
                    Exam 2 -- Tuesday, March 27, 2003
                    Final Exam -- Tuesday, May 6, 2003
                                  3:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Course Plan

 1/14/03 -- Introduction to the Course
            homework: read OTS on Job
 1/16/03 -- Introduction to Wisdom Literature and Job

            homework: read the assigned chapters in Job for the
                      following lessons
 1/21/03 -- Job 1-5
 1/23/03 -- Job 6-10

 1/28/03 -- Job 11-15
 1/30/03 -- Job 16-21

 2/ 4/03 -- Job 22-28
 2/ 6/03 -- Job 29-33

 2/11/03 -- Job 34-42
 2/13/03 -- Major Exam

WEEK SIX: Psalms
            homework: 4-page paper on suffering in Job due
                      read OTS on Psalms
 2/18/03 -- Intro to Psalms, Ps. 1-10
            homework: for each of the following days read the
                      Psalms indicated and Ash & Miller's lesson
                      on each
 2/20/03 -- Ps. 11-26

 2/25/03 -- Ps. 27-41
 2/27/03 -- Ps. 42-58

 3/ 4/03 -- Ps. 59-73
 3/ 6/03 -- Ps. 74-89


 3/18/03 -- Ps. 90-111
 3/20/03 -- Ps. 112-128

WEEK TEN: Psalms
 3/25/03 -- Ps. 129-150
 3/27/03 -- Major Exam

            homework: 5-page paper on the genr‚ of Psalms due
                      read the OTS on Proverbs
 4/ 1/03 -- Introduction to Proverbs, Prov. 1-3
            homework: read the chapters indicated for each of the
                      following days
 4/ 3/03 -- Prov. 4-9

 4/ 8/03 -- Prov. 10-15 or OVC Lectureship
 4/18/03 -- Prov. 16-21
Last Day to Drop a Class with a "W"--Stick with it to the end!

            homework: extra credit map of Solomon's kingdom due
 4/15/03 -- Prov. 22-26
 4/17/03 -- Prov. 27-31

WEEK FOURTEEN: Ecclesiastes
            homework: read OTS on Ecclesiastes
                      read Eccl. 1-3
 4/22/03 -- Introduction to Ecclesiastes, Ecc. 1-3
            homework: 3-page book report on wisdom literature due
                      read Eccl. 4-8
 4/24/03 -- Eccl. 4-8

WEEK FIFTEEN: Ecclesiastes / Song of Solomon
            homework: read Eccl. 9-12
 4/29/03 -- Eccl. 9-12
            homework: read OTS on Song of Solomon
                      read Song of Solomon
 5/ 1/03 -- Song of Solomon
 5/ 2/03 -- dead paper day (last day to turn in any late papers)

WEEK SIXTEEN: Final Exam Week
            homework: study for final exam
 5/ 6/03 -- Final Exam (3:00-4:50pm)

N. B.: Homework is listed before the class for which it is due!


Mission Statement of Ohio Valley College:
At Ohio Valley College, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity.

Bruce Terry's Home Page
Bruce Terry's Home Page   Class Index Page hosted at
Last updated on February 5, 2003
Page maintained by