BIB 403.01 Major Prophets (3 credit hours)

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

Class days/times: TTh 3:30-4:45pm
Location: Bible Annex, Room #05
Instructor: Bruce Terry
Office: Bible Annex 201
Phone: (304) 865-6120 (office); (304) 295-6486 (home)
E-mail: bruce.terry@ovu.edu; Web site: http://bterry.com
Office hours:
M 9:30-10:00am; 3:00-5:00 pm
T  9:30-11:00am; 1:00-2:00 pm
W 9:30-10:00am; 3:00-5:00 pm
Th 9:30-11:00am; 1:00-2:00 pm
F   by appointment only

I. Textbooks:

II. Course Description:

BIB 403 Major Prophets (3 credits) A study of the historical, social, political, and religious backgrounds of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Selected passages will be used in understanding the importance of the message of the prophets for their own day and in the present. A textual studies course. Offered fall, even-numbered years.

This course will focus on the five books of the Old Testament known as the Major Prophets. Emphasis will be on knowing the prophecies contained in the text and the immediate situations to which they refer. Notation will also be made of Messianic prophecies and application of prophecies to situations of today. The course will also focus on questions of introduction and background, including the question of single or multiple authorship of the books.

III. Rationale:

This course addresses the following objectives of the Bible program:

Objectives For Every Student

Provide students with a more in-depth study of the scriptures than what is gained in introductory studies and/or with training in Christian life and ministry

Objectives For Majors

Provide students with a more in-depth survey study of Old Testament books
Provide students with training in how to study the Bible for themselves*

IV. Integrating Faith and Learning:

Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (ESV).  Consequently, this class will use biblical texts and references to texts to help the student grow in faith.  But simply hearing is not enough.  Jesus told those who believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32 ESV).  So it is necessary to keep doing what we learn.  In light of this, this course will also contain references to application of principles learned.  One of the objectives is a faith objective.  It will not be assessed for a grade, but life is such that it will be assessed, one way or another.  My prayer is that you will pass that test of life.

V. Course Objectives and National Standards:

  1. To acquaint the student with the text and teachings of the Major Prophets.
  2. To acquaint the student with the historical events described in and that gave rise to the Major Prophets.
  3. To develop an academic understanding of reading an ancient text such as the Bible and its use in historical reconstruction of events.
  4. To study introductory material to the five books of the Major Prophets in particular and the Old Testament in general.
  5. To investigate the claims and problems of Higher Criticism as it relates to the Major Prophets.
  6. To help the student see the religious experience and teaching of Old Testament prophets, thus providing a faith building experience.

There are no national standards for undergraduate study of the Bible.  At OVU, we emphasize the biblical text and its application in our lives.

VI. School of Biblical Studies Mission Statement:

At the School of Biblical Studies, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community by encouraging biblical faith to produce life-long truth-seekers who serve God in His kingdom throughout the world.

VII. Course Requirements and Evaluation:

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 analysis on his or her own in papers described below. Academic abilities assessed include reading with understanding skills as evidenced by a reading reports and classroom discussion; writing skills as evidenced by reading reports; and memory organization and retention as evidenced by major exams.

Your grade for the class will be based on four major exams (including a comprehensive final exam), four typed papers, one bonus point map as explained below, attendance, and grades from pop quizzes over the reading, collected in-class work, and collected homework. The papers are on the following: 1) three three-page introductions to the books of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel with four sources on each (the two textbooks plus two library sources; internet sources are not acceptable!); and 2) a four-page lesson from the Major Prophets with an application to Christians today. These 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 Major Prophets. The final exam will cover material from the whole course.

Class will be excused for students attending the World Missions Workshop. Students will be expected to attend at least a one hour class for each hour missed and turn in a one-page report on the class attended. The reports will count as attendance grades.

Ten points will be given for attendance. One point will be deducted for each class missed, 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 days will be given to all students to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace days will be applied first to excused absences.

Class handouts and homework can be found on the Internet at: "http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/prophets/". Homework may be printed out, done early, and turned in up to a week before the due date 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.

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 for only half credit, since the answers will often be given in class. If you will miss due to a school excused absence, please pick up and turn in the homework early. 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 four typed papers turned in late will be docked 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 mechanical errors. No grade will be given to a paper which contains enough mechanical errors to dock the score by a letter grade (i.e., 40 mechanical errors). It will be turned back without a score and the rewrite counted as late. Be sure to proofread and spell check!

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.

Bible Map Instructions

Draw or trace a map of the following for 2 bonus points:

The Ancient Near East, showing extent of the greatest expansion of the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Medo-Persian empires.

Be sure to label major bodies of water, regions, and important cities (especially capitals and those mentioned in the Prophets).

Extra credit may be given for neatness, detail, and good use of color.

N.B. In lieu of drawing or tracing, it is acceptable to photocopy an outline map of the region and fill it in with the above; however, it is not acceptable to photocopy a map which has any of the above marked on it. You must fill it in. An outline map is available at: http://bible.ovc.edu/terry/maps/ane.htm

VIII. Grading System:

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

          3-page introductions to Isa., Jer., & Ezk.        18%
          4-page lesson from the Major Prophets              7%
          Attendance                                        10%
          Pop Quizzes/Homework                              15%
          Major Exams                                       33%
          Final Exam                                        17%

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.

IX. Academic Integrity Policy:

Because Ohio Valley University 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 cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards. Students who engage in these behaviors in a course in which they are enrolled will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, being placed on restricted status (i.e., the student will not be allowed to participate in on-campus activities, including intramurals, and may not represent Ohio Valley University in public events, including athletic competitions, performances, and presentations), or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University. Students who engage in these behaviors when they are unrelated to a course in which they are enrolled will also face appropriate consequences, which could include being placed on restricted status or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University.

If a student believes that he or she is being falsely accused of academic dishonesty, or if the student believes the consequences of an incident of academic dishonesty are unjust, the student may ask that the situation be reviewed. A student who believes that he or she is being treated unjustly may file an appeal with the VPAA; the student must initiate the appeal within 48 hours after receiving notification of the consequence. Appeal procedures are available in the office of the VPAA. They are also listed on pages 23-24 of the current catalog.


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 OVU is expulsion from the University.

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.

Professional Dress

Students should dress modestly regardless of the type of clothes that they choose, and be aware that first impressions count and are often dictated by clothing choices. Specifically, members of the University community should avoid clothing that is revealing and/or features offensive slogans, language, or advertisements. Examples of revealing clothing include but are not limited to: midriffs or halters, mesh or netted shirts, tube tops, low cut blouses, and short shorts. Very tight clothing should be avoided. Examples of offensive slogans, language or advertisements include but are not limited to: curse words, sexually suggestive language or gestures, and references to alcohol or drugs.

X. Policy for Attendance and Tardies:

OVU Catalog:

Regular class attendance is most important. Instructors are responsible for recording and reporting attendance in each of their classes. Attendance at 75% of the scheduled class meeting is required to receive credit for a given course; in other words, if a student misses 25% or more class sessions including both excused and unexcused absences, the student will fail the course.

Course Policy:

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. 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. I do count half and other fractional absences.

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 hospitalized, ill with a contagious disease, involved in an accident, on school business (up to five hours), or there was a death in the immediate family. More than five hours of absences which include three hours of unexcused absence will result in your being dropped from the course with either a W or an F at my discretion. You may 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., as many as 12 class hours, counting each class as 1½ hour). Should you approach this limit, you will be asked to withdraw from the course (if possible). I reserve the right to drop you from the course as a warning once you have at least 5 total absences or 3 unexcused 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 above under the topic Course Requirements. A drop from your only Bible course may affect your ability to enroll in the next semester.

Please turn off cell phones before entering class. If you should have wireless service in the classroom, do not use your messaging service on your laptop or PDA. I reserve the right to count you absent should you disregard this. Cell phone use for voice or text during a test will result in failure of that test.

XI. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the VPAA 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 VPAA to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

XII. Bibliography:

Chisholm, Robert B., Jr. 2009. Handbook on the prophets. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

VanGemeren, Willem A. 1996. Interpreting the prophetic word. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

XIII. Course Calendar:

MAJOR EXAM DATES:   Exam 1 -- Tuesday, September 28, 2010
                    Exam 2 -- Tuesday, October 26, 2010
                    Exam 3 -- Tuesday, November 30, 2010
                    Final Exam -- Tuesday, December 14, 2010
                                  3:00 - 4:50 p.m.

Course Plan

 8/26/10 -- Introduction to the Course and
            Introduction to Isaiah

            homework: read textbooks on Isaiah
            homework: for each of the following lessons in
                      Isaiah, read the assigned chapters
                      write 3-page introduction to Isaiah
 8/31/10 -- Isaiah 1-9
 9/ 2/10 -- Isaiah 10-21

 9/ 7/10 -- Isaiah 22-29
 9/ 9/10 -- Isaiah 30-37

            homework: draw map for 2 bonus points
 9/14/10 -- Isaiah 36-39
 9/16/10 -- Isaiah 40-48

 9/21/10 -- Isaiah 49-57
            homework: read textbooks on Jeremiah
 9/23/10 -- Isaiah 58-66 and
            Introduction to Jeremiah

            homework: study for exam
 9/28/10 -- Major Exam
            homework: for each of the following lessons in
                      Jeremiah, read the assigned chapters
                      write 3-page introduction to Jeremiah
 9/30/10 -- Jeremiah 1-10

10/ 5/10 -- Jeremiah 11-19
10/ 7/10 -- Jeremiah 20-28

10/12/10 -- Jeremiah 29-40
10/14/10 -- Jeremiah 41-45
World Mission Workshop

10/19/10 -- Jeremiah 46-52
            homework: read Lamentations and Harrison on Lamentations
                      read textbooks on Ezekiel
10/21/10 -- Lamentations and
            Introduction to Ezekiel

            homework: study for exam
10/26/10 -- Major Exam
            homework: for each of the following lessons in
                      Ezekiel, read the assigned chapters
                      write 3-page introduction to Ezekiel
10/28/10 -- Ezekiel 1-11

11/ 2/10 -- Ezekiel 12-18
11/ 4/10 -- Ezekiel 19-24

11/ 9/10 -- Ezekiel 25-34
11/11/10 -- Ezekiel 35-39
11/12/10 -- Last Day to Drop a Class with a "W"--Stick with it to the end!

11/16/10 -- Ezekiel 40-43
            homework: read textbooks on Daniel
11/18/10 -- Ezekiel 44-48 and
            Introduction to Daniel


            homework: study for exam
11/30/10 -- Major Exam
            homework: for each of the following lessons in
                      Daniel, read the assigned chapters
12/ 2/10 -- Daniel 1-6

            homework: write a 4-page lesson from the prophets
12/ 7/10 -- Daniel 7-9
12/ 9/10 -- Daniel 10-12

WEEK SIXTEEN: Final Exam Week
            homework: study for final exam
12/14/10 -- Final Exam (3:00-4:50 p.m.)

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


Bruce Terry's Home Page
Bruce Terry's Home Page   Major Prophets Index Page
http://www.bterry.com/sylbi403.htm hosted at http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/sylbi403.htm
Last updated on August 26, 2010
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