This assignment presupposes that the Old Testament is encompassed by a singular narrative, i.e. a master story that expresses the worldview and theological attitudes of the Hebrew people. This is seen in the various themes and perspectives studied in BTM 101. Hence, in engaging this narrative via the signature assignment students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of how God’s purposes are showcased in the lives of three key OT figures. Part of the goal is to observe and assess how the larger OT narrative is not just an abstract concept but is embodied and made concrete in the lives of real people. In essence, the signature assignment essay moves from the general to the specific by presupposing the larger story to that of exploring how this story is displayed in three important personalities. Such figures are to be chosen from a list provided by the professor, a list that includes both patriarchs and matriarchs (see below). With respect to the OT narrative, students will choose at least one patriarch and one matriarch in fulfilling the requirements of the assignment. Then another person will be chosen from the lists provided and be made part of the essay, bringing the total to three figures.
Questions and concerns to be considered in this paper are as follows. Do not slavishly try to answer all of these questions and embed them in your essay. Importantly, the questions below are prompts meant to stir your thinking and open doors into the Signature Assignment:
1. How does God accomplish his will even while dealing with flawed human beings, e.g. Abraham’s lies to protect himself?
2. How do the chosen figures work specifically with God in the advancement of ‘the divine plan’ as seen in the OT narrative?
3. What events in the lives of the chosen figures are the major pieces or stepping stones in moving Israel forward toward God’s planned outcome for the Hebrew people?
4. How do the chosen figures compare and contrast with one another with regard to their respective experiences with God?
5. What are the “lessons learned” for contemporary people of faith from the lives of the key figures and their place in the OT narrative?
In their essays students should include some major themes covered in the course. Essays must document the scriptures and any other sources used in the paper. This essay is to be a minimum of 1000 words (3-4 pages excluding title and reference pages) in 12 font, Times New Roman. A Rubric will be applied for grading this signature assignment. The rubric is posted as a file in BL and in Taskstream.
LIST OF PATRIARCHS:
Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, David
LIST OF MATRIARCHS:
Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca, Rahab, Miriam, Bathsheeba, Deborah
NB By way of reminder, in choosing the three figures at the center of the signature assignment, at least one figure must come from each list.