AC

Alphacrucis College

Details for Esther

Esther is a female character in the Old Testament who outwits her enemies in a deadly game of palace politics. In a thoughtful examination of Esther, we discover that it is a book rich in wonder, mystery, and artistic literary expression. The excellent Hebrew narrative of Esther, with its twists and turns, continues to make it a favourite book for many of us today. This unit will take you into the Persian world of Esther, and its post-exilic context. We will particularly explore with Esther ‘where is God?’ - for this narrative is crafted in such a way that the name of the LORD is never mentioned, yet God is present in every situation. 


Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Paper code: BIB313
  • Credit points: 15
  • Total workload hours per week: 10
  • Number of timetabled hours per week: 4 *

* Note: Papers with reduced contact hours (such as those taught in Intensive format) will have an increased assessment component.

Prerequisites

BIB101 – Narrative of the First Testament

The following courses are prerequisites:

The paper Esther is part of the subject area Biblical Studies and is offered as a part of the following Awards: Bachelor of Contemporary Ministry (New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)).

Paper Content

Curriculum Objective

This paper is an examination of the book of Esther and its narrative world.

Outcomes

Students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the historical, theological, social and ethical concerns of Esther
  2. Assess and apply various methods in interpreting Hebrew narrative
  3. Apply exegetical skills to provide sustained and extended argument on the interpretation of Esther
  4. Explain the relevance of the book of Esther and apply it to contemporary Christian life  

Subject Content

  1. Historical background to Esther and interpreting Hebrew narrative
  2. Critical approaches to Esther
  3. Exegesis of selected passages
  4. Theological reflections on Esther
  5. Contemporary applications

This course may be offered in the following formats

Lectures, tutorials, group work, online engagement

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis College.

Assessment Methods

Major essay (50%, 2500 words); Exegetical Essay (30%, 1500 words); Forum Postings (20%, 2500 words)

Prescribed Text

Readings Provided

Representative References

Amit, Y. Reading Biblical Narratives: Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001.

Barr, J.. History and Ideology in the Old Testament: Biblical Studies at the end of the Millennium. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Bar-Efrat, S. Narrative Art In The Bible. UK:T. & T. Clark Publishers, 2004.

Beal, T.K.  The Book of Hiding: Gender, Ethnicity, Annihilation, and Esther. Biblical Limits, London: Routledge, 1997.

Berlin, A. “The Book of Esther and Ancient Storytelling”. Journal of Biblical Literature 120:1 (2001): 3-15.

Brenner, A. (ed).  A Feminist Companion to Esther, Judith and Susanna. London: T & T Clark, 2005.

Bush, F.W.  Ruth, Esther. WBC, Nashville: Word, 1996.

Campbell, A. F. ‘The Storyteller’s Role: Reported Story and Biblical Text’, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 64 (2002): 427-441.

Dalley, S. Esther’s Revenge at Susa:  From Sennacherib to Ahasuerus.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2008.

Fox, M.V.  Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther. 2nd ed. Columbia: USCP, 2001.

Fuchs, E., Sexual Politics in the Biblical Narrative: Reading the Hebrew Bible as a Woman. JSOTS 310. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2000.

Groden, M., Kreiswirth, M., and Szeman, I. (eds), The Johns Hopkins Guide To Literary Theory & Criticism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.

Gunn, D. M. and Fewell, D. N. Narrative in the Hebrew Bible. Oxford Bible Series, Oxford: OUP, 1993.

Hacham, N., “3 Maccabees and Esther: Parallels, Intertextuality, and Diaspora Identity”, Journal of Biblical Literature,126:4 (Winter 2007): 765-785.

Heitzig, L. and Pierce Rose, P. Pathway to God’s Plan: Ruth and Esther.  Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2002.

Jobes, K.H.  Esther. NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.

Klein, Lillian R.,  From Deborah to Esther:  Sexual Politics in the Hebrew Bible.  Minneapolis, MN:  Fortress Press, 2003.

McGeough, K., “Esther the Hero: Going beyond "Wisdom" in Heroic Narratives”, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 70:1 (Jan 2008): 44-65.

Walsh, J. Style and Structure in Biblical Hebrew Narrative. Collegeville, Liturgical Press, 2001.

Wooton, J. “For such a Time as This: The Timeliness of the Book of Esther.” International Congregational Journal 6:2 (2007): 21-30.

Journals:

Currents in Biblical Research

Journal for the Study of Old Testament

Journal of Biblical Literature

                      Interpretation