In an age of international travel and migration, we’re familiar with people who look, sound, eat, and believe differently than we do. In order to become friends, it’s helpful to understand where they come from and how they do things differently, or the same, as we do. In the same way it is necessary to understand someone who comes from a different place than we do, how much more necessary is it to understand someone who is from not only a different geographical place, but also a different time than we are? The Old Testament starts at the beginning of the world. This course will undertake the task of crossing the bridges of geography, climate, time, and a landscape unknown to us: ancient Israel. Throughout the course, David W. Baker will address aspects of life from our own culture and time, as well as family structure and societal systems from ancient Israelite life. As we learn more about the social world of the Old Testament, we will be struck not only by our differences, but also by our common humanity, sharing the same dreams, hopes, and fears as they did.
David W. Baker is a professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio, where he’s taught since 1986, following teaching assignments at the University of Durban-Westville and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He’s also lectured in Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Dr. Baker has a particular interest in pedagogy, constantly exploring new means and media to enhance the learning and teaching experience for both the instructor and the student. He has contributed to, edited, or written over 40 books, including Isaiah in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, The NIV Application Commentary: Joel, Obadiah, Malachi, and Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. Forthcoming books include Genesis 37–50: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text in the Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible Series, 1 & 2 Kings in the Teach the Text Commentary Series, Genesis in the Apollos Old Testament Commentary Series, and 1 & 2 Samuel in the Believers Church Bible Commentary Series.
He’s blessed with a wife, Morven, who immigrated to Canada from Scotland—a start that prepared her to support Dr. Baker in his geographical wanderings. Morven is a counselor specializing in women’s issues, specifically sexual abuse and domestic violence. Together, they have two children and three granddaughters.
This course comes with an Activities resource that functions as a type of “workbook” for the course. This resource includes learning activities such as: places for you to respond to reflection questions, exercises that will challenge and show you how deepen your understanding of this course by using specific Logos tools and resources, tutorial videos on different features of Logos Bible Software, and links to relevant Logos guides and tools. A link to open the Activities resource is conveniently placed at the end of every segment.