Hearing the Book of Judges Today

24 August 2018

Hearing the Book of Judges Today

This is one of three inspiring courses offered in ETF’s Summer Colloquium, scheduled August 19–24, 2019. This international study week includes lectures, various workshops and times for meeting and reflection.

Registration is open until 1 June 2019.

The book of Judges contains some of the most well-known figures and narratives of the Old Testament. The stories of Gideon, Samson, and others are sure to be found in most children’s story Bibles. However, people of faith are often at a loss when it comes to understanding and interpreting this challenging book. The pages of Judges are filled with violence, warfare, and bad behaviour, and the historical and cultural situation of the book seems far removed from the experiences we face today. The scholarly literature on Judges often only compounds the interpretative challenges of reading Judges. Scholars are at odds when it comes to some of the most basic questions of the book: When was it written? What is its origin? What is its basic message? Does the book hold together coherently? What are we to make of apparent contradictions? In light of all of this, can Judges offer any meaningful instruction for the life and mission of God’s people today?

This course will provide students with the tools to explore the riches of God’s instruction in the book of Judges. Judges will be seen as a vital chapter in the grand narrative of Scripture, wherein God’s people try (and repeatedly fail) to live out their divine calling as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation for the sake of the blessing of the whole world. This course will engage head on the challenges of reading Judges presented by both the academic world and the church world. Through the rigorous use of cultural, historical, rhetorical and theological analysis, we will attune our ears to hear the surprisingly relevant message of Judges for God’s people today.


David Beldman webDr. DAVID BELDMAN is Associate Professor of Religion & Theology at Redeemer University College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.




ETF’s Summer Colloquium in August 2019 features three inspiring courses which intersect theology, church and society. The two other courses are:

This international study week includes lectures, various workshops and times for meeting and reflection. Our Summer Colloquium is compulsory for ETF Open University students open to interested people with academic qualifications and can serve as additional in-service training for pastors, teachers, and other ministry professionals.

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