On the biblical studies e-list there was a discussion about what text books would be good to use for an Old Testament Introduction class – the following quote was among the best of them all:
Personally, I recommend getting the students to just read the Bible: the best introduction they can have. And it will put them ahead of many of their teachers.
University of Sheffield
I know it sounds funny but sadly, this is true – probably having Bible College and Seminary or even Religious Studies students just read the Bible will be the best introduction they can get and will put them ahead of many of their teachers! Perhaps this could be more true in State Universities/Coleges that have religious courses but I would wonder if this would be the case in very many of the Evangelical Schools?
It’s revolutionary though isn’t it? Keep the Bible as the main text for biblical studies and ministry preparation. I think it was Niels Peter Lemche on the Biblical Studies list, in the same discussion, who mentioned that often in oral exams he would note that the student had read a lot of books but had obviously not read the Bible!
I will say when took classes at Fuller Theological Seminary Northwest – my professor for Psalms (Hebrew (MT) Text) asked us to read through the Psalms at least once during the class – and I know she did the same with whatever OT class she was teaching be it the Pentetuch, the Prophets. or the Writings if it was not a specific exegesis class. So I know of at least one seminary that has at least one professor who asks her students to actually read the Bible.