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BT/CM 819 Preaching Old Testament PoetryMarch 22-26, 2010This course is intended to give students practical, step-by-step methods in preaching from Old Testament poetic texts in ways which are exegetically responsible, powerful and illuminating in application, and gospel centered. Our time will be spent considering and practicing deep ways of reading OT poetic texts and methods of analysis of the poetry, structure, theology, and literary, canonical, and salvation-historical contexts of different OT poetic passages, all for the sake of speaking the gospel responsibly and powerfully in the pulpit.COURSE INTEGRATIONIsaiah and Proverbs are two OT poetic books which pose special problems for preachers. In addition to the difficulties of interpreting any given line in Isaian poetry, the book evinces a large-scale structure which forms an indispensable context for individual claims which Isaiah makes. Isaiah also ties different chapters together by echoing images or phrases (perhaps the most significant occurring in Isaiah 35.4, 10; 40.9-10; 51.11; and 62.10-12). But how can one move from text to sermon in ways which take these larger poetic and theological structures into account, and in ways which deepen and nourish the sermon? The preacher of the book of Proverbs faces similar challenges: in addition to questions concerning parallelism and poetic imagery in individual proverbs, chs. 10-31 of the book present the preacher with a bewildering and almost staccato-like series of maxims. How to preach the book in a way which is both responsible to the ancient text and helpful for modern audiences is not at all clear. This class is designed to furnish students with methods, approaches and tools which can guide them from text to sermons in which the complexities and richness of the ancient text nourishes and deepens, rather than dampening or clouding, dynamic, visionary, and helpful preaching.Although skill with Hebrew is naturally helpful for this course, it is specifically geared for students who work from English translations in sermon preparation.