RE 101 - Literature of the Old and New Testaments
Winter, 2019

Instructor: Walter C. Bouzard, Ph.D.
Office: Grossmann 101 D
Phone: 352-8235 (O); 352-2140 (H)
Office Hours:
M, F !2:00- 1:05 PM, T 9:35 - 11:25 AM
or by Appointment (see my schedule here)


Course Description:  "Content of biblical literature. Historical setting of texts, unfolding drama of salvation, Bible's relevance for contemporary  faith and life." 

Link to the Tentative Schedule

Course Learning Outcomes:  This course aims to enable students to

1. Apply a basic knowledge of standard biblical overview sources and their relevance and usefulness to biblical interpretation and analysis.

2. Analyze the contents of the Old and New Testament writings in relation to the historical contexts in which they emerged.

3. Explain the formative influences of the biblical tradition(s) upon western civilization.

4. Examine the significance of biblical texts on contemporary life and how biblical texts may inform their own quest for meaning in the world.


Grades and Evaluative Procedure:

Evaluative Procedure:

Four (4) examinations

 @150 pts


Worksheets & Quizzes

 200 pts


  Term Paper Description    50 pts    50
  Term Essay  150 pts  150





 1000-930 = A  929-900 = A-  899-870 = B+
 869-830   = B  829-800 = B-  799-770 = C+
 769-730   = C  729-700 = C-  699-670 = D+
 669-630   = D  629-600 = D-  599-0      = F

HANGING THIS IN MY CLASSROOM NEXT YEAR FOR SUREExtra point sections will routinely be included on examinations. Note, however, there are few other planned provisions for extra points. Occasional extra credit opportunities may crop up during the semester in the form of campus speakers or activities. Students will be informed should such opportunities arise.

Make-up times for examinations. Make-ups for examinations missed for due cause will be made up at the instructor's convenience, normally about 5:30 AM when there is little likely conflict with a student's other classes or extra-curricular activities. Students are urged NOT to miss examinations. It will make us both grumpy.

Worksheets. Short daily written assignments appear on the schedule for most class sessions. You should plan to type your responses on the worksheets, print them, and bring them to class. You would do well to print your materials well in advance as the copier in Cardinal Commons is busy and sometimes unreliable.  Late work is not accepted.  An occasional assignment shall be submitted to You will need to acquire a free account on this web-site.


RE 101 01 (7:45 am) your class name is 19930563 and the enrollment password is Kyrie.
RE 101 04 (9:00 am) your class name is 19930570 and the enrollment password is Eleison.
Nota bene: Passwords are Case sensitive.

Except for in-class quizzes, ALL work shall by typed. Use the spell-check and grammar check functions on your computer before you push "print."

As it is the case that the daily work is often multiple pages once printed, you would do well to purchase an inexpensive stapler--or at the least a box of paper clips! The instructor is not responsible for giving you credit if your pages are not attached or, at the least, include your name.

Not all worksheets will be collected, but only those selected by games of chance will be considered for a grade. If nothing else, this may teach you why gambling at Meskwaki Casino is a poor life choice. The 200 points for these worksheets and the quizzes (see below) will be comprised totaling the total points available for the assignments collected, divide 200 by that number, and then multiplied by the actual points earned by the student. Thus, if we collect 12 assignments by chance (a ridiculously low number) and those assignments totaled 36 points, the point value would be assigned as follows:  200/ 36 = 5.555 per point. Multiply 5.555 * the total earned by the student (say, 34): 5.555 * 34 =  188.88 points. Thus, a student's worksheets could offset a poorer exam grade of a "D+" (103.5 / 150 points) by netting a total of  292.38 / 350 points = 83.53% or a "B" average for the two assignments. And remember: the goal is to come close to 1000 points total. So faithful daily work is rewarded and rewarding.

Questions for Pondering. One of the unfortunate facts of college life is that you will likely find yourself too busy to think about the larger questions of life. This is ironic because, of course, the contemplation of such things is why you came to college in the first place. To remedy this, many of the worksheets have a "question for pondering," accompanied by a box. All that is asked of you for that part of your assignment is to think for a few minutes about the question, and then check that you have thought.

Quizzes. In addition to the worksheets, there will be frequent in-class quizzes on the assigned reading, previous class materials, material from the worksheets, and so forth. Quizzes are usually not announced in advance. Quizzes will be weighed as an additional worksheet.

A short essay. Students are required to discover and use Bible dictionaries and commentaries (available in the library) to complete an assigned term essay. The project description for this semester is available by clicking here.  Special attention shall be given to proper annotation: each project will include footnotes and a brief bibliography. Footnotes and bibliographies shall be offered in the Turabian or Chicago Manual of Style format. All students are strongly encouraged first to review the guides provided by the Religion department and the Library staff at  Also, help for citations can be found at  Click on the last mentioned website now, then return to this syllabus. Essays are due at the beginning of the class hour on December 7. As late papers will be penalized by a full letter grade per hour,  there is no point in turning in an essay that is over 4 hours late. While it is mathematically possible to pass this course without turning in a paper, failure to turn in an essay will nevertheless result in an automatic "F" for the course.

Credit Hour: You may expect to spend at least two hours of time outside of class, completing homework and other assignments, for every hour you spend in class.

From the Wartburg Honor Code:
“Students, faculty, and staff of Wartburg College are expected to demonstrate integrity in all endeavors. Students are expected to adhere to four essential principles:

1. Submit only original work and properly cite ideas of others, including fellow students.
2. Refrain from giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations and assignments.
3. Report any act that violates these principles.
4. Ask for clarification if uncertain about the expectations on a particular assignment.

Students are responsible for abiding by these principles and opposing academic dishonesty in all academic endeavors.”  Source: Student Senate, March 12, 2015.

Further explanation of the honor code can be found by clicking here.

In order to prevent any misunderstandings about the significance of the Honor Code for this course as interpreted by the instructor, please note the following: cheating on examinations and/or collusion in cheating will result in an automatic grade of "F" for the course. Collusion includes sharing of exam questions between sessions, not reporting cheating, etc. While students may work collaboratively on some assignments, simply copying the work of another student--and especially one who is not currently enrolled in this class--is regarded as a violation of the Honor Code and will result in an automatic grade of "F" for the course. Plagiarism, or theft of thought, is also naturally regarded as a violation of the Honor Code. Students should be sure than any written work that draws upon the work of another scholar is properly cited in footnotes. Plagiarism will result in an automatic grade of "F" for the course as will any other violation of the Honor Code. Please click here to consult the Student Handbook, for specific information about expectations for student conduct.

Attendance: Attendance is assumed. You need not call or e-mail to inform the instructor of your absence. Prolonged absences, however, are a matter of institutional concern. Should you need to miss more than one class in a row due to illness, family emergencies, etcetera, you are urged to follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook and, especially, to make contact with the Dean of Student's Office.  More than four (4) absences will result in an "F" for the course. Note that last sentence. Use your absences wisely.  A special note about doctor appointments: the instructor of this course goes to the doctor for appointments too. He makes those appointments at a time when he is not supposed to be in class. You should do likewise. Athletes are not automatically excused from class for competitive events. Absences must be negotiated with instructors in advance.

Whether you are absent or present you are responsible for material covered in class, including procuring your own copies of any handouts or worksheets from fellow students. Should you be absent, however, be aware that late assignments will not be accepted under any circumstances and missed quizzes will not be made up. Both late homework and missed quizzes will be recorded as an "0."  Nota bene: Assignments "left in the dorm room" or otherwise late for any reason will not be accepted, so please do not embarrass yourself by asking. There will be NO exceptions. This is the way the world works, so get used to it.

Language: Students should make an earnest effort to use inclusive language for God and humanity in all comments, oral or written, connected with this class. For example, use "humankind," "humanity," or "human beings" rather than "man" in the sentence "Man sins, God forgives." Use of inclusive language is generally more correct (both ethically and grammatically) and, besides, it keeps us all from sounding like Neanderthals. More significantly, the liberating God of the Bible sets free both men and women, equally and without distinction--and certainly not on the basis of one's genitalia. Written work that does not employ inclusive language is grammatically incorrect and will be assayed accordingly.  While we are on the subject of language, please note:  the word Bible is always capitalized. There are no known exceptions. The adjective "biblical," on the other hand, is capitalized only if it appears at the beginning of a sentence. 

Students Needing Accommodations: Qualified students with disabilities are protected from unlawful discrimination by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended. Students requesting academic accommodations due to disabilities must arrange for such accommodations by contacting Derek Solheim, Pathways Center Director.  He can be reached at the Pathways Center, (319) 352-8425, or by e-mail derek.solheim@wartburg.eduPresenting documentation of a disability early is helpful and often necessary to secure needed materials in a timely way. Accommodations should be requested PRIOR to affected assignment due dates. Accommodations cannot be provided retroactively.

A word about E-MAIL: Students are welcome and encouraged to e-mail the instructor with questions and concerns about the course, just as they are encouraged and  welcome to visit during office hours or, should your schedule conflict with posted office hours, to make an appointment. The instructor will make an attempt to respond to students--normally reasonably soon after receiving an e-mail. Note, however, that the instructor does not normally read his e-mail hourly (or even daily!). An e-mail sent at 11:30 pm Sunday evening requesting information before 7:45 am on Monday, for example, is unlikely to be read in time. And yes, this really happened--on more than one occasion!

Telephone: My office and home phone numbers are listed above for your use. Call me should you need assistance.

Laptop and other personal computing devices are allowed in class. You will be given the opportunity to cooperate with your classmates by taking notes together. You would be foolish not to participate in this voluntary opportunity. Do not be foolish.

Cell phones and text messaging: Don't. Not in class. It is simply rude and distracting for both fellow students and the instructor. Any interruption due to cell phones will result in a warning for the first incident (plus the instructor gets to answer the phone!) and a deduction from the final grade of 100 points (10%,or a full grade) for each occurrence thereafter.  Receiving and sending text messages will be treated the same EXCEPT you will be asked to leave the class for the day and marked as absent. Note, however, that during examinations, cell phones shall be on the desk, face down. The use of any electronic sending or receiving device during a quiz or exam will result in an F for the course.

Hats: The instructor will insist that hats not be worn during examinations. Otherwise, if your mother didn't tell you not to wear a hat in the house, I suppose it is too late now.  For other rules of etiquette in this and other venues, see the Performance Etiquette page.

Student comments/feedback during the term: Students are invited and encouraged to speak directly with the professor about the direction of the course as the term progresses. 

Chapel: I try to attend Wartburg chapel services on MWF at 10:15. This means that I am generally NOT available for conversation or consultation during the chapel time. Your success in this course naturally has nothing to do with whether or not you attend chapel. Nevertheless, you are most welcome to attend chapel services with me.

Printing in the library or labs: The library and computer lab printers default to double-sided printing. This is a good thing for the planet we live on as well as for the college budget. Double-sided printing is preferred for all assignments whenever possible. Materials copied in the library can be scanned, for FREE, and sent to yourself as a pdf file. You need not check out shared library resources.

Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination:  Wartburg College is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct including, but not limited to, sex-based harassment, non-consensual sex acts, sexual exploitation, relationship violence, and stalking. Wartburg College considers sex discrimination in all forms to be a serious offense and it will not be tolerated.

The Wartburg College’s Title IX, Sexual Misconduct and Discrimination Policy, following national guidance from the Office of Civil Rights, requires that faculty follow Wartburg’s policy as a “mandatory reporter” of any personal disclosure of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or violence related experiences or incidents shared with the faculty member in person, via email, and/or in classroom settings. These disclosures include but are not limited to reports of personal relationship abuse, relational/domestic violence, and stalking. While faculty are often able to help students locate appropriate channels of assistance on campus, disclosure by the student to the faculty member requires that the faculty member inform appropriate Wartburg personnel to help ensure that the student’s safety and welfare is being addressed, even if the student requests that the disclosure not be shared.

For confidential counseling support and assistance on campus, please contact:

            Wartburg College Counseling Services, 319-352-8596
            Wartburg College Campus Pastor, 319-352-8217

For private, but not confidential, resources on campus, please contact:

            John Myers, Director of Campus Security, 319-352-8372
            Jamie Hollaway, Title IX Coordinator, 319-352-8418
            Cassie Hales, Director of Residential Life, 319-352-8260
            Dr. Dan Kittle, VP of Student Life, 319-352-8745
            Campus Security officers and residence hall directors

This course surveys over 2500 years of history and a majority of the sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible. Keeping abreast of the reading assignments is essential to mastery of the course material. In addition you may want to keep the following tips in mind:

1. Prepare for class. Make it a practice to read all assigned materials prior to coming to class. This will allow you to frame your own questions about the material in advance. Also the instructor assumes you have read the material and plans the class accordingly. If you have not been faithful in your reading you are likely to get lost.

2. Read. The assignments vary in length, so you will need to plan ahead. Also, the LSB has many useful and illuminating footnotes written by sundry scholars. You are STRONGLY URGED to routinely read these notes as you do your assignment. Frequently, the notes are required reading. The introductory essays for the biblical books we encounter are required reading, as is the general essays.

3. Attend class.
The instructor will frequently present material not available--or not readily available--in the reading assignments. As this is the case you are extremely unlikely to perform well on examinations if you have not attended class.

4. Ask questions.
The chances are good that if you are confused about something others are likewise struggling. You serve yourself and others in your class by asking your questions. Also, you are paying good money for your education; there is no point in wasting it by not asking questions! You are also strongly encouraged to visit the instructor during office hours (or other times by appointment).

5. Pay attention to spelling.
We all make spelling errors from time to time. However, every effort should be made to learn the correct spelling of those terms and places encountered in the readings, the pre-review sheets, etc. Grossly incorrect spelling on exams and worksheets will be counted wrong.

6. Find a study partner.

7. Attend Supplemental Instructions (SI) sessions.

8. Learn the terms and concepts as you go along rather than waiting for a major examination.
Since you already know that many of the questions for the brief daily quizzes will come from the assigned reading, the glossary terms, and the biblical material, review those items daily.

          9. Keep your e-mail "inbox" tidy so that you may receive timely notices from your professor.

         10. Since much of your success at Wartburg will depend on your ability to research and compose properly formatted papers,         
                here's everything you need to know about plagiarism, citations, bibliographies, and so on! In addition, look here for some
                Turabian helps. Feel free to bookmark these pages for future courses.

         11. Become familiar with library resources for research.  Start by spending ten minutes to learn what is available at
       Nota bene: THE database for researching things in the Bible or religion is the ATLA (American
               Theological Library Association), available on the library's web page.
               One Search does not permeate the ATLA fully. Use the ATLA database for everything in this class.

12. Count the cost of your education. Besides the fact that you are able to do what millions of people can only dream of--to go to college--Wartburg isn't cheap.
       Currently the comprehensive fee is $51,276 per year, including fees, room and board. That means if you take 9 credits this year, then each time you skip one
       of the 38 MWF class sessions you throw away approximately $149.92.  And no, the instructor does not see anywhere near that sort of scratch. He wishes he
       did. Your faculty and staff have not had a raise in well over a decade. Meanwhile, you likely have a better phone and a newer car, a better stereo and a larger
       television than he does, so complain to him about costs with caution.

And finally, please note that you have a professor for this course.  The word "profess" is derived from the Latin profiteri which, in turn, comes from the parts pro (before) and fateri (to avow). Thus, a professor is one who makes open declarations and who declares one's beliefs. My vocation, therefore, is to "profess" positions on sundry subjects and not, as some seem to assume, to be a neutral purveyor of information. You, on the other hand, are encouraged to debate, argue, and challenge me for that, too, is a part of the learning process. Keep in mind, I could just be wrong.

Tentative Class Schedule

Click here to return to Dr. Bouzard's Home Page