This is Part 1 of an intensive year long survey of the major movements, themes and developments in the evolution of Israelite/Jewish civilization from the birth of Israelite religion and people to the end of the biblical period. The course covers the essential elements of biblical history, law, religion, culture and thought. Students will become familiar with the major methodologies and disciplines of biblical studies and will encounter the approaches of some of the most prominent scholars in the field of biblical studies. While the course will focus mostly on the scholarly and religious perspectives concerning biblical history, text and culture, there will also be opportunities to assess what we learn together from a spiritual perspective. We will also always consider how students can teach biblical history in ways that will make it meaningful and relevant to today’s Jews. Students need not have yet passed the “Sefer Barrier” course to take this course, though a working reading proficiency of the biblical text is expected. The description for Part 2 is listed under the TaNaCh course listings.