Essay 1: Text: The Baal Cycle, in W.W. Hallo (ed.), The Context of Scripture (Leiden: Brill, 1997; republished 2003), vol. I, pp. 243-73, ‘The Ba‘lu Myth’ (trans. D. Pardee).
Give an account of the myths about Baal in the Ugaritic texts, attending to the light they shed on the character of the deity and his consorts (Anat, Astarte/Ashtoreth/Ashtart), the problems of interpretation that arise in understanding these texts, and the insight this study offers for the Old Testament.
Essay 2: Text: The Baal Cycle, in W.W. Hallo (ed.), The Context of Scripture (Leiden: Brill, 1997; republished 2003), vol. I, pp. 243-73, ‘The Ba‘lu Myth’ (trans. D. Pardee).
What do we know about the god El and his consort Athirat (Asherah) in the Ugaritic Texts and how does this illuminate our understanding of the Old Testament?
Essay 3: Text: The Epic of Creation, in B.R. Foster, Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature (3rd edition, Bethesda: CDL Press, 2005), pp. 439-85.
What can Enuma elish (or the so-called “Babylonian Creation Epic”) tell us about Babylonian and biblical thought?
Essay 4: Text: The Epic of Gilgamesh (standard version), in A. George, The Epic of Gilgamesh (revised edition, London: Penguin, 2003), pp. 1-100, 191-5.
Why does the Gilgamesh epic matter?
Essay 5: Text: M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973-1980; republished 2006), vol. I, pp. 51-7, 131-3; vol. II, pp. 81-132, 197-9, 203-23.
What are the main features of Egyptian religion?
Essay 6: Text: The Disappearance of Telipinu (version 1) and The Song of Kumarbi, in H.A. Hoffner, Hittite Myths (2nd edition, Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998), pp. 15-18, 42-5.
Give an account of Hittite Religion and Mythology.
Essay 7: Text: Philo of Byblos’ Phoenician History, in H.W. Attridge and R.A. Oden, Philo of Byblos: The Phoenician History (Washington: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1981), pp. 29-71.
Is Philo of Byblos’ description of Phoenician theology accurate? How far does it reflect genuine ancient Canaanite mythology and how far does it manifest late Hellenistic influence?
Essay 8: Text: The Sefire Inscriptions, in W.W. Hallo (ed.), The Context of Scripture (Leiden: Brill, 2000; republished 2003), vol. II, pp. 213-17, ‘The Inscriptions of Bar-Ga’yah and Mati‘el from Sefire’ (trans. J.A. Fitzmyer).
What do the Sefire Inscriptions contribute to our understanding of ancient Near Eastern history, including that of ancient Israel?