Ancient Near Eastern Studies BA Greek New Testament
Ancient Near Eastern Studies (ANES) deals with the history, literature, religions, and cultures of the ancient Near East from about 3000 B.C. to A.D. 640. It involves study in the humanities, social sciences, and ancient scripture. Geographically, the ancient Near East consists of the region currently designated the Middle East. The ANES major is structured to provide students with a broad understanding of the civilizations of the ancient Near East.
Within the ANES discipline, the Greek New Testament Emphasis also focuses on the study of Koine Greek to enable students to read the Greek New Testament and related literature such as the writings of the early Christian fathers and Jewish writings in Greek such as the Septuagint, apocryphal literature, Josephus, and Philo. It also provides coursework on Judaism and especially early Christianity in the Classical Near East.
The Ancient Near Eastern Studies major prepares students to pursue graduate work and an academic career in all areas of biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies. Ancient Near Eastern Studies, with its emphasis on critical reading, thinking, and writing skills, also provides quality training for students entering professional or library science programs. Additionally, an Ancient Near Eastern Studies degree offers relevant preparation for students seeking to teach seminary and institute in the Church Educational System. A growing number of students are also finding that their training in the history and culture of the Middle East, as well as their involvement in the Kennedy Center, are preparing them for Foreign Service.
History and Culture of Ancient Near East
Students will learn and be able to interpret the significant events and developments in the history and cultures of the ancient Near East, including the history and culture of ancient Israel surrounding civilizations, including in the Hellenistic, Roman, and early Christian eras.
Students will be able to translate and interpret major ancient Near East texts, especially the Greek New Testament, and analyze them within the contexts of Second Temple Judaism, the Hellenistic World, and the Roman Empire. They will also learn proper hermeneutical skills and practice sound exegesis as well as learn how to do modern readings, including readings from an LDS perspective.
Students will acquire and demonstrate functional capacity in the languages and textual interpretation of the Greek New Testament, being able to read, comprehend, analyze, and interpret these significant religious and historical texts with methodological soundness.
Students will develop the capacity for informed, independent, critical thinking and be able to perform appropriate library and online scholarly research and utilize these skills in the professional study of the ancient Near East and early Christianity.
Students will be able to write cogent and substantial research papers on a university level that utilize theoretical and methodological approaches from the Social Sciences and Humanities that integrate historical and artifactual analysis with the translation, analysis and interpretation of ancient Near Eastern texts and topics.
Student participants will be taught the ethical standards adhered to by professionals in the academic fields of textual analysis, archaeology, and historical research and encouraged to follow them.
Students will consider the relationship between academics and faith and will be given models of academically sound but also faithful scholarship. They will be encouraged to engage in a spiritually informed, lifelong pursuit of learning, scholarship, and service.
Evidence of Learning
The inter-departmental nature of BYU's Ancient Near Eastern Studies program dictates that much of course-related assessment of a student's progress is distributed throughout several departments. Program level assessment of student learning includes the Direct and Indirect Measures listed below. Additionally, the ANES Coordinator meets with ANES majors as they declare the major, periodically during their coursework, and a year before they graduate.
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
ANES faculty meet as a Committee of the Whole at least once each year to assess the major and discuss changes that may need to be made. The ANES Executive Committee communicates regularly internally, and as needed with the Committee of the Whole, concerning matters related to the major. ANES faculty are encouraged by the ANES Coordinator to create clearly defined and rigorous learning outcomes and to continue to improve their courses.