A new Massive Open Online Course, "The Bible in Light of the Ancient Near East" is suggested to students and to the public

With the academic year 2017-18 set to begin on October 25, 2017, the Zalman Shamir Department of Bible is offering a new Massive Open Online Course on The Bible in Light of the Ancient Near East. The course has been professionally produced to combine video lectures, rich images of many relevant findings, a variety of online activities, and outdoor filming at the British Museum. It was produced as part of the first cycle of an innovative program of the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the CHE's Planning and Budgeting Committee, together with Digital Israel, as part of the effort to make the best of Israeli academia accessible to the interested public around the world.


This will be the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to be offered by Bar-Ilan University, setting a new standard for online and global learning, the main goal of which is to break down geographical and cultural barriers between learners around the world. The course will be presented via edX, an online learning and MOOC provider founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012 that offers high-quality courses from the world's leading universities and institutions to learners around the globe.


The course is an introduction to the Bible set against the background of the rich archaeological findings from the Ancient Near East. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the fascinating world of Israel’s neighboring civilizations in biblical times. It offers a comparative study that examines the relationship between the Bible and these civilizations. 


The course will be taught by Dr. Nili Samet, who teaches Bible and Assyriology in the Shamir Department of Bible at Bar-Ilan University.  A member of the Bar-Ilan faculty since 2011, her research interests include the study of the Bible in its ancient Near Eastern context, Biblical and Mesopotamian Wisdom and Lamentation literature, Sumerian language and culture, and Biblical Hebrew.  Dr. Samet has received numerous honors, including a Bikura Post Doctoral Scholarship and Alon Fellowship for Outstanding Young Researchers.


You are invited to visit the course website here: