Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roy C. Naden

Second Advisor

John B. Youngberg

Third Advisor

Randall W. Younker

Abstract

Problem. An understanding of Israel's history is crucial to a Christian view of history, including its morals and values, and is a foundation stone of most conservative Christians including Seventh-day Adventists and their religious educational philosophy. There is a vital need for a curriculum that provides reasonable answers to the most frequently asked questions about Israel's early history and builds a solid base for the Christian/Adventist faith. The purpose of this study was to meet this need by empirically developing a curriculum for religion majors in Seventh-day Adventist colleges. Issues discussed include the Philosophical Background and Importance of History; the Role of Biblical Hermeneutics; Archaeology and the Bible; the Patriarchal Period; Abraham and Middle Bronze Customs, the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Centuries Exodus Debate; and Israelite Conquest/Settlement.

Method. The instructional product development methods of Baker and Schutz and Naden were employed in this research. Instructional specifications were established through non-ambiguous behavioral objectives after the need for the product had been established. Criteria for the evaluation of these objectives were based on current literature related to the topic. Strategies for the positive modification of affect were included.

The curriculum was prepared in the form of ten, 50-minute class periods. Mastery was set at 80/80 which means that at least 80 percent of the participants would score at least 80 percent on each of the twenty-three behavioral objectives. Religion majors were the designated subjects through which the empirical development was conducted.

The product was first presented to small groups. The group size was increased as the product was modified and as the groups achieved higher levels of mastery. The curriculum was considered to be presentation ready when mastery was reached by a larger group (33), the results of which could be statistically analyzed. Modification of affect was measured by means of a Likert-scale instrument.

Results. After developing the curriculum, the instruction was presented to thirty-three subjects. Mastery at the predetermined level was achieved on all of the behavioral objectives. Modification of affect suggested that students were significantly motivated by the instruction to further study the archaeologically based issues on the history of ancient Israel.

Conclusion. In academic circles, conflict continues over the historicity of the Bible in general and of Israel in particular. These questions carry over into general society and congregational life.

Because SDA colleges lacked an empirically developed curriculum for teaching these issues related to the history of ancient Israel, this product could be utilized in a college instruction in religion/religious education classes.

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