συνεσταυρωμαι points to Philip Davies’ highlighting of an often overlooked aspect of teaching a course introducing the Old Testament. A question asked, what textbooks would be good for an Intro to OT class? Davies replies:
Personally, I recommend getting the students to just read the Bible: the best introduction they can have. And it will put them ahead of many of their teachers.
Zing! He expounds here (pointed out by Peter Kirk). It reminded me of a comment made by a friend who studied at UPenn under Jeff Tigay. My friend explained that Tigay often lamented that grad students knew so little about the Bible. When he was a student, apparently, they were expected to pretty much be able to finish the Hebrew of almost any verse after being given the first few words. I was 20 before I ever read the Bible, and when I decided to major in ancient Near Eastern studies I was told to be ready to be competing with kids who had been studying the Hebrew Bible since they were ten. That’s encouraging. Then I would be told there were no jobs (but only by people who had jobs). I guess the lesson is to read your Bible.