Great Books 101: Ancient to Medieval

The David Story (1 and 2 Samuel & 2 Kings 1-2)”

Overview

David is one of the most well-known figures of the Old Testament. The story of David’s life is not only a spiritual narrative about the triumph of righteousness and tragedy of sin, but also a great literary masterpiece concerning human nature, family relationships, and the anguish of the soul. David is introduced to the reader in a humble setting—as a shepherd—an image that is very important to the narrative. Years after the shepherd boy David famously defeats Goliath, the prophet Nathan, who delivered many heavenly promises of glory and greatness to David, is sent by God to condemn David and his household for his grave sins of adultery and murder. What follows is a tragedy that ravages David’s family and kingdom, and culminates in the near-overthrow of David’s kingdom by his own son, Absalom. The story of David teaches us about the importance of living up to our potential and about the effects that our choices, even seemingly private choices, have on others.

Lecture

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Recommended Readings

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important to understand the David story as not only a spiritual narrative, but also a literary masterpiece?
  2. What is the significance of the image of David as a shepherd?
  3. Are the lessons of the David story still relevant today? Why or why not?

Q & A Session

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