TH3316, The Forbidden Books

Spring 2024, Reinbolt 201, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:35–1:50pm (Section A) and 2:00–3:15pm (Section B)

Instructor: Dr. Todd Hanneken,, 210-431-8050
Office hours in Zoom ( and Reinbolt 303a, Mondays through Thursdays, 11:00am–12:00pm and 3:20-4:20pm and by appointment through RattlerNavigate, email, or Canvas messaging.

Course Description

This course explores the Jewish books that were excluded from the Jewish Bible, even though many considered them authoritative. They were written between 200 BCE and 100 CE, and preserved among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Greek Bible, and in the remote monasteries of Ethiopia. We will focus on reading primary sources, proceeding through four major units based on literary genre. First we will read ancient historiography, which presents a polemical version of stories about the past (1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Josephus). We then proceed to apocalyptic literature, which claims access to secret revelation about hidden realms and the imminent end of the world as we know it (Animal Apocalypse, Apocalypse of Weeks). Wisdom literature stands at the center of the encounter between Greek philosophy and Jewish ethics (Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon, Philo). Finally, Rewritten Bible claims to recover what the Bible really meant to say, but didn’t (Jubilees).

Required Texts

A Catholic Bible (New American Bible) or Protestant Bible with Apocrypha (New Revised Standard Version). Bibles are available in print from the bookstore or online from and

VanderKam, James C., and George W. E. Nickelsburg. 1 Enoch: A New Translation, based on the Hermeneia Commentary. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012. The print edition is available from the bookstore and required selections are available electronically at

All other required materials will be available through Canvas or


By the end of the course the student will be able to:

Activities and Responsibilities

Attendance and Engagement: Attendance and active engagement during the class meetings are absolutely essential to learning the material. This is especially true for this course, since there are almost no secondary source readings or projects outside the classroom. The grade is based on the tests, and the tests are based on material explained in the class meetings. Preparation of primary sources and studying notes are very important, but secondary. When missing a class meeting is unavoidable, office hours and peer study groups will be essential for learning the material.

It is difficult to distinguish excused and unexcused absences, and ultimately irrelevant since having an excuse for not learning is not the same as learning, and learning outside the classroom, though more difficult, is possible. For this reason, attendance is taken but does not directly factor into the overall grade.

Arriving on time is a matter of respect to the instructor and other students. Though not factored directly into the grade, there is often a correlation between overall learning and arriving a little early to use the last minutes before class to ask questions and review notes and readings. Conversely, “multitasking” correlates strongly with poor learning, especially if one is asked to leave the classroom for distracting the instructor and other students.

Tests: The four tests will focus on retention, comprehension, and synthesis of points from readings and class time. They will include both multiple-choice questions and commentaries on primary sources. If a test is to be missed for a planned conflict (such as a university-sponsored event) the test should be taken in advance of the regularly scheduled test time. If a test is missed due to a last-minute emergency, the test should be made up as soon as possible. A zero may be given for a test that is missed without an excuse or that reflects academic dishonesty (such as consulting with someone who has already taken the test).

Final Exam: The final exam will be cumulative and will require synthesis across the course. It will resemble the tests in format.

15% Historiography Test: Tuesday, February 6, 2024
15% Apocalypses Test: Thursday, March 9, 2024
15% Wisdom Literature Test: Tuesday, April 2, 2024
15% Rewritten Scripture Test: Thursday, April 25, 2024

40% Final Exam: Date as announced by the Registrar

What follows until the schedule should be standard for all your classes at St. Mary’s.

University Policies

All university policies apply to this course, including the following.

This course adheres to the University grading scale.

LetterPercentQuality Points
FBelow 600.00

This course adheres to University academic policies and procedures.

This course adheres to the policies for academic dishonesty and misconduct, as described in the Student Code of Conduct.

This course adheres to the University attendance policy.

This course adheres to the University diversity statement. St. Mary’s University embodies the Marianist spirit of educating the heart and mind. The University draws on the example of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary, to create an environment that lets students thrive and where diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential. The intersectionality of our diverse experiences and characteristics are valued in all spaces within our community. Thus, we all must be committed to building an inclusive learning environment that values the individual experiences of every student in this course and where each has an opportunity to learn, engage in dialogue, question, and contribute to their fullest potential.

This course adheres to the policies for study days and final exams. There will be two study days, Wednesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 2, during which students prepare for final exams. Classes do not meet during Study Days. All major reports and assignments should be scheduled to be completed before Study Days. Study Days are not to be used as dates on which papers are to be turned in, examinations are to be given, quizzes are to be scheduled, mandatory review sessions are to be held, or for any other class-related activities, other than office hours. Faculty may conduct voluntary review sessions at which no new material is presented on these days. The only exception to the study day policy is for Thursday night classes- Thursday night final exams are scheduled on day-two of Study Days (May 2). Final exams will be held on Friday, May 3 and Monday-Wednesday, May 6-8. The final exam schedule can be found at

St. Mary’s University is committed to providing a safe, equitable, and fair environment where students can pursue academic excellence. Policies and procedures have been developed to foster and sustain such an environment and apply to all courses offered at the university. Students need to be aware of these policies and procedures, which can be found at

Please become familiar with these important policies and procedures, which include:

This course adheres to the University Disability Statement. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act, Student Accessibility Services is the designated office responsible for coordinating all accommodations and services for students with disabilities at St. Mary’s University. St. Mary’s University supports equal access of qualifying individuals with documented disabilities to all educational opportunities, programs, services and activities. If you have a documented disability, or a condition which may impact your performance and want to request disability-related accommodations, you must first register with the Office of Student Accessibility Services, located in the Student Counseling Center (in the Center for Life Directions Building) in room 139. Please stop by the Student Accessibility Services Office, call 210-431-5080 or email to set up an appointment to meet with the Student Accessibility Services staff.

This course adheres to all emergency adaptations declared by the University.



  1. Thursday, January 11, 2024 – Introductions and Context (LINK)
  2. Tuesday, January 16, 2024 – Universalism, Particularism, and Parallelism in 1 Maccabees 1 (LINK)
    • Prepare 1 Maccabees 1 (PDF)
  3. Thursday, January 18, 2024 – The Justification for Killing in 1 Maccabees 2 (LINK)
    • Prepare 1 Maccabees 2:1—6:16 (especially chapter 2)
  4. Tuesday, January 23, 2024 – God and Suffering in 1 and 2 Maccabees (LINK)
    • Prepare 2 Maccabees 2:19—5:27 (PDF)
  5. Thursday, January 25, 2024 – Martyrdom (LINK)
    • Prepare 2 Maccabees 6:1—10:8
  6. Tuesday, January 30, 2024 – Josephus and Historiography (LINK)
    • Prepare 1Macc/Josephus comparison (PDF)
  7. Thursday, February 1, 2024 – Josephus’ Rewriting of 1 Maccabees (LINK)
  8. Tuesday, February 6, 2024 – Test on Historiography (LINK)


  1. Thursday, February 8, 2024 – Introduction to Apocalypses, Enoch, and the Books Attributed to Him (LINK)
  2. Tuesday, February 13, 2024 – Enoch’s First Dream Vision (LINK)
    • Prepare 1 Enoch 83–84 (pp. 116–119) (HTML or PDF)
  3. Thursday, February 15, 2024 – The Animal Apocalypse, Explaining the Present (LINK)
    • Skim 1 Enoch 85–89; read carefully 90:1–19
  4. Tuesday, February 20, 2024 – The Animal Apocalypse, Expectations for the Future (LINK)
    • Prepare 1 Enoch 90:20–42
  5. Thursday, February 22, 2024 – The Apocalypse of Weeks (LINK)
    • Prepare 1 Enoch 93:1–91:17 (pp. 139-142)
  6. Tuesday, February 27, 2024 ­ Narrative Bridge, messiahs (LINK)
    • Prepare 1 Enoch 91:1–92:5 (pp. 136–138)
  7. Thursday, February 29, 2024 – Test on Apocalypses

Wisdom Literature

  1. Tuesday, March 5, 2024 – Introduction to Wisdom Literature and Ben Sira (LINK)
    • Prepare Sirach Foreword; 1 (HTML or PDF)
  2. Thursday, March 7, 2024 – Ben Sira on Theodicy and the Afterlife (LINK)
    • Prepare Sirach 2; 39–41

    March 12–14, 2024 – Spring Break (No Class Meetings)

  3. Tuesday, March 19, 2024 – Lady Wisdom (LINK)
    • Prepare Sirach 24
  4. Thursday, March 21, 2024 – Ben Sira on Wives and Daughters (LINK)
    • Prepare Sirach 26–26, 42
  5. Tuesday, March 26, 2024 – Hellenistic Judaism (Wisdom of Solomon, Philo) and the Immortality of the Soul (LINK)
    • Prepare short selections from Philo (HTML or PDF); Wisdom of Solomon 1–5 (HTML or PDF)
  6. Thursday, March 28, 2024 – Wisdom of Solomon on Theodicy, Universalism, and Natural Law (LINK)
    • Prepare Wisdom of Solomon 11-13; skim 6-10; 14-19 (HTML or PDF)
  7. Tuesday, April 2, 2024 – Test on Wisdom Literature

Rewritten Scripture

  1. Thursday, April 4, 2024 – Introduction to Rewritten Bible and Jubilees (LINK)
    • Prepare Hanneken, Introduction to Jubilees (PDF); Jubilees 1 (PDF)
  2. Tuesday, April 9, 2024 – Creation in 6 or 7 Days and the Garden of Eden (LINK)
    • Prepare Genesis 1–3; Jubilees 2–3
  3. Thursday, April 11, 2024 – Classes Cancelled
  4. Tuesday, April 16, 2024 – The Flood, Theodicy, and Rewritten 1 Enoch (LINK)
    • Prepare Jubilees 4–5, 10
  5. Thursday, April 18, 2024 – Religion, Gentiles, and the Jubilees “Apocalypse” (LINK)
    • Prepare Jubilees 6, 15, and 23
  6. Tuesday, April 23, 2024 – Conclude Jubilees
  7. Thursday, April 25, 2024 – Test on Rewritten Bible

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 – Review

Thursday, May 2, 2024 – Study Day (No Class Meeting)

Cumulative Final Exam

Exam week begins May 3, 2024. Exam day and time as announced by the Registrar.