Ancient Laws in the Bible and Book of Mormon
Comparative study of legal topics in the law codes and legal systems of the Old Testament, legal narratives in the New Testament, the trials of Jesus and Paul, and the legal cases in the Book of Mormon, as well as the codes of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Hittites, Assyrians, and Greek and Roman law.
 Hours3.0 Credit, 3.0 Lecture, 0.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesFirst-year law courses.
Course Outcomes: 

Sources of Law

Students will know the sources of law from the ancient Middle East, including the types of documents that are helpful in reconstructing those legal systems, the ancient circumstances under which those documents were produced, what legal subjects they covered, how those law codes were organized, and what purposes they served.

Comparisons & Insights

By comparing the nature of those ancient sources with the sources of law in the modern world, students will develop new insights into the authority, definitions, and operations of law in all cultures, past and present.

Ancient Law Scholars

Students will become conversant with the main scholars who have been and currently are leaders in the academic study of ancient law, including their landmark publications, scholarly tools, methods, interests, and accomplishments.

Research Skills & Critique

By comparing the various approaches that experts have used in studying ancient laws, students will develop research skills and greater sophistication in noticing, understanding and critiquing the various methods, tools, and objectives used by lawyers and legal scholars in interpreting and applying law in all situations.

Historical Legal Cases

Students will become familiar in particular with Sumerian, Babylonian, Hittite, Assyrian, Egyptian, Israelite, and Nephite laws and legal cases, thereby building their appreciation for the diversity and complexity of the law throughout history as well as in today’s international, multicultural world.

Historical Appreciation

Students will appreciate and relate to the realities and limitations of daily life in the ancient world and how everyday personal, cultural, religious, economic, governmental, and anthropological values shaped the substantive formulation and enforcement of ancient laws as well as the practical administration of their justice systems.

Legal Skills

Students will learn how to think like lawyers in identifying legal issues, solving legal problems, and drawing out practical implications, both in ancient and contemporary contexts.

Ideals, Truths & Values

Students will learn the importance of technical words and phrases, ethical ideals and concepts, and enduring truths and values, in their reading of the legal codes and judicial narratives in the Old Testament and in the Book of Mormon.