I love Yale course lectures on line. They have some great professors who are very good in the undergraduate classroom setting. I assume that the profs who make it to Youtube are posted by Yale because they're Yale's classroom lecture stars. Check out historian Paul Freedman some time.
The latest I'm watching is Christine Hayes's Introduction to Old Testament, Hebrew Bible, Tenakh or whatever you prefer to call it. Besides providing a lot of historical context, Hayes digs into details of the text that I find fascinating but neglected outside scholarly circles--details that should be obvious and ripe for inquiry among attentive readers because of their peculiarity, but people seem to gloss over these aspects of the text.
One member of our recent vacation group is a rabbi. We weren't discussing religion all week, but we did have one conversation about the Jewish approach to the text which, according to him, differs from the Catholic approach and differs even more from protestant approaches, which also vary between denominations and scholars. This rabbi regularly meets and discusses the OT with Christian scholars and theologians, so he's got some thoughtful comparative takes. Anyway, when I mentioned the Yale lectures he said that the professor is a well-regarded scholar.
I do think she presents material that can be interesting regardless of your beliefs or non-belief. In fact, Hayes is careful to point out to her class that she's taking a secular, historical-critical approach to the material. I heard nothing that anyone would regard as whacked out or postmodern. It's all thoughtful, accessible discussion. Her manner is down to earth, but she maintains a scholarly attitude toward the material, so I don't think you can discern (I can't) her personal religious beliefs based on the lectures, which I view as a good thing for the purposes of the class. Well the only thing I would rule out based on her lectures is any possibility that she's a Christian fundamentalist in her beliefs.
One surprising experience that occurred as I listened to the Hayes lectures is that I twice came across discussions of how to read the text that eerily, closely echoed material in presentations by a well-known contemporary Catholic theologian. I was able to find his presentations on line, and his comments were so close to what Hayes said and so close to the way she said it--almost verbatim--that a question of plagiarism would arise if these remarks appeared in a book or article without citation. I use the word echoed, but his presentations were posted a few months after her lectures were posted. Anyway, I'm not going to name him or point to the lectures. I'm not looking to make trouble for him or her, whomever, whichever lifted the material from whom. The point of mentioning this odd discovery is that I remembered his comments because they were so compelling and expressed in such a seemingly original way that I immediately recognized the same observations when I heard them in the Hayes lectures. When I dug a little deeper, I also discovered that his take was somewhat at odds with observations he made in another presentation he posted a few years earlier, so his view changed and he and Hayes sound exactly alike now in this area of the discussion on an approach to reading the text.
So I know that few people listen to a series of lectures because they read a blog post endorsing those lectures, but just in case, here's the first of 24 Hayes lectures that run about 45 minutes each.