2nd semester Monday evening                                                                         (Min. No. 8)



This unit is an introduction to the Old Testament. It consists of a study of the history and geography of biblical Israel, as well as a survey of the literature of the Old Testament and its formation. It includes an introduction to the contemporary critical methodologies used to explore biblical texts and an application of these to specific texts.





Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. articulate a knowledge of the history of Israel/Judah, ca. 1000 – 63 BCE, and of the geography of the biblical land and its surrounds
  2. list and recognise the structure of the Old Testament and the main types of biblical literature found there
  3. demonstrate awareness and an elementary use of resources for research and academic exegetical literature
  4. exegete a text of the Old Testament, showing a familiarity with contemporary critical methods of interpretation
  5. discuss contemporary debates about the historicity of the Old Testament and describe the ongoing significance of the text for the Christian community.



1500 word exegetical essay (35%); 1500 word essay (35%); 1 hour exam (30%)



* Bible with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books. Suitable versions of NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) or RSV (Revised Standard Version).  NRSV is preferred.

Albertz, Rainer. A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period. Volume 1: From the Beginnings until the End of the Exile. London: SCM, 1994.

––––. A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period. Volume 2: From the Exile to the Maccabees. London: SCM, 1994.

Collins, John J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2004 (2nd ed. 2014).

Coogan, Michael D. The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Estes, Daniel J. Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

Gerstenberger, Erhard. Psalms. FOTL 14. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988.

––––. Psalms, Part 2 and Lamentations. FOTL 15. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001.

Hayes, John H., and Carl R. Holladay. Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner’s Handbook. 3rd ed. Atlanta, GA: John Knox, 2007.

McKenzie, Steven L., and Stephen R. Haynes, eds. To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application. 2nd revised and expanded ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1999.

Miller, J. Maxwell. “Introduction to the History of Ancient Israel.” In New Interpreter’s Bible. Vol. 1, 244–271. Nashville, TN: Abingdon 1994.

Redditt, Paul L. Introduction to the Prophets. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008.

Ska, Jean-Louis. Introduction to Reading the Pentateuch. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006.

Westermann, Claus. Genesis: A Commentary. 3 Vols. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1984–1986.

Whybray, R.N. Introduction to the Pentateuch. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995.