Foundational unit              

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. demonstrate an understanding of the history of Israel/Judah, 1000-63 BCE, and of the geography of the biblical land and its surrounds
2. identify and describe the structure of the Old Testament and the different types of literature found in the Old Testament
3. locate and use resources for research and academic exegetical literature
4. demonstrate a familiarity with and an ability to apply contemporary methods critically in the interpretation of selected Old Testament texts
5. engage critically with contemporary debates about the historicity of the Old Testament and evaluate the ongoing significance of the text for the Christian community

Exegetical essay 2000 words (35%); major essay 4000 words (65%)

BIBLIOGRAPHY *set texts recommended for purchase
*Bible with the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal Books. Suitable versions are the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) or RSV (Revised Standard Version).

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

———. A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period. Vol. 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: OUP, 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.

Hays, Christopher B. Hidden Riches: A Sourcebook for the Comparative Study of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2014.

McKenzie, Steven L., and Stephen R. Haynes, eds. To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application. Revised and expanded 2nd 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.