Elective unit                                                                               (Min. No. 8)

1st semester Monday morning


The unit will commence with a review of approaches used in modern western exegesis of the Pentateuch, an outline of the exegetical approach that will be used in this unit and its relationship to the other approaches. This will be followed by an introduction to the Pentateuch, the critical issues associated with its interpretation, and exegesis of selected texts.


Successful completion of one foundational unit in Old Testament


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

  1. demonstrate a critical grasp of the historical, literary and theological issues associated with the Pentateuch/Torah and its interpretation
  2. demonstrate a critical knowledge of the theological themes in the books of the Pentateuch
  3. exegete passages from the books of the Pentateuch
  4. make critical use of secondary sources, e.g., commentaries
  5. critically discuss the issue of the continuing relevance of the Pentateuch
  6. demonstrate the necessary skills to research and write an exegetical paper and essay on a text or topic in the Pentateuch.


2000 word paper (35%); 4000 word essay (65%)


Baden, Joel S. The Composition of the Pentateuch. Renewing the Documentary Hypothesis. The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library. New Haven & London: Yale UP, 2012.

Blenkinsopp, Joseph. The Pentateuch. An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Campbell, Anthony F., and Mark A. O’Brien. Sources of the Pentateuch: Texts, Introductions, Annotations. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1993.

———. Rethinking the Pentateuch. Prolegomena to the Theology of Ancient Israel. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2005.

Dozeman, T. B., K. Schmid, and B. J. Schwartz (eds) The Pentateuch: International Perspectives on Current Research. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011

*Edelman, Diana V., Philip R. Davies, Christopher Nihan and Thomas Römer. Opening the Books of Moses. Sheffield: Equinox, 2012.

McDermott, John J. Reading the Pentateuch: A Historical Introduction. NY/Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2002.

Nicholson, Ernst W. The Pentateuch in the Twentieth Century: The Legacy of Julius Wellhausen. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998.

Rofé, Alexander. Introduction to the Composition of the Pentateuch. Biblical Seminar 58. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.

Van Seters, John. The Pentateuch: A Social-Science Commentary. Trajectories 1. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.

Wenham, Gordon J. A Guide to the Pentateuch. Exploring the Old Testament Vol. 1. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity, 2003.

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