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

ASSESSMENT Exegetical essay 1300 words (35%); essay 1300 words (35%); 1 hour exam (30%)

BIBLIOGRAPHY *set text recommended for purchase
*Bible with the Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal Books. The NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) is the preferred 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 (or 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.

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

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.

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