Introduction to the Old Testament

Introduction to the Old Testament


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Field: Old Testament
Unit Code(s): BA1000T (Class based)/BA1009T (Online)
Unit value: 15 points
Level: Undergraduate (level 1)
Delivery mode: Face-to-face and online
Prerequisites: None
Content: This unit introduces students to the history and literature of the Old Testament. A wide range of OT texts will be read to situate and examine biblical themes such as creation, flood, law, covenant, temple, worship, exodus, kingship, prophecy, exile, ethics, and the divine-human interaction. Students will also examine issues of genre, source, canonization and translation in order to critically assess and interpret the Old Testament.
Learning Outcomes:

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

  • Describe the broad historical, cultural, religious, and theological world of Old Testament texts including an awareness of key figures and dates
  • Situate a particular text within the history, literature, and theology of the Old Testament
  • Demonstrate an awareness of critical skills and tools for exegesis, including relevant reference tools and resources
  • Research, write and reference an exegetical essay using primary and secondary resources
  • Construct an argument for interpretation based on a close analysis of the text using the critical skills required.
Assessment:
  • Two short quizzes (20%)
  • 1,500-word exegetical essay (30%)
  • Weekly written synopsis (face-to-face) or forum discussion (Online) (10%)
  • Two-hour final exam, equivalent of 2,000 words (40%)
Recommended Reading:

* recommended for purchase

* NRSV Study Bible

Alter, R. The Art of Biblical Narrative, Philadelphia: Basic Books, 1981/2011.

Barton, J. Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study, Louisville: Westminster, 1996.

Boadt, L. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction, 2nd ed. Nashville: Abingdon, 2005.

Bright, J. A History of Israel, London: SCM Press, 1962.

Campbell, A. The Study Companion to Old Testament Literature: An Approach to the Writings of Pre-Exilic and Exilic Israel, Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1989.

Carr, D. The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

* Collins, J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014.

 Lecturer: The Revd Dr Robyn Whitaker
 Timetable: Offered each year in Semester 1 only.