Introduction to the Old Testament (P/G)

Field: Old Testament
Unit Code(s): BA8000T (Class based) / BA8009T (Online)
Unit value: 24 points
Level: Postgraduate (Foundational)
Delivery mode: Face-to-face and Online
Prerequisites: None

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
  • identify different interpretations of biblical texts and the assumptions and strategies involved
  • construct an argument for interpretation based on a close analysis of the text using the critical skills required and in conversation with other interpretations.
  • Quizzes, equivalent to 1,000 words (20%)
  • 2,000-word exegetical essay (30%)
  • Forum, equivalent to 500 words (10%)
  • Written examination, equivalent to 2,500 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.