This unit is an introduction to the diversity of the texts and traditions of the Hebrew Bible. The unit will explore different historical, geographical, literary and traditional contexts of the Hebrew Bible via an overview of the story of the people of Israel. The unit will introduce modern schools of study, as well as engage with the history of research into the Hebrew Bible; and enable students to develop a familiarity with exegetical tools and methods.

Unit code: BA1001S

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Describe the historical and social world of the Hebrew Bible


Demonstrate a working familiarity with a range of interpretive approaches to the Hebrew Bible


Effectively use the tools for biblical interpretation: lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, journals, monographs and primary sources


Develop and summarize an awareness of and appreciation for the history of Hebrew Bible research and a variety of interpretive approaches current in biblical scholarship


Apply theological and hermeneutical applications of the Hebrew Bible to their current context


Online with tutorials and recorded material, reading and workbooks.

Indicative Bibliography

Baker, D. Tight fists or open hands? Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans, 2009.

Birch, B. et al. Theological Introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville, Abingdon, 2005.

Broyles, C. (ed). Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide for Exegesis. Grand Rapids, Baker, 2001.

Brueggemann, W. Old Testament Theology: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy. Minneapolis, Fortress, 1997.

Campbell, Antony SJ. Experiencing Scripture. Adelaide: ATF: 2012.

* Collins, J. A short introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 3rd ed. Minneapolis, Fortress, 2018. (Available as an ebook.)

Fretheim, T. God & world in the Old Testament. Nashville, Abingdon, 2005.

Hanson, P. The People Called. London, Harper & Row, 1986.

Matthews, V, & D. Benjamin, Social world of Ancient Israel 1250-587 BCE. Peabody, Hendrickson, 1993.

Rogerson, J, & P. Davies. The Old Testament World. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Steussy, M. (ed). Chalice Introduction to the Old Testament. St. Louis, Chalice, 2003.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Critical Review - Response to set reading

Summary and reflection on set reading.

500 10.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper - Present and respond to tutorial topics

Students present on a set topic, providing a carefully researched written summary. Final mark is recorded based on the student's presentation and essay as well as their response to the presentations of other students.

1500 40.0
Exegetical Essay

Students choose one set passage as a focus for an exegetical essay, based on skills developed in tutorials.

1750 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 2 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-02 13:39:07 +1000