This unit will introduce the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and critically examine its contents for insight into the life, the history and faith of the people of God in ancient Israel. The unit will survey the contents of the Old Testament which formed and established a people’s identity; the historical contexts; the diversity of genres; theological positions and of the OT books. The unit will equip the student to assess the meaning of the texts in their ancient Near Eastern environment; to understand the development of Hebrew religion through the 2nd temple period; and the relation of the OT texts to issues of contemporary faith.

Unit code: BA2010P

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Exhibit knowledge of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and its canonical units


Describe the major periods in the history of Israel and the major powers in the ancient Near East and their influence on Israel.


Utilize basic exegetical tools effectively for the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament


Engage the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and its contents in theological reflection and in preaching


Articulate the relevance of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament for our lives, times and places

Unit sequence

This is a foundational unit and will function as a prerequisite for advanced units in the discipline


Assigned readings; Lectures; Tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

Boadt, Lawrence. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction. Second Edition. Revised and Updated by Richard Clifford and Daniel Harrington. New York/Mahwah, N. J.: Paulist Press, 2012.

Brueggemann, Walter and Tod Linafelt. An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012.

Collins, John J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014.

Drane, Jonathan. Introducing the Old Testament. Third Edition. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011.

Gertz, Jan Christian, Angelika Berlejung, Konrad Schmid and Markus Witte. T & T Clark Handbook on the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Literature, Religion and History of the Old Testament. London/New York: T & T Clark International, 2012.

Gravett, Sandra L., Karla G. Bohmbach, F. V. Greifenhagen and Donald L. Polaski. An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible: A Thematic Approach. Louisville/London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.

Hayes, Christine. Introduction to the Bible. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.

Knight, Douglas A. and Amy-Jill Levine. The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and Christian Old Testament Can Teach us. New York: Harper One, 2011.

Schottroff, Luise and Marie-Theres Wacker, Editors. Feminist Biblical Interpretation: A Compendium of Critical Commentary on the Books of the Bible and Related Literature. Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010.

Yee, Gale., Page, Jr., Hugh R., and Coomber, Matthew J.M., Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1


A short exercise - 500 Words

500 20.0

Essay – 1500 Words

1500 30.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegetical Essay - 2500 Words

2500 50.0

Variant 2


Essay - 2000 words

2000 40.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegetical Essay - 2500 words

2500 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 24 Aug, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-08-24 15:01:32 +1000