This course 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: BA2019P

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an introductory knowledge of the Old Testament and its canonical units


Identify the major periods in the history of Israel and the major powers in the ancient Near east and their influence on Israel.


Employ basic exegetical tools effectively for the interpretation of the Old Testament


Engage the Old Testament and its material in theological reflection and in preaching.


Evaluate contemporary examples of the interpretation of the Old Testament in our 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. (recommended for purchase)
  • Collins, John J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014. (recommended for purchase)
  • 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.
  • Gottwald, Norman K. he Hebrew Bible: A Brief Socio-Literary Introduction*. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 2009.
  • 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. (recommended for purchase)
  • Kugler, Robert and Patrick Hartin. An Introduction to the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2009.
  • Matthews, Victor H.A Brief History of Ancient Israel. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 2002.
  • 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.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Exegetical Essay

An Exegetical essay - 2500 Words

2500 40.0

Essay introducing a book of the OT – 2000 Words

2000 40.0

Online participation in Forum (200 words)

500 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000