This unit addresses key questions associated with the study of the Pentateuch. It pays particular attention to its content, literary forms, historical, religious and cultural background, including its history of formation and reception. It also explores the role and place of the Pentateuch within the biblical canon and its metanarrative. Attention will be also given to key themes of the pentateuchal story: the identity of YHWH and the Jewish people, creation, covenants, exodus, laws, atonement, and holiness/purity.

Unit code: BA2124B

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Eva Burrows College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Outline major theories relating to the formation of the Pentateuch


Describe the key literary, theological and historical issues pertinent to the Pentateuch


Identify the place and the role of the Pentateuch in the wider biblical narrative


Interpret selected passages from the Pentateuch


Apply theological ideas located in the Pentateuch to contemporary life, ministry or social contexts

Unit sequence

Interpreting the Hebrew Bible, or equivalent (18points)


Guided readings, online tutorials and workshops, exegetical exercises, knowledge application exercises, video lessons

Indicative Bibliography

** Alexander, T. Desmond. From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch. Third edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012. (The unit textbook is available as eBook via UD Library Hub)

  • Anderson, Bradford A, and Paula Gooder. An Introduction to the Study of the Pentateuch. T & T Clark Approaches to Biblical Studies. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017.
  • Campbell, George Van Pelt. Invitation to the Torah: A Guide to Reading, Teaching, and Preaching the Pentateuch. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2020.
  • Dozeman, Thomas B. The Pentateuch: Introducing the Torah. Introducing Israel's Scriptures. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017.
  • Gooder, Paula. The Pentateuch: A Story of Beginnings. New York: Continuum, 2000.
  • Hamilton, Victor P. Handbook on the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Second ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2015.
  • Van Seters, John. The Pentateuch: A Social-Science Commentary. Second ed. Cornerstones Series. London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015.
  • Vogt, Peter T. Interpreting the Pentateuch: An Exegetical Handbook. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2009.
  • Watts, James W. Understanding the Pentateuch As a Scripture. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2017.
  • Witherington, Ben. Torah Old and New: Exegesis, Intertextuality, and Hermeneutics. Baltimore, Maryland: Project Muse, 2018.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Summative Reflection

800 word Reflection

800 20.0

1,200 word Thematic Essay

1200 30.0

2,000 word Exegetical Essay

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 18 Aug, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-08-18 10:33:53 +1000