As an introduction to the Old Testament this unit offers an overview of the textual, cultural, literary and theological features of the literature of the Old Testament. The student is introduced to topics such as inspiration, the formation of the Old Testament canon, historical backgrounds and issues, analytical approaches used in biblical studies and the relation of interpretation to faith in this context.

Unit code: BA8001L

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Australian Lutheran College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate working knowledge of the textual, cultural, literary, religious, and theological features and historical contexts of the writings of the Old Testament


Effectively use primary and secondary sources in researching Old Testament books and themes


Articulate and discuss the shape and significance of the Old Testament canon


Analyse and interpret biblical texts and their significance for Christian faith, doctrine, and life

Unit sequence

A level 8 unit in postgraduate theology, ministry and education courses


The unit is structured according to the major subdivisions of the Old Testament (Pentateuch, Historical Books, Prophets and Writings) according to a weekly routine of discreet topics. Each week students asynchronously engage structured readings, online instructional videos, and online interactive resources and participate in a weekly synchronous seminar with the instructor and their peers (via video-conferencing software). The unit’s assessment framework utilises discussion forum software in ARK for collaborative learning and critique and weekly quizzes that provide feedback.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Alexander, T. Desmond. From Paradise to the Promised Land: an introduction to the main themes of the Pentateuch Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1995.
  • deClaissé-Walford, Nancy. Introduction to the Psalms: a song from Ancient Israel. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2004.
  • Dillard, Raymond B., and Tremper Longman III. An introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.
  • Hummel, Horace. The Word becoming flesh: an introduction to the origin, purpose and meaning of the Old Testament. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1979.
  • Murphy, Roland E. The tree of life: an exploration of biblical wisdom literature. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002.
  • Powell, Mark Allen. What is narrative criticism? Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1990.
  • Provan, Iain, V. Phillips Long, and Tremper Longman III. A biblical history of Israel. 2nd ed. Louisville, KY: Wesminster John Knox, 2015.
  • Steinmann, Andrew E., and Michael Eschelbach. Called to be God’s people: an introduction to the Old Testament. Abridged ed. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2015.
  • Steinmann, Andrew E. From Abraham to Paul: a biblical chronology. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2011.
  • Yee, Gale A, ed. Judges & method: new approaches in biblical studies. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2007. _


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Multiple Choice Quizzes or Tests

Weekly quizzes

900 10.0

3 individual essays worth 15% each

3000 45.0

Major essay defending a thesis on an Old Testament question

3000 45.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 4 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:48 +1000