This unit will examine the Old Testament Historical Books (Joshua-Esther) that provide a window to Israel’s history; from the conquest of Canaan to the exile of the Southern kingdom of Judah. The unit will pay specific attention to the ways in which these major events were interpreted by the Deuteronomistic historians. The unit will address how to read and interpret Old Testament historiographical writings today with consideration of Biblical Archeology.

Unit code: BA8309A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Analyse the message, content, and theology of the OT Historical Books


Apply Hermeneutical principles to biblical historiography


Apply exegetical skills in the interpretation of selected texts from the OT historical books


Critically examine Old Testament texts, with a particular focus on Biblical Archaeology


Articulate the significance of these books for our own time


The unit will engage students in analysis and theological reflection through the presentation of lectures, readings and engaging discussion. Online students will engage with audio or video lectures and readings and in online forum discussions.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Arnold, Bill T., Beyer, Brian E. Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1999.
  • Arnold, Bill T., Williamson, H.G.M. Dictionary of the Old Testament Historical Books. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2005
  • Boadt, Lawrence. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction. 2nd ed. New York: Paulist Press, 2012.
  • Chisholm Jr, Robert B. Interpreting the Historical Books: An Exegetical Handbook. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2006.
  • Davies, Philip R., In search of 'Ancient Israel': A study in biblical origins. Series: Cornerstones (London, England): Publisher: London : Bloomsbury, 2015.
  • Dever, William G., Who were the early Israelites and where did they come from? Grand Rapids, Mich.; Cambridge : William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2003.
  • Finkelstein, Israel, and Neil Asher Silberman. The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002.
  • Finkelstein, Israel, and Amihai Mazar. The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archeology and the History of Early Israel, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007.
  • * Howard Jr, David M. An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 1993.
  • Loken, Israel. The Old Testament Historical Books: An Introduction. Maitland, FL: Xulon Press, 2008.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Written Assessment Task (Essay)

2500 35.0
Document Study

Written Assessment Task in online forum or in class

1000 12.5
Document Study

Written Assessment Task in online forum or in class

1000 12.5

Written Assessment Task (Essay)

1500 15.0
Document Study

Written Assessment Task in online forum or in class

1000 12.5

Written Assessment Task in online forum or in class

1000 12.5

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Carolyn Alsen on 26 Apr, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-05-13 11:25:09 +1000