This unit focuses on the Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and the history of the period known as the Intertestamental period, which saw important and noteworthy events and changes in thought over a span of 300 years before the Christian era. These developments molded the Jewish faith of the first century and saw the beginning of Christianity within that milieu. This unit will familiarize students to the broad contours of the history of the period, the challenges of the time and the manner in which Judaism was responding to these theological, religious and social developments. The unit will also introduce the student to the literature of this period and attend to the ways in which Hebrew thought and faith changed and adapted to changed needs and how they influenced the shaping of early Christian faith, ethics and piety and continue to sway influence on us today

Unit code: BS3060P

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Exhibit an understanding and advanced knowledge of the Intertestamental period and the literature of the time.


Display critical awareness of the cultural, social, historical, literary, religious, and theological issues pertaining to the period and the literature of the time.


Gain competency in exegesis of the Bible and in an understanding of the development of Scriptural theology and ethics


Recognize the relevance of the messages of this literature to the contemporary context of church and society

Unit sequence

A foundational unit in the Hebrew Bible or in the New Testament


Assigned readings; Lectures; Tutorials;

Indicative Bibliography

  • Boyarin, Daniel. Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.
  • Charlesworth, James H., ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2 vols; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983-85.
  • deSilva, David A. Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance. 2nd Ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 2018. (recommended for purchase)
  • ________. The Apocrypha. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2012.
  • Docherty, Susan. The Jewish Pseudepigrapha: An Introduction to the Literature of the Second Temple Period. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015.
  • Feldman, Louis H., Kugel, James L., and Schiffman, Lawrence H., eds., Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture (3 vols. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2013).
  • Metzger, Bruce M. An Introduction to the Apocrypha. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977.
  • Nickelsburg, George W. E., Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah: A Historical and Literary Introduction. Philadelphia, 1981; 2d ed., Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005.
  • Oesterley, W O E. An Introduction to the Books of the Apocrypha. Reprint. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2011.
  • Sparks, H. F. D., ed., The Apocryphal Old Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay – on a book in the Apocrypha 2500 words

2500 50.0

Essay – 2500 Words

2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 26 Sep, 2019

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