These units comprise two elements: a study tour of Israel, which offers no credit points, and an assessment unit which presupposes and builds upon the experience of a study tour to the Holy Land and engages with the archaeological, geographical, sociological, historical and theological context of the Bible, with particular emphasis on the stories of Jesus. The assessment unit will focus upon reading and interpreting Biblical texts in places associated with their location, context and history. Attention will be given to interpreting texts in light of contemporary biblical scholarship in dialogue with the insights available at specific sites and data from museums.

Unit code: BS9051W

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Summarise the archaeological, geographical, cultural, religious and historical context of one site on the itinerary of the tour.


Outline and critique contemporary scholarly debate regarding the interpretation of biblical texts in relation to the archaeological record


Exegete biblical texts and themes in light of the visit to the relevant sites, demonstrating interaction between exegetical skills and the physical data of the relevant site(s).


Reflect theologically on sites and texts included in the journey of the tour and integrate with other theological and social disciplines

Unit sequence

Foundational Units in Biblical Studies


Students will travel to the Holy Lands together. One day of preparation for the tour will include some lectures, seminars and information. During the tour there will be engagement at particular sites with experts in the field, and seminars with participants.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bimson, John J., ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Places: Towns and Cities, Countries and States, Archaeology and Topography. Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1995
  • Crossan, John D., and Jonathan Reed. Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts. San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 2001.
  • _____________. In Search of Paul: How Jesus’ Apostles Opposed Rome’s Empire with God’s Kingdom: The Quest to understand His World and Words. New York: Harper San Francisco, 2004.
  • Dever, William G. Lifestyles of the Poor and Common: What the Bible and Archaeology tell us about Everyday Life in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans, 2012
  • ______________. Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? Grand Rapids, MI: William B Eerdmans, 2003
  • Finegan, Jack. The Archaeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church (rev ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992
  • Fujita, Neil S. A Crack in the Jar: What Ancient Jewish Documents Tell us about the New Testament. New York: Paulist Press, 1986.
  • Galor, Katharina and Hanswulf Bloedhorn, The Archaeology of Jerusalem: From the Origins to the Ottomans. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013.
  • Murphy-O’Connor, Jerome. The Holy Land. 5th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • _____________. Keys to Jerusalem: Selected Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Reed, Jonathan L.* Archaeology and Galilean Jesus: A Re-examination of the Evidence*. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press, 2000.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1


One 8000 word essay or project

8000 100.0

Variant 2


One 2000 word seminar paper

2000 25.0

One 6000 word essay

6000 75.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 2 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-02 12:10:58 +1000