This unit is an introduction to the Old Testament. It consists of a study of the history and geography of biblical Israel, as well as a survey of the literature of the Old Testament and its formation. It includes an introduction to some contemporary critical methodologies used to explore biblical texts and an application of these to specific texts.

Unit code: BA1000Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Articulate a basic knowledge of the history of Israel/Judah, ca. 1000 – 63 BCE, and of the geography of the biblical land and its surrounds


List and recognise the books and structure of the Old Testament canon and the main types of biblical literature found there


Make elementary use of resources for research and academic exegetical literature


Exegete a text of the Old Testament, showing a familiarity with contemporary critical methods of interpretation


Demonstrate awareness of contemporary debates about the historicity of the Old Testament and describe the ongoing significance of the text for the Christian community


Lectures, interaction with the text in pairs or small groups, group discussion

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bible, with the Deuterocanonical or Apocrypha Books. NRSV (New Revised Standard Version)

  • Albertz, Rainer. A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period. Volume 1: From the Beginnings until the End of the Exile. London: SCM, 1994.

  • –––––––. A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period. Volume 2: From the Exile to the Maccabees. London: SCM, 1994.

  • Carr, David M. The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

  • Collins, John J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. 3rd ed. 4 vols. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2019.

  • Coogan, Michael D. The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

  • Estes, Daniel J. Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

  • Hayes, John H., and Carl R. Holladay. Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner’s Handbook. 3rd ed. Atlanta, GA: John Knox, 2007.

  • Redditt, Paul L. Introduction to the Prophets. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008.

  • Ska, Jean-Louis. Introduction to Reading the Pentateuch. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2006.

  • Sumney, Jerry L, and Erica Rieck. The Bible: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study

Case study (500 words)

500 15.0
Short Answer Tests

2 short answer tests ( equivalent to 500 words)

500 15.0


1300 35.0


1300 35.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 27 Aug, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-08-27 14:33:34 +1000