This unit seeks to immerse students in the archaeological, geographical, historical, sociological, and theological context of the Old Testament. Emphasis will be on reading the texts in places associated with their content and history. Special attention will be given to understanding and interpreting the text in light of all the data available in the sites and museums in dialogue with classical and contemporary biblical scholarship. This unit is one of two complementary units, one focussing upon the Old Testament and the other focussing on the New Testament, that relate to the Study Tour of the Biblical Lands. Students may undertake both the Old and New Testament units in conjunction with this Tour or just one of the units at the appropriate level for their study.

Unit code: BA2705C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Research and summarise the archaeological, geographical, cultural, religious, and historical context of an Old Testament site on the itinerary of the tour.


Articulate the relationship between the archaeological record and the biblical texts.


Interpret an Old Testament passage/s or theme in light of the visit to the relevant sites, incorporating any connections to the New Testament.


Reflect theologically on Old Testament sites and texts included in the journey of the tour and elucidate insights for the life of the church today.

Unit sequence

BS1001C and BS1002C or equivalent


Immersion experience in the biblical lands visiting Old Testament sites and reading related texts, input at site and enroute with interactive discussion and reflection.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Aharoni, Yohanan. The Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography. Edited and translated by A. F. Rainey. London: Burns & Oates, 1966.
  • Avi-Yonah, Michael.* The Holy Land, from the Persian to the Arab Conquest (536BC–AD640): A Historical Geography*. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1966.
  • Bimson, John J., ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Places: Towns and Cities, Countries and States, Archaeology and Topography. Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1995.
  • Dayagi-Mendeles, Mikhal, and Silvia Rozenberg, eds. Chronicles of the Land: Archaeology in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. 2nd ed. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 2010.
  • Hoppe, Leslie J. What Are They Saying About Biblical Archaeology? New York: Paulist Press, 1984.
  • Magness, Jodi. The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon's Temple to the Muslim Conquest. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Murphy-O’Connor, Jerome. The Holy Land. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Thomas, David. W., ed. Archaeology and Old Testament Study: Jubilee Volume of the Society for Old Testament Study 1917–1967. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

3,000-word essay

3000 75.0

1,000-word report (on OT site)

1000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 7 Aug, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000