This unit provides an examination of 1 and 2 Samuel, with special attention given to narrative techniques and theological issues. Students will be introduced to hypotheses concerning constituent sources and Deuteronomistic editing, as well the reception of the Samuel narratives in Western political history.

Unit code: BA3005W

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Describe selected theories concerning the compositional history of Samuel;


Explain the narrative poetics used in these books;


Examine the interaction of human desire and divine response;


Differentiate key examples of the reception the Samuel narratives;


Explain the inter-relationship of politics and theology in the history of Israelite and Judean kingship.

Unit sequence

Prerequisite: 18 Points in BA (BA1001W, or equivalent)


Lectures, workshops and peer interaction

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brett, Mark. Locations of God: Political Theology in the Hebrew Bible. New York: OUP, 2019.
  • Brueggemann, Walter. David’s Truth. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2nd edn 2002.
  • Edenburg, Cynthia and Juha Pakkala. Is Samuel among the Deuteronomists? Atlanta: SBL, 2013.
  • Gilmour, Rachelle. Divine Violence in the Book of Samuel. New York: OUP, 2019.
  • Killeen, Kevin. The Political Bible in Early Modern England. Cambridge: CUP, 2017.
  • Linafeld, Tod, T. Beal & C. V. Camp (eds). The Fate of King David. London: T&T Clark, 2010.
  • McCarter, P Kyle. I and II Samuel. New York, Doubleday, 1980, 1984.
  • McKenzie, Stephen. King David: A Biography. Oxford: OUP, 2000.
  • Nelson, Eric. The Hebrew Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2010.
  • Schniedewind, William. Society and the Promise to David: The Reception History of 2 Samuel 7:1-17. Oxford: OUP, 1999.
  • Wright, Jacob N. David, King of Israel, and Caleb in Biblical Memory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Forum - Five 200 word forum posts

Online tutorial participation – not fewer than 5 entries of approximately 200 words each, responding to set readings and peer interaction

1000 10.0
Exegesis - One 2,000 word Exegesis 2000 40.0
Essay - One 2,000 word Essay 2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 9 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-09 12:37:54 +1000