This unit introduces students to the history and literature of the Old Testament. A wide range of OT texts will be read to situate and examine biblical themes such as creation, flood, law, covenant, temple, worship, exodus, kingship, prophecy, exile, ethics, and the divine-human interaction. Students will also examine issues of genre, source, canonization and translation in order to critically assess and interpret the Old Testament.

Unit code: BA8000T

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Describe the broad historical, cultural, religious, and theological world of Old Testament texts including an awareness of key figures and dates


Situate a particular text within the history, literature, and theology of the Old Testament


Demonstrate an awareness of critical skills and tools for exegesis, including relevant reference tools and resources


Research, write and reference an exegetical essay using primary and secondary resources


Identify different interpretations of biblical texts and the assumptions and strategies involved


Construct an argument for interpretation based on a close analysis of the text using the critical skills required and in conversation with other interpretations


Lectures, seminars, tutorials, webinars

Indicative Bibliography

  • NRSV Study Bible (recommended for purchase)
  • Alter, R. The Art of Biblical Narrative, Philadelphia: Basic Books, 1981/2011.
  • Barton, J. Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study, Louisville: Westminster, 1996.
  • Birch, B.C., W. Brueggemann, T.E. Fretheim, D. L. Petersen. A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd Ed. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005.
  • Carr, D. The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Collins, J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014.
  • Davis, E.F. Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament. Lanham: Cowley Publications, 2001.
  • Grabbe, L.L. Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? 2nd Ed. London: T&T Clark, 2017.
  • Hayes, C. Introduction to the Bible, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Multiple Choice Quizzes or Tests

Quiz (equivalent to 500 words)

500 10.0
Multiple Choice Quizzes or Tests


500 10.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegetical Essay (2000 words)

2000 30.0


1000 10.0
Written Examination

Written Examination

2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 27 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-27 15:29:23 +1000