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: BA9705C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


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


Critique the relationship between the archaeological record and the biblical texts and engage the scholarly debates of interpretation.


Develop a specific topic of research in conjunction with an Old Testament passage/s or theme in light of the visit to the relevant sites, employing skilled biblical interpretation in dialogue with the data of the physical sites.


Critically reflect on Old Testament sites and texts included in the journey of the tour and integrate with other theological and social disciplines elucidating insights for their relevance to the life of the church today.


Investigate and analyse scholarly debate on interpretive issues associated with the texts and their contexts.


Demonstrate competence in the methodologies and conventions of advanced research appropriate to biblical studies.

Unit sequence

BS8001C and BS8002C 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 (%)

1,000- word Report (essay pland and bibliography 50% 3,6 6,000-word essay 50% 1,2,3,4,5,6 OR 7,000-word equivalent learning resource 100% 1,2,3,4,5,6 OR 8,000 work equivalent journel 100% 1,2,3,4,5,6 OR 2,500-word report (on OT site) 30% 1,2 4,500-word essay 70% 2,3,4,5,6

0 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 7 Aug, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000