Israel between 200 BCE and 70 CE was a complex society affected by the domination of empires past and present. Political, social, economic and religious aspects will be studied. People such as the Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees, the Dead Sea Sect (Essenes?), the Zealots, and the poor will feature, as will attitudes to women, the main Jewish festivals, modes of worship and their institutions. Sources, which include some Biblical and apocalyptic books, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the works of the Jewish historian Josephus, and of Philo the Jewish philosopher, will be explored. Together these illuminate the world of Jesus.

Unit Code: BS2501Y

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit Discipline: Biblical Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning Outcomes


Demonstrate familiarity with the political, social, economic and religious history of the people of Israel from c.200 BCE to c.70 CE


Incorporate archaeological data where it is available and use it critically in conjunction with the literary evidence


Exegete passages from the primary texts with the aid of commentaries


Assign a piece of literature to a genre and be aware of the methodologies used to interpret various genres


Identify the ways in which and why, theological ideas about how to live in accordance with God’s wishes were diverse

Unit sequence

First level units in BA and BN


Lectures, readings, focus texts assigned to each week for group work, class discussions


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Exegetical Essay

1,000 word exegetical essay

1000 25.0
Exegetical Essay

1,000 word exegetical essay

1000 25.0

2000 word essay

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit Record last updated: 2019-11-18 09:32:27 +1100