This unit provides an introduction to the discipline of biblical theology, which integrates the contents and theological themes of the Old and New Testaments as the essential foundation for Christian faith, life, and ministry. It provides an opportunity for students to listen to the text in fresh ways—not just its harmonies, but also its creative dissonances. Students will be challenged and nurtured to think theologically and pastorally about these themes (and others), and to reflect critically on the claims of Christian faith regarding the contemporary world. The unit proceeds by identifying and expounding broad and interrelated themes: our relational God, our suffering God and the atonement, our troubling God, eschatology, and God and human sexuality.

Unit code: BS3020L

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Proposing College: Australian Lutheran College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate the unity-in-diversity of significant theological themes and patterns discerned in the biblical text and Christian tradition


Critically analyse selected biblical themes


Use a range of hermeneutical approaches in identifying and interpreting the interplay of biblical themes and variations, harmonies and dissonances


Evaluate the contemporary relevance of biblical themes


Critically apply insights about God and humanity to other biblical themes in a theological and pastoral manner

Unit sequence

A level 3 unit in undergraduate theology and ministry courses

Prerequisites: 36 points in the discipline of Biblical Studies (BS); 18 points in the discipline of Systematic Theology (CT)


This unit uses teaching strategies (e.g. engagement with online learning materials, including audio/video, tasks, forums, and synchronous and asynchronous discussion) which encourage student engagement and participation in a variety of learning tasks and opportunities which foster deep learning.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, Cheryl. Ancient laws and contemporary controversies: the need for inclusive interpretation. Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Barber, Bruce, David J Neville, and Australian Theological Forum. Theodicy and Eschatology. Task of Theology Today, [4]. Adelaide: ATF Press, 2005.
  • Birch, Bruce C., et al. A theological introduction to the Old Testament. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2005.
  • Cornwall, Susannah. Intersex, theology, and the Bible: troubling bodies in church, text, and society. New York: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2015.
  • Fretheim, Terence E.. What Kind of God? : Collected Essays of Terence E. Fretheim. University Park: Penn State University Press, 2015.
  • Kilby, Karen, and Rachel Davies, eds. Suffering and the Christian Life. London, UK: T & T Clark, 2020.
  • Mead, James K. Biblical Theology : Issues, Methods, and Themes. 1st ed. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.
  • Seibert, Eric A. The violence of scripture: overcoming the Old Testament’s troubling legacy. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2012.
  • Stuhlmacher, Peter, and Ådna Jostein. Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Translated by Daniel P Bailey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2018.
  • Walsh, Carey, and Elliott, Mark W., eds. Biblical Theology : Past, Present, and Future. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2016.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Annotated Bibliography

A formal guided analysis of a number of readings

1500 30.0

An essay on an aspect of one of the unit topics

1500 30.0

This essay requires students to apply insights from biblical theology to contemporary issues.

2000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-20 12:34:47 +1000