In this unit students will explore the role of tradition in the formation of the biblical texts and the canon, and the relationship between the Bible and the continuing tradition of interpretation; considering how Christian communities, including Lutheran, have understood and used the Scriptures.

Unit code: BS9004L

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Proposing College: Australian Lutheran College

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Learning outcomes


Analyse biblical texts in the light of their cultural, historical, literary, social, and religious contexts


Justify the notion of ‘living tradition’in the biblical texts themselves, in the formation of the biblical canon, and in the ongoing use of Scripture as ‘living tradition’


Formulate ways of reading biblical texts in the light of a Christ-focused biblical meta-narrative.


Demonstrate advanced skills in critical methodology through interpretation of various biblical texts


Demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication.

Unit sequence

Course relationship: A level 9 unit in postgraduate theology, ministry and education courses


This unit uses teaching strategies which encourage student engagement and participation in a variety of learning tasks and opportunities which foster deep learning.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brueggemann, Walter. An introduction to the Old Testament: the canon and Christian imagination. 2nd ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 2012.
  • Bunge, Marcia, ed. The child in the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm B. Eerdmans, 2008.
  • Bartholomew, Craig G. Canon and biblical interpretation. The Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, Vol. 7. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006.
  • Chapman, Stephen B. The law and the prophets: a study in Old Testament canon formation. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck,2000.
  • Evans, Craig A., and H. Daniel Zacharias, eds. Jewish and Christian scripture as artifact and canon. London: T & T Clark, 2009.
  • Green, Joel B., and Max Turner, eds. Between two horizons: spanning New Testament studies and systematic theology. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000.
  • Hurtado, Larry W. The earliest Christian artifacts: manuscripts and Christian origins. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2006.
  • Johnson, Luke T. The writings of the New Testament: an interpretation. 3rd ed. London: SCM Press, 2010.
  • McDonald, Lee Martin. The formation of the biblical canon. 4th ed. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017.
  • Ralph, Margaret Nutting. And God said what? An introduction to biblical literary forms. Rev. ed. New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2003.
  • Stanton, Graham N. Jesus and Gospel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Weekly engagement with topic materials

2000 25.0
Critical Review

Critical literature review

2400 30.0

Critical analysis essay

3600 45.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 3 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-03 16:10:11 +1000