The interpretation of the Old Testament in its historical context, including an introduction to the overall biblical story, methods of interpreting the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) and the historical Books (Joshua-2 Kings), and an in-depth exegesis of selected texts.
An introduction to the books of the Old Testament against the background of history and cultures of the ancient Near East. We will focus in detail on some key texts from the books of Genesis to Kings, learning the major methods of biblical scholarship as well as gaining an overview of the biblical story as a whole. This paper offers an insight into the foundational texts of two major world religions (Judaism and Christianity) and Western culture in general, and encourages students to develop skills in close reading and critical thinking, skills that will serve them well not only in their university career, but in the rest of their lives.
|Paper title||Interpreting the Old Testament|
|Points||18 points 18 points|
|Teaching period(s)||Second Semester, Second Semester|
|Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD)||$886.35|
|International Tuition Fees (NZD)||$3,766.35|
- BIBX 112
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music, Theology
- All students are welcome to study the Bible regardless of whether they have a particular faith commitment or not. All that is required is an inquiring mind and an interest in acquiring the critical skills common to all subjects in the Humanities.
- More information link
- View more information on the Department of Theology and Religion's websites: www.otago.ac.nz/theology or www.otago.ac.nz/religion
- Teaching staff
- Reverend Dr James Harding
- Paper Structure
- The paper is structured around the content of the biblical books from Genesis to Kings.
We will work through the historical and cultural background of these books, their
content and major themes, with reference to specific texts and to major issues in
recent scholarship.There are three forms of assessment:
- Exegesis of one text from the Old Testament (20%)
- Summaries of three readings (20%)
- Three-hour final examination (open book) (60%)
- Teaching Arrangements
- On-campus students: 39 1-hour lectures and five 1-hour tutorials
Distance students: six 2-hour videoconferences
- Required: Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler (eds.), The Jewish Study Bible (2d ed.;
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
A course book also exists for this course.
- Course outline
- View the course outline for BIBS 112
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
- Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
- Learning Outcomes
- By the end of this paper, students will be able to:
- use The Jewish Study Bible intelligently to understand the Hebrew Bible in its geographical, historical, and cultural contexts
- be familiar with the most important primary sources for understanding the Hebrew Bible in its ancient cultural context
- be able to assess the cogency of scholarly arguments about the interpretation of biblical texts
- have written an exegesis of one biblical text
- have compared and contrasted two contradictory arguments about the interpretation of one biblical text, and assessed their wider implications.