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BIBS218 Judaism in the Time of Jesus

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

An overview of the history and literature of Judaism from Alexander the Great to the fall of Masada (332 BCE - 74 CE), focusing particularly on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The history and literature of early Judaism from Alexander the Great to the Bar Kochba Revolt (332 BCE-135 CE). It is an essential introduction to the background of the two major religious traditions to come out of this historical period, Judaism and Christianity.

Paper title Judaism in the Time of Jesus
Paper code BIBS218
Subject Biblical Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Second Semester, Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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36 100-level points
RELS 211, RELS 311, RELX 211, RELX 311, BIBS 318
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Any student with an interest in the origins of Judaism and Christianity.
Teaching staff
Lecturer: Reverend Dr James Harding
Paper Structure

Lectures, teaching day and videoconferences.

  • Two 1500-word essay (20% each)
  • One three-hour examination (60%)
Teaching Arrangements

Campus: 26 x 1-hour lectures.
Distance: Four 2-hour videoconferences spaced throughout the semester, plus one teaching day via Zoom. Distance students participate in the class via a desk-top videoconferencing programme called Zoom (available free of charge). Videoconferences are recorded, and students who are unable to join can download the videos and watch them later.


Shaye J. D. Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah (3rd ed.; Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 2014).
Further readings and notes will be made available via e-reserve.

Course outline

View the on campus course outline here
View the distance course outline here

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork, global perspective, interdisciplinary perspective, lifelong learning, scholarship, communication, critical thinking, cultural understanding, ethics, environmental literacy, information literacy, self-motivation, teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper students will have:
  • Acquired a broad overview of the history and literature of Judaism in the late Second Temple period
  • Gained a broad understanding of the Jewish context in which Jesus lived and early Christianity emerged

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41