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BIBS318 Judaism in the Time of Jesus (Advanced)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
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An advanced 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 (Advanced)
Paper code BIBS318
Subject Biblical Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2021 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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One 200-level BIBS or BIBX paper
BIBS 218, RELS 211, RELS 311, RELX 211, RELX 311
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
Any student with an interest in the background to Judaism and Christianity.
Teaching staff
Reverend Dr James Harding
Paper Structure

Lectures, teaching day and videoconferences.Assessment:

  • Two 1500-word essays (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 eReserve.

A Course Book also exists for this paper.

Course outline
View the course outline for BIBS 318
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
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
Students who successfully complete this paper 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
  • Gained finesse with the critical skills needed to weigh evidence and analyse arguments offered by scholars working on early Judaism
  • Become familiar with the sources and methods within this field of study

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Not offered in 2021

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