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    A study of the prophetical books of the Old Testament, with special reference to the theological crisis of the destruction of the Temple (586 BCE) and the Babylonian exile.

    This paper is an introduction to the prophetical books of the Old Testament, and while it is not necessary to have completed BIBS 112 first, it does extend and deepen students' knowledge and understanding of the Old Testament through a close reading of specific texts. We will study the biblical prophets in the context of the phenomenon of prophecy in the ancient Near East and look at the content, structure, theology and overall message of the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea to Malachi, and Daniel in their historical contexts. This paper not only provides a deep engagement with some of the most important and enduringly influential works handed on to us from the ancient world, it also encourages students to develop skills in reading closely and thinking critically - skills that will serve them well not only in their university career, but in the rest of their lives.

    About this paper

    Paper title God, Land and Exile in the Hebrew Prophets
    Subject Biblical Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period(s) Semester 2 (Distance learning)
    Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    36 100-level points
    BIBS 311, BIBX 211, BIBX 311
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology
    Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an examination of the scriptures, history, content and relevance of the Christian faith, but it presupposes or requires no Christian commitment from students. All it requires is an inquiring mind and an interest in those skills that can be gained through the study of any subject in the Humanities.

    Associate Professor James Harding

    Teaching staff

    Associate Professor James Harding

    Paper Structure

    The paper will introduce the idea of prophecy and the Bible and the ancient Near East, and it will then focus on the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea to Malachi). We will focus particularly on the themes of covenant, land and exile.

    There are three forms of assessment:

    • Introduction to a Prophet (15%)
    • Exegesis of one text from the major and minor prophets (25%)
    • Three-hour final examination (60%)
    Teaching Arrangements

    A two-hour videoconference held weekly thorughout the semster.



    Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler (eds.), The Jewish Study Bible (2nd ed.; New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

    Marvin A. Sweeney, The Prophetic Literature (Interpreting Biblical Texts; Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2005).

    The university library has electronic access to both books.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    interdisciplinary perspective, scholarship, critical thinking, in-depth knowledge
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes
    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the paper, students will be able to:

    • Discuss the place and influence of prophetic intermediation in ancient Israel and Judah
    • Describe and discuss selected issues in the prophetic literature
    • Demonstrate the skills required to exegete prophetic texts


    Semester 2

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

    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Thursday 14:00-15:50 29-35, 37-42
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