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    Explores Māori methods of interpretation and understanding in relation to Te Paipera Tapu.

    This paper explores Māori knowledge and ways of knowing in relation to the Bible in both a historical and a contemporary context.

    About this paper

    Paper title Mātauranga Māori and the Bible
    Subject Biblical Studies
    EFTS 0.1500
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    36 100-level points
    BIBS 327
    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 exploration of what can be said about God, and of the basis upon which we can say it? It requires an inquiring mind, respect for the views of others, and an interest in the big questions of human existence.


    Teaching staff

    Rev Dr Wayne Te Kaawa

    Paper Structure

    In semester 1, this paper will be taught by 6-videoconferences from 6-8pm and will also use blackboard. There will also be a teaching day by videoconference from 2pm to 8:30pm in mid-March.

    Modules will cover:

    • History of Te Paipera Tapu (Māori language Bible)
    • Reading whenua in Te Paipera Tapu
    • Theo-moana and Te Paipera Tapu
    • Reading the Paipera Tapu as Pūrākau, whakatauki, pepeha and moteatea
    • The Māori prophets and texts of liberation
    • The Treaty of Waitangi and Te Paipera Tapu
    • Weaving theology
    • Reading whakapapa in Te Paipera Tapu
    Literature review 20%
    Discussion Board 30%
    Major essay 50%

    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching

    The teaching programme is through 6-videoconferences and a teaching day in March.


    There is no textbook for this paper.

    Access to readings is provided via Blackboard.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Global Perspective, Interdisciplinary Perspective, Life-long Learning, Information and Environmental Literacy, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes

    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    • Demonstrate understanding of the history of the translation of the Bible into te reo Māori from 1827 to 2022 and identify issues involved in translation.
    • Demonstrate familiarity with biblical exegesis, hermeneutics and understanding that are based on mātauranga Māori and wānanga methodology.
    • Critically identify and analyse the role of whakapapa, whenua, tangata, and atua in biblical exegesis, hermeneutics and understanding.
    • Critically analyze the importance of renegotiating mātauranga Māori, worldviews and practices when engaging with the Biblical text.


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

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