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    A detailed 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 advanced engagement with the prophetical books of the Old Testament that extends students' knowledge and understanding of the Old Testament through a close reading of specific texts from the biblical prophets. We will study the prophetical books 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, and Hosea to Malachi in their historical contexts. This paper provides a deep engagement with some of the most important and enduringly influential works handed on to us from the ancient world and enhances students' 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 (Advanced)
    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.
    One 200-level BIBS or BIBX paper
    BIBS 211, 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, and 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 Essay (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, critical thinking, in-depth knowledge
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

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

    • analyse the place and influence of prophetic intermediation in ancient Israel and Judah

    • critically analyse key issues in the prophetical literature

    • demonstrate the advanced 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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