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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.

    About this paper

    Paper title Judaism in the Time of Jesus (Advanced)
    Subject Biblical Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    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.
    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

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

    Campus: One two-hour lecture per week.
    Distance: Seven two-hour videoconferences on Zoom spaced throughout the Semester.


    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.

    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


    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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