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    This paper builds on the study of Hebrew done in BIBS 313 (or the equivalent), advancing students' abilities to interpret biblical texts critically in the original languages by focusing on the exegesis of specific texts from the Tanakh.

    About this paper

    Paper title Hebrew Old Testament Exegesis (Advanced)
    Subject Biblical Studies
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period(s) Full Year (Distance learning)
    Full Year (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,240.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    BIBX 411

    Students must have a solid grasp of the grammar and syntax of Biblical Hebrew, as well as experience of reading biblical texts in Hebrew, before the paper begins. This usually means that they must have successfully completed BIBS313 (or equivalent).


    Dr James Harding:

    Teaching staff

    Dr James Harding

    Paper Structure

    This paper involves studying a selection of ancient Hebrew texts from within and outside the Tanakh/Old Testament, in order to consolidate the ability to read extended passages of text in Hebrew. Classes and assignments will focus on extending the skills needed to use the major tools for research on the Hebrew text of the Bible, including the Masoretic notes and the critical apparatus of Biblia Hebraica, and on the relevance for exegesis of an understanding of the classical Hebrew language.


    • Translation and Exegesis (15%)
    • Translation and Exegesis (15%)
    • Word study (20%)
    • Final examination (50%)

    Note: the Translation and Exegesis assignments, and the Word Study, must show evidence of a basic understanding of the Masoretic notes and the critical apparatus of Biblia Hebraica. The final examination will include unseen texts (vocabulary provided).

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two one-hour classes per week for the full year, plus weekly one-hour tutorial. Distance students join in the classes remotely via Zoom. Attendance at all classes is expected, but students who are unable to join a class can watch recordings of the classes they have missed. Students of BIBS411 will join in the classes for BIBS213 and BIBS313, but will also study additional biblical texts in Hebrew in their own time, in consultation with the lecturer. Extra tutorials with the lecturer to be arranged.

    Note: Students are expected to do a significant amount of work outside class.



    H. P. Rüger (ed.), Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (4th ed.; Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1990).


    Paul Joüon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (2nd ed.; Subsidia Biblica, 27; Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2006).

    Page H. Kelley, Daniel S. Mynatt, and Timothy G. Crawford. The Masorah of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: Introduction and Annotated Glossary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998).

    Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (2 vols.; trans. M. E. J. Richardson; Leiden: Brill, 2001).

    Tov, Emanuel. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3rd ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012).

    Course outline
    View the course outline for BIBS 411
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of this paper, students will:

    • be able to translate classical Hebrew texts from the Torah, the Former and Latter Prophets, the “Wisdom” Literature, the Psalms, and outside the Tanakh/Old Testament
    • understand the grammar, syntax, idioms, accents, and literary forms of these texts, and be able to explain the difficulties with translating them
    • be able to use advanced grammatical and lexical tools with confidence
    • understand the principles of textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, based on Biblia Hebraica (Stuttgartensia and Quinta)
    • have a basic grasp of the Masorah of the Hebrew Bible, and the most important Masoretic notes


    Full Year

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

    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22, 29-35, 37-42
    Tuesday 15:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22, 29-35, 37-42
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