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    Historical and ideological context of early Judaism, critical analysis of Ezra-Nehemiah and other second temple texts, the transition from prophetic to textual authority, temple, prayer, identity, colonialism, return migration.

    The study of ancient texts dealing with modern issues: identity, colonialism, return migration, and religious authority. Focusing on Ezra-Nehemiah this paper examines the issues that gave birth to the Judaism of the New Testament.

    About this paper

    Paper title Special Topic: Israels Return from Exile (Advanced)
    Subject Biblical Studies
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,240.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    One 300-level BIBS paper
    Limited to
    BTheol(Hons), BA(Hons), PGDipTheol, PGDipArts, MTheol, MMin, PGDipMin, DipGrad
    May not be credited with BIBS315 when taken with the same content.

    Teaching staff

    Dr Don Moffat, Sir Paul Reeves' Lecturer in Biblical Studies

    Paper Structure

    Haggai, Zechariah & Temple reconstruction
    Penitential prayer
    Marriage, identity and religious authority
    Return migration and Community identity (Chronicles)
    Revelation and authority
    Governors and High Priests
    Malachi & Isaiah 56-66 community and leadership

    Teaching Arrangements

    The paper will be taught by videoconference to cater to on-campus and distance students. A teaching day will be held in Dunedin and Auckland.


    Readings will be available through Blackboard.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Scholarship & Lifelong learning, critical thinking, research, communication, ethics, cultural understanding, team work, informational literacy
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will:

    • Identify and assess the challenges Israel's return from Babylon presented and the resultant evolution of Judaism as a religious and cultural expression;
    • Exegete biblical texts using critical skills and assess them as literary texts and historical records by drawing on appropriate disciplines; and
    • Discuss and analyse a range of topics addressed by scholars in regard to the early second temple studies, including: penitential prayer, return migration, community identity, the "myth of the empty land", and political and religious structure and authority .


    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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