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BIBS315 Special Topic: Israel's Return from Exile

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.

Paper title Special Topic: Israel's Return from Exile
Paper code BIBS315
Subject Biblical Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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One 200-level BIBS paper
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited with BIBS412 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.


A Course book with 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.

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Not offered in 2023

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