Course Code
RELI 0010
Course Type
Subject Credit
Course Availability

This course explores the historical, literary and theological issues pertinent to a scholarly understanding of the Hebrew Bible, sometimes called the Old Testament, or Tanakh.  This is a remarkable collection of books, spanning law, history, wisdom and prophecy, and ranging in date from perhaps the eighth to the first centuries B.C. It contains some of the most sublime poetry known to humankind, and some of its earthiest history. Millions of people have based their lives upon its teachings, and many outstanding scholars have devoted their lives to its exposition. 

Depending on the requirements and interests of the student, this course can take the form of a general introduction to Hebrew Bible studies, or concentrate on a more specialised range of topics.

Introductory Reading

  • Barton, J., Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2nd edn, 1996
  • Curtis, A. (ed.), Oxford Bible Atlas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th edn, 2007
  • Finklestein, I. and Silberman, N.A., The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Stories. London: Simon & Schuster, 2001
  • Hallo, W. et al., The Context of Scripture: Canonical Compositions, Monumental Inscriptions, and Archival Documents from the Biblical World. Leiden: Brill, 3 vols, 1997-2002
  • King, P. and Stager, L., Life in Biblical Israel.  London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001
  • Sasson, J.M. (ed.), Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. New York: Scribners, 4 vols, 1995