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Introduction to the Old Testament Studies

The Revd Dr Jim West

Subject Overview
This subject is a foundational introduction to the contents of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and to basic scholarly tools and critical methods used in Old Testament studies. It surveys the formation of the Old Testament, both as a whole and as comprising collections of books, while focusing on selected texts from the Torah (Pentateuch), Prophets, Writings and Apocrypha. It pays particular attention to issues of oral and textual transmission, historical and geographical context, religion and culture, genre and canon, exegesis, interpretation and diverse theological perspectives.


Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students will

  • be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge of the content of the Old Testament
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with key historical, cultural and theological issues pertaining to the study of the Old Testament
  • be able to discuss in a way that shows developing critical awareness a range of texts from the Pentateuch, Prophets, Writings and Apocrypha
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to use scholarly approaches to the study of the Old Testament
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to undertake basic exegesis of Old Testament texts
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to conduct basic research using primary sources, dictionaries, commentaries and other scholarly tools
  • demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills