The Creation of A Nation in the Hebrew Bible (THE1073)

StaffProfessor Siam Bhayro - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.50
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This core module will introduce students to traditional and critical approaches to the history of ancient Israel, from its emergence until the destruction of the Second Temple. The Hebrew Bible will be set in the context of other near eastern primary sources, evaluation of archaeological evidence and modern controversy in secondary sources.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to: 1. demonstrate, with guidance, a basic knowledge and understanding of the key historical themes of the Hebrew Bible
  • 2. demonstrate, with guidance, a basic knowledge and understanding of the key ideological themes of the Hebrew Bible;
  • 3. demonstrate, with guidance, a basic knowledge and understanding of the socio-religious and historical settings of key biblical writers and texts
  • 4. demonstrate awareness of how personal and communal identities and motivations are shaped by socio-religious contexts and how important such identities are

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. begin, with guidance, to demonstrate comprehension of some of the textual expressions of ancient Israelite and early Jewish groups
  • 6. begin, with guidance, to employ a variety of complementary methods of study: historical-critical; socio-religious; literary; theological and ideological.
  • 7. make guided use of a diversity of primary and secondary sources

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. undertake directed work within clear guidelines
  • 9. collect and categorise information relevant to a particular project, with guidance
  • 10. demonstrate the ability to summarise information accurately and fairly
  • 11. make use of selected written sources, with clear guidance
  • 12. communicate clearly in a written form
  • 13. participate appropriately in a learning group

Syllabus plan

'Scribal activity in the ancient near east' The structure and composition of the Hebrew Bible'. Literary genres in their near eastern context ' Interpreting archaeological evidence ' The rise of Israel and her neighbours ' Israel under successive empires ' Apocalypticism ' The Dead Sea Scrolls ' Jewish sectarianism in the Second Temple period ' The so-called 'parting of the ways' between Judaism and Christianity

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2211 x 2 hour lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1Small group tutorial
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2Study skills session
Guided independent study125Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written essay1500-2000 words1-12written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay501500-2000 words1-12written
Essay501500-2000 words1-12written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-12Refer/Defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Students are required to purchase a copy of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible. Recommended texts:

  • Barton, J., and J. Bowden, The Original Story: God, Israel and the World (London: DLT, 2004).              
  • Clements, R.E. (ed.), The World of Ancient Israel (Cambridge: CUP, 1989).
  • J.J. Collins, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress press, 2004).
  • Coogan, M.D. (ed.), The Oxford History of the Biblical World (Oxford: OUP, 1998).
  • Lemche, N.P., The Israelites in History and Tradition (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998).
  • Matthews, V.H., A Brief History of Ancient Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002).
  • McKenzie, S.L., and M.P. Graham (eds.), The Hebrew Bible Today (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999).
  • Noll, K.L., Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: An Introduction (London: Continuum, 2001).

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Key words search

Theology, Israelites