The Pentateuch


Rev. Dr Kris Sonek OP
Semester 1, 2020
Monday 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Semester 2, 2020
Wednesday 6.00pm – 9.00pm

This unit explores the literary forms, traditions (oral and written) and central theological themes of the Pentateuch. Students will examine chosen pentateuchal passages in the light of source criticism, form criticism, narrative criticism, and reception history. They will develop familiarity with ancient and modern interpretations of the Pentateuch developed by Jewish and Christian exegetes. Attention will be given to both narrative and legal texts and to theological links between the Pentateuch and the New Testament. The unit will demonstrate the enduring relevance of pentateuchal texts to contemporary society and the church. 

Census Date

  • Semester 1: Tuesday 17 March
  • Semester 2: Tuesday 18 August


BS8001C and BS8002C or equivalent


face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • one 7,000-word exegetical essay 100%
  • one 2,000-word case study (exegetical) 35%
  • one 2,000-word book review 25%
  • one 3,000-word exegetical essay 40%
  • one 2,000-word case study (exegetical) 30%
  • one 30-minute seminar or tutorial (2,000 words) 30%
  • one 3,000-word exegetical essay 40%

Set Text Recommended for Purchase

The New Revised Standard Version, e.g., New Oxford Annotated Bible or the HarperCollins Study Bible will be used in lectures.


  • Alexander, T. Desmond. From Paradise to the Promised Land: An Introduction to the Pentateuch. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MN: Baker Academic, 2012.
  • Alexander, T. Desmond, and David W. Baker, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003.
  • Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox, 1982.
  • Campbell, Antony F., and Mark O’Brien. Sources of the Pentateuch: Texts, Introductions, Annotations. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993.
  • Clines, David J. A. The Theme of the Pentateuch. 2nd ed. Journal for the Study of the old Testament Supplement Series 10. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2000.
  • Collins, John J. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004.
  • Westermann, Claus. Genesis: A Commentary. Translated by John J. Scullion. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1984-86.