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 Dates

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


  • second level BS1001C and BS1002C or equivalent
  • third level two Biblical Studies units at second level


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


second level
  • one 1,000-word case study (exegetical) 25%
  • one 2,000-word exegetical essay or equivalent learning resource 50%
  • one 1-hour written examination (1,000 words) 25%
third level
  • one 1,500-word case study (exegetical) 35%
  • one 2,000-word exegetical essay or equivalent learning resource 45%
  • one 1-hour written examination (1,000 words) 20%

Set Text Recommended for Purchase

The New Revised Standard Version, e.g., New Oxford Annotated Bible or the Harper Collins 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 Press, 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.